Massage is defined as the assessment of the soft tissues and joints of the body and the treatment or prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissues and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function and or to relieve pain.In short, massage is the manipulation of soft tissues and joints for therapeutic purposes.
Massage therapy is applied to horses through the use of the principals, components and techniques of Swedish massage therapy. These techniques are then adapted and applied to the horses body. As in humans, massage therapy can be used to treat an injury or specific problem as well as promoting the proper development of soft tissues and maintaining (even improving) the health of soft tissues and joints to prevent future injury.
Massage therapy is performed on horses while they are standing and in the location where the horse feels most comfortable. Many horses are the most relaxed in their own stall (tied or loose), while others feel more comfortable in cross ties.