Horse Massagers Blog

  • EQUISPORTS Massager Dealer Locator

    Posted on May 14, 2013 by Matt Nasca

    We are pleased to announce the addition of a new dealer locator. If you would like to purchase an Equisports Massager locally or would like a demonstration, use the locator below to find a dealer near you!

    This post was posted in Company News

  • Less Activity? Review Your Horse’s Feed Intake!

    Posted on August 9, 2012 by Matt Nasca

    Horse EatingIf a horse has been working really hard and taking in a lot of calories to supply enough energy, a decrease in activity level should be a reason to review and either revise or reduce his food intake.

    Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., is an equine nutritionist at Kentucky Equine Research (KER) in Versailles, KY; she says that fiber, starch/sugar, and fat are the three primary forms of nutrients that give a horse energy. “Protein can supply calories, but usually it’s used in the body to build and repair tissues,” she says.

    Crandell adds that there’s confusion about just what carbs are. “Unfortunately the common thinking is that starches and sugars are the only carbohydrates, but fiber is also a carb. And because of the equine digestive system’s ability to digest fiber, it can be the safer way for a horse to get energy, especially one who isn’t performing at high levels.”

    When a horse’s diet isn’t revised during the off-season, or during stall confinement following an injury, that’s when all kinds of problems can arise.

    “With a horse whose workload is cut down or one that’s confined to his stall, you should be basing the diet on fiber energy and cutting down on starches and sugars. Those are absorbed as glucose, and in some horses can give more of that ‘nervous’ energy.’ They’re concentrated in calories, which in idle or injured horses should be decreased,” says Crandell. In addition, starches and sugars can cause problems with muscles in some horses.

    “Certain horses can suffer from what’s called EPSM, or equine polysaccharide storage myopathy,” she reports. “These horses are very efficient at storing glucose in the form of glycogen within their muscles. When you exercise them, EPSM horses have difficulty converting or utilizing that glycogen. Even though their cells are filled with glycogen, it can’t be used, so their muscles cramp up.”

    While most common in draft breeds, EPSM can show up in horses or mules with draft lineage, including warmbloods. It can also occur in Quarter Horses, although in the QH community it’s referred to as PSSM (polysaccharide storage myopathy). EPSM is a genetic predisposition that can be fatal in severely affected horses. While the trigger isn’t clearly understood, sudden changes in work or diet have been seen as contributing factors.

    Crandell says that while there’s a wide variance in how feeds are designed, there are now options providing lower-volume balancers for the diet, and that these options are becoming more widely known among horse owners and caretakers.

    Ration balancers are a category of feed that’s low calorie and designed to be fed at a much lower feeding rate, yet provide all the nutrients at that lower volume,” she reports.

    Crandell adds that if you’re cutting back on feed, or relying upon a hay or forage diet, you can also top it off with a vitamin/mineral supplement. “Doing that can provide nutrients that might otherwise be deficient.”

    Feeding any horse appropriately for his level of activity is an important step in keeping him healthy. When there are changes in a horse’s activity level, remember to revise his feed intake appropriately. And any time your horse appears to be in physical or muscular distress, it’s a good idea to call in your veterinarian.

    This post was posted in Equine Health & Performance, Equine Therapy

  • Avoiding The ‘Weekend Warrior’ Hangover

    Posted on August 7, 2012 by Matt Nasca

    When people and horses undertake sudden bouts of activity outside their normal levels, such as a long weekend ride or trailering to a show for a day or two of competition, they're bound to get sore. Animal specialist and EQUISPORTS dealer Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt, LMT, says that with the proper approach and some easy preparatory techniques, riders can assist their equines in weathering any post-weekend achiness.

    “You cannot avoid the soreness completely; it will be there no matter how good your preventive actions are, especially if the horse is just standing around during the week,” reports Hourdebaigt. His tips include the things we’re all familiar with as part of a fitness routine: Warm-ups, stretching, cool-downs, and massage therapy.

    “As much as possible, warm up with a walk and trot and a good stretching session,” he advises. Generally, a horse can be considered warmed up within about 15 minutes, depending on the individual circumstances. Here’s what Hourdebaigt suggests:

    1.) 5 or 10 minutes of leisurely walking at the horse’s own pace, allowing them to stretch their neck and warm up their own body
    2.) another 5 or 10 minutes of walking with ‘intention’ at a more vigorous pace, interspersed with some trotting and gait transitions (varying walk to trot to walk to halt, etc.)

    Your individual warm-ups will depend on many factors, including the age and fitness level of your equine.

    “With an older animal, you want to be more gentle and give it more time; with a younger one you might be ready to go in 8 or 10 minutes. Use your common sense in this area, and also observe how the horse is responding to determine how long your warm-up should be,” he says.

    The EQUISPORTS Massager can also be incorporated into your warm-up and post-workout routine.

    “Pre-workout, you’ll want to use the massager with quick, light pressure, and focus mainly on the hindquarters and the back, for about two to three minutes on each side,” says Hourdebaigt. “You just want to wake up the body; if you do too much you’ll create soreness, or too deeply you might cause bruising.”

    Your horse will love you for any post-workout massage you can include, too. “You can go over the body with light pressure but a little longer time, up to five minutes per side. In addition to the hindquarters, back and neck, you can also do the chest.”

    If you include a water rinse or cool-down after activity, be sure your horse is completely dry before using the EQUISPORTS Massager, and never use the unit where there is water on the ground.

    Hourdebaight says light massage can loosen up the muscles and improve both blood and lymph circulation. “By stimulating the lymph, you’re stimulating the body’s natural ability to eliminate the byproducts of exercise,” he says.

    About Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt

    Residing in Wellington, Florida, USA, Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt (pronounced hoo-da-bay) teaches workshops and seminars to educate others in the use of his Massage Awareness Method® for dogs and horses. His websites, and, offer a variety of tools and resources including books, articles, and videos. Hourdebaigt is also an EQUISPORTS Massager dealer, and is literally the ‘poster guy’ since he appears on the instructional poster that accompanies each massager purchase.

    This post was posted in Equine Health & Performance, Equine Massage, Equine Therapy

  • Do You Know When NOT To Massage Your Horse?

    Posted on August 1, 2012 by Matt Nasca

    We all know massage feels good! But there are definitely situations when it's best NOT to massage your horse, such as acute trauma, high body temperature, nerve disorders, and more.

    This article by EQUISPORTS dealer Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt (pronounced hoo-da-bay) provides a detailed overview of situations when it's best to simply avoid massaging your whole horse or a specific affected area, and when you should call in the vet.

    Contra-indications To Massaging Your Horse

    We've got an EQUISPORTS Story about muscular soreness coming soon, with additional insights from Hourdebaight, who's also an internationally acclaimed author, animal massage therapy educator, and registered massage therapist.

    This post was posted in Equine Massage

  • Oh, My Aching Feet And Back!

    Posted on July 18, 2012 by Matt Nasca

    Ever hear of the saying 'no hoof, no horse'? It's meant to illustrate just how important a sound hoof is to the overall well-being of a horse and his ability to move. If your horse's feet aren't healthy, structurally correct, and trimmed or shod on a timely basis, there are consequences that can affect the entire musculoskeletal system.

    "When horses go for an extended period of time in between trims, such as in cases of neglect or even when owners are trying to save some money and delay a horseshoeing appointment, it can take up to a year to bring them back," reports Dean Moshier of The Balanced Hoof and Horse, Inc.

    An experienced horseman and judge, Dean Moshier is also a certified journeyman farrier (CJF) based in Delaware, OH. He strives to continually educate himself on equine soundness topics, and regularly shares that knowledge with others, such as through presentations at events like Equine Affaire and the International Hoof-Care Summit. He also helps horse owners understand how hoof care translates into physical comfort for their horses.

