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What is "Bodywork"?: FAQ


Bodywork is the utilization of modalities that address the soft tissues(muscles, ligaments, and tendons) of a horse.  This can include sports massage, advanced soft tissue techniques, stretching, range of motion exercises, spinal mobilization, muscle activation, and focal point work.  Think about it, 60% of a horses body weight is muscle and it’s often the last thing we think about when we’re addressing lameness, performance, and behavioral issues.  The soft tissues of the horse support their entire skeleton, that means their joints too. Healthy muscle function protects joints by reducing the unnecessary stress and pressure put on them by tight, restricted or imbalanced muscles.  It also increases range of motion, lengthening the stride which creates more efficient movement and increases stamina.  It addresses tight muscles that can no longer secure their own release by returning them to their normal functional range.  Most importantly, by increasing oxygenated blood flow to muscles it helps reduce recovery times, promote muscle elasticity, and restore length and proper function to help protect from injury in the first place. Coupled with a thorough understanding of anatomy and biomechanics we can utilize these techniques in a targeted manor to address muscle imbalances and help create a more balanced horse that can move with lightness and efficiency.


  • as a preventative and part of your horses wellness program

  • if you notice any sore or tight muscles

  • a decline in performance 

  • reluctance when asking for collection, lead changes, backing, or other movements

  • behavioral issues

  • girthing problems

  • problems with straightness or reluctance to bending

  • jump refusals

  • back soreness

  • choppy strides or loss of impulsion

Bodywork is not a substitute for veterinary care.  Bodywork is a valuable asset when combined with proper veterinary care and we are happy to work with you and your vet on a plan for your horse.


Bodywork should be an important part of your horses wellness program, just like your farrier, and vet.  This is especially important for performance horses in training and competing - but really any horse would benefit just the same!  It is a wonderful preventive measure that can help protect your horse from joint problems and injuries down the road as well as having another set of trained eyes to spot small problems before they become big ones.  Bodywork can also be a very beneficial component to your recovery plan for horses coming back from injury aiding in promoting muscle elasticity and a more functional alignment of scar tissue.  Often injuries create dysfunctional movement patterns that do not resolve on their own after the injury has healed.  This causes some muscles to overwork for others leaving them susceptible to more yet more injury.  These muscles can be retrained to move in their proper balance.  We are happy to work with you or your veterinary team on any horse cleared for bodywork.

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