Most people are familiar with the effect massage can have on humans, ranging from relaxation to increased circulation and healing. These same effects can be achieved with horses. Massage is the manipulation of muscles, skin and superficial soft tissue by applying deliberate and focused touch to the body. We look for release of pressure and through our hands we send love and healing energy to the animal we are working on.
It should also be noted that massage is not just for horses who are having current issues. Massage is very valuable for its’ preventative value. The best time to treat stress and work on any animal or person is before an injury develops, not after. Just like you’d want to replace the tire on your car before it goes flat, it’s smart to prevent injuries, not just treat them. Massage can also be extremely useful for spotting any developing issues.
However, all that being said, massage is not a medical treatment, and we can not treat or diagnose medical issues. We are not a veterinary clinic. A lame or sick or injured horse should ALWAYS be taken to a veterinarian first. There are many good veterinarians in the area, and if you need to contact one, we are happy to connect you with them.
As any experienced horse owner will know, horses can be very sensitive to stress, and stress can cause many issues in any creature. Massage is a proven, effective way to release stress and relax muscles, and will reduce heart beats per minute.
For any animal as large as a horse, good circulation is extremely important, and massage increases blood flow. This is especially important if the horse is suffering from any kind of injury. Increased blood flow to an injured area will speed recovery, as more blood brings more oxygen and nutrients.
We all know to give our horses some bute when they are in pain, most of us have a container of it standing around in the tack room. But the over use of chemical pain killers can be devastating to a horse’s gastrointestinal tract. Massage aids in pain relief and the release of multiple chemicals, such as serotonin, often called the “feel good chemical
Massage aids in the draining and circulation of lymph fluid. Lymphatic fluid is the cleaning agent of the immune system.
Unlike the circulatory system that uses the heart as a pump the lymphatic system doesn't have pump thus benefits greatly from the increased movement that massage provides
Overcoming mental and emotional trauma, especially in rescue horses.
For a lot of traumatized horses the only form of human contact has been negative . For example a mustang that comes off the range will have been rounded up, transported, given medical care such as castrations, transportation again and so forth until he ends up at the adopters home. That is a rather extreme situation but most horses will go through some form a trauma in their lives.
Massage can help greatly with the following issues, horses that are hard to catch, horses that don’t like being saddled, horses that don’t like their feet touched and horses that are headshy
My name is Florie Miller. Originally from Amsterdam in the Netherlands but I’ve been a Roaring Fork resident fo a long time. As a matter of fact, I first came out in 1997 to work on a dude ranch for a summer, landed in beautiful Carbondale and stayed for a few years. After moving back to The Netherlands for several years I knew the mountains is where my heart is and moved here permanently in 2008.
Upon returning to the United States I continued my work with Icelandic horses and was fortunate enough to find a professional Icelandic horse ranch in our area. I worked there for almost ten years, assisting with the training and breeding operation.
Icelandic horses are my favorite breed and have been a part of my life since I was a teenager. This passion resulted in getting my trainer/instructor certification in 2009.
I love riding and I love teaching lessons but I also started to yearn for a different and deeper connection with our horses.
So in winter of 2021 I started preparing to get certified in equine massage. I absolutely loved studying, even though it had been many years since I’d actually had to memorize things. My rusty brain was jolted back into study mode and anatomy turned out to be my favorite subject.
In March I went to Denver for the hands-on part of the class. I passed both the written and practical parts of the exams. All that was left was the case studies. When those were all wrapped up and graded I received my final certification in July.
Equine massage is my way of giving back to these amazing animals that carry our burdens in more way than one. I’m very excited for this new chapter and have already met so many amazing people and their horses in the process.
I look forward to be of service to you and your horse