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Equine Sports Massage

Improve the Health
Performance of Your Horse

For Appointments or Consultations
Duffy McCoy


With 42 groups of muscles and over 200 bones, your Equine Athlete needs to be in optimum condition to perform, no matter what your style of riding.  Massage, Reiki, Acupressure, Stretching, Chakra Balancing and Aromatherapy are just a few of the ways I can help your Equine Athlete to obtain peak performance.


Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
Friendship without envy,
Or beauty without vanity?
Here, where grace is served with muscle,
And strength by gentleness confined.
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.  There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.

Ronald Duncan



There are many words that float around today, not only within the horse healing community, that I  I would like to give you a clearer understanding of.  I have chosen ten commonly used terms and have given definitions, examples and stories to help explain them. If you have any further questions, comments or stories you wish to share, please e-mail me at


Alternative Medicine ~ This refers to any healing practice that does not fall within the realm of conventional western medicine.  Most of these practices come from cultures and history rather than being science based.  It does not mean that they don’t work, but that their beginnings are different.

Acupuncture ~ This method involves inserting and manipulating fine needles into certain places on the body for healing, pain relief, or therapy.  For those of you who don’t like the word “needles” do not worry.  These needles are so fine, that you don’t feel the discomfort like you do when you have blood drawn. A woman surgeon from China has done acupuncture on me before. She told me they used to carry the sterile needles in their pockets to use as needed.  It was not a separate treatment, but was part of treating the whole patient.  The needles work on certain points along meridians that increase the flow of energy needed for healing.  This helps to keep the Yin and Yang balanced, because it’s the imbalance that can create symptoms of illness.

Acupressure ~ I use this technique a lot with the horses that I work on.  It has the same basis as acupuncture but uses pressure – whether it is with hand, elbows or devices – to release the blockage and enhance the flow of energy.

Aromatherapy ~ Ahh, one of my favorites!  While using aromatherapy, both the horse and I benefit.  This involves the use of essential oils, which are derived from plants.  The aromas affect mood and health, both mentally and physically.  I use certain oils on the back of my hands while I work.  I first let the horse smell and see if he releases.  During the massage I may have him/her inhale the aroma, again, to facilitate a release.  I may also use other scents after the massage to help complete and hold the work that has done. Rescue Remedy, one of the Bach Flower Remedies, is a staple in my kit.  I use it for a variety of problems, such as, shock, panic, terror, stress, tension, depression.  It is good for both horses and humans.

 Chakra’s ~ There are seven energy centers in the body.  Each chakras has a color, emotion and body part associated with it.  If its energy is out of balance, so will that particular area of the body be out of sorts.  I use a pendulum or a necklace to determine if they are out of balance. These energy centers can be balanced in several ways.  (1) Color is one method.   I have been known to lay wide colored ribbons along the back of a horse to balance his chakras.  I have also had people hold stones of these colors while breathing deeply.  (2) I also use a tuning fork along a horse’s energy centers to help bring them back into balance.  And of course, your voice and your words can be very healing. When I am out of town for a long period of time, my horse’s heart chakra gets out of balance.  Upon my return, I spend several days telling him how much I love him and how wonderful he is. 

Chiropractic ~ This is not just about “cracking” your back.  My husband and I visit them on a regular basis.  This is a manipulation of the joints and muscles, especially those along the spine.  Since all your nerves that govern your whole body are along the spine, this manipulation can help to release any pressure on a nerve which is causing a problem.  A visit with the chiropractor has saved me from many a migraine, and I recommend it for both horses and humans.

Holistic ~  Various systems of health protection and restoration, both traditional AND modern that are based on the body's natural healing powers, the various ways the different tissues affect one ach other and the influence of the external environment.

Homeopathy ~ Homeopathic~ This method was first used by a German physician in 1796.  It is based on the philosophy of treating like with like.  It derives from animal, vegetable or mineral;  in infinitesimal doses, it can help.  It is not quick and easy, but its essence allows an almost vaccine like performance.  My horse has arthritis, and I have found a regular dose of homeopathic remedies allows him a freer range of motion.  I have used it for my sinuses during pollen seasons. 

Massage ~ This is any easy one.  We have all had someone rub our shoulders, necks, feet, hands or back and we know how wonderful this feels.  Yet do you know why?  By massaging the soft tissues of the body, you increase circulation, stimulate nerve endings and improve lymphatic drainage.  The endorphin release also aids in pain relief.  The horses know after one visit with me, that I am going to make them feel better, and they usually call out, “ME FIRST!”

 Reiki ~ This is a system where healing energy is moved through the hands to where it is needed.  I can be a big a skeptic as anyone.  One of the first times I tried this and visually saw results, I was amazed and became a confirmed believer.  I once had a horse that did not want anyone near his hip, which was where his discomfort was.  I stood across the stall, brought in the energy and sent it out through my hands and directed towards his hip.  I actually saw the muscles begin to twitch and then he released.  This is a very non- invasive method of healing.

So after your quick lesson in alternative modalities of healing, you may still not be a believer, and you may not wish to practice it.  What I ask for is that you keep an open-mindedness to the possibility that it can work.  If someone comes to work on your horse and uses one or more of these methods, remember that your horse mirrors your feelings. If you believe, then he/she will, too, and the healing can begin!




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