    "I've got one client who acquired a miniature horse that had foundered and also had some neglect, with specifically his hind feet getting out of whack. I've been doing corrective trimming, and while the cosmetic work happened in the first few trims, we're now approaching a year; it's taken this long to get the hoof capsule restored, and the limbs in better alignment. However, the owner recently commented on how much better the horse is walking," says Moshier.

    Why does a horse's hoof health affect his muscles? Moshier points out it's due to both movement and stance.

    "When you have a horse that's had improper trimming and shoeing, you just know it's got to be muscle-sore because it's expending so much effort just to stay upright," he says. "There's going to be certain muscle groups, especially in the hindquarters and back, that the horse is having to tighten down and overwork because they're trying to get some relief from front end discomfort by bringing their rear end underneath them. This category also includes navicular horses, since there's more leverage with the navicular bone when their toes get long, and it causes physical discomfort."

    Moshier also sees the consequences when his client horses go too long in between appointments. "One sliding mare, she starts hopping in her stops. And another, an OTTB (off-track Thoroughbred) with minor suspensory issues, we have to trim and shoe him every five weeks, because as soon as he goes beyond that he starts tripping, with his owner on board!"

    Stall-kept horses can also be stiff from lack of movement, something Moshier frequently has to address before he can even work on a horse. It's like warming up and stretching before exercise.

    "Some horses we have to move before I can trim them. They've been standing around and they can get very muscle-tight. When you're trying to work on one end and expecting them to balance, it's a great idea to get their muscles warmed up so they're better able to stand comfortably."

    This post was posted in Equine Health & Performance, Equine Massage, Equine Therapy

  • Horse Gets Tour of EQUISPORTS Massager Assembly Line!

    Posted on June 18, 2012 by Matt Nasca

    We were recording a promotional video for the EQUISPORTS Equine Massager and all of a sudden a horse comes running up with his cowboy hanging on tight. You'll have the watch the short video to see what happened!

    This post was posted in Equine Massage

  • Equine Massager, Available through Bent H Ranch Products

    Posted on June 8, 2012 by Matt Nasca

    Horses that are subject to strenuous exercise every day or are recovering from exercise induced injuries, are ideal candidates for the EQUISPORTS MASSAGER, a device that is designed to offer comfort and relief to tired, achy muscles.

    Specifically intended for home barn applications, its four-point orbital oscillation delivers deep, soothing and non-invasive massage to areas of pain on the horse and speeds recovery by increasing oxygenated blood flow to tired muscles.

    Made in the U.S., the Equisports Massager is light-weight for easy handling, comes with a 25’ electric cord for ease of movement around the horse and meets or exceeds ANSI/UL/CSA consumer safety standards.

    Also available are packages of six, Sure-Chek covers that fit over the vinyl massage pad that are removable and washable to prevent the spread of bacteria in multi-horse facilities and the Hot & Cold Pack with terry cloth covers for more acute applications.

    The Equisports Massager also has an adapter with a curved pad with it’s own Sure-Chek cover for lower legs.

    Distributed by Bent H Ranch Products. If your interested in becoming a dealer, call 928-632-9654 or visit:

    Click Here to buy online now!

    This post was posted in Equine Massage

  • Did you know that Wikipedia has its own Equine Massage page?

    Posted on May 3, 2012 by Matt Nasca

    Even horses have their own massage Wiki. Read more about Equine Massage on Wikipedia.

    Click Here

    This post was posted in Equine Therapy

  • Learn how to Choose Equine Massage Therapy Schools

    Posted on April 23, 2012 by Matt Nasca

    If you want to learn more about equine massage therapy, this article from lists some of the criteria you should look for in both accredited school programs, plus alternative schooling options that might not provide accreditation but could still give you useful working knowledge.

    Read the Article


    This post was posted in Equine Therapy

  • What are the Health Benefits of Horse Massage?

    Posted on April 16, 2012 by Matt Nasca

    From the Horse Journal and, this thorough article explains the benefits of equine massage, and some caveats to watch out for.

    Read the Article

    This post was posted in Equine Therapy

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