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Stretching and massaging your horse is in many cases good for it, however, you should get help from a trained massage therapist to do it right
After strenuous work or stress, which could be caused by inappropriate equipment or injury, the muscles may contract and become stiff, and this will influence the horse's movements. Stretching and massage can help you discover muscle tension at an early stage, which may be an indication of the horse's health status. This could help you prevent injuries.
Massages improve the blood circulation and helps waste products being transported away from the muscles more quickly, which leads to a reduced risk of soreness and stiffness. When muscle tension is relieved, the pain goes away and mobility as well as work capacity is improved. The positive effects of a massage are many.
To stretch the horse, it must have been moving and be properly warmed up. Stretching after a training session reduces the risk of soreness, and it speeds up the elimination of waste products. A muscle that is stretched will become more elastic, and not as prone to tears and other injuries.
Stretching and massaging the horse does not have to be complicated. When you groom the horse thoroughly, you are essentially giving it a massage. To learn how to stretch and massage the horse more effectively, there is plenty of literature, films and excellent courses that you can take.
The website of the Nordic Horse Massage Therapists' Association, www.nhmf.se, contains a list of licenced horse massage therapists.