by Katie Currall KT Sports Massage
Training to be a Sports Massage therapist was one of the best decisions I have ever made and have spent the past 13 years in my dream job. Like with any career, we are always looking to develop ourselves and 6 years ago I moved into the world of Equine Sports massage, and have never looked back!
My client base soon expanded to treat competitive riders within dressage, show jumping, racing, showing and working hunter. I also have been very fortunate to work closely with Russell Guire from Centaur Biomechanics who I admire greatly.
One case that stands out is a 17.2, 7 year old black Mare. I started working on her around June last year. Unfortunately she suffered from a bladder stone complaint which took a few months to fully recover from. The discomfort and lack of exercise meant she lost muscle strength particularly around her backend. Her posture and balance weakened leading to compensatory issues throughout her body.
Massage therapy simulates muscles and the technique of effleurage, which is a stroking motion, can help drain lymphatic fluids and soften tight muscles.
Kneading and pressure are other valuable techniques I use to release tension in areas of tension as a result of her holding herself whilst in pain with the bladder stones.
Over about 6 weeks she received regular massages and I left her owner with ground exercises such as leg and carrot stretches, lunging using a pasoa with bandages for proprioception and pole work with one end raised to help build up her back end.
In addition to manual techniques I also have a deep oscillation machine which is a non-invasive machine using electrical currents. This can penetrate up to 8 cm and can help encourage blood flow to an injury site as well as help break down tissue fibres. This is also a great machine for treating tendon injuries.
After an intensive course of treatments she had some time off over the winter and then returned to work, rebuilding her muscles gradually and evenly.
This year she was the youngest horse to take the Working Hunter championship at Royal Windsor Horse Show. A few weeks later qualified for the Horse of the Year this year. She is an amazing horse who I love working with and her owners were totally committed with her rehabilitation, which is essential to achieve such a great result.
With two other clients competing at Royal Windsor Horse show this year, it was an exciting show for me to attend.