Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ about Hand Over Hands and Equine Massage Therapy

Here you will find answers to many of the questions that arise when someone considers trying massage therapy for his/her horse. Have a question that's not listed here? Call/text me at 812.360.3119 or email

How long does a typical massage take?

As a general rule, the session will take 60-75 minutes, depending on how much work the horse needs. I want to make sure that I spend enough time with your horse in order to maximize the benefits of the massage. The first appointment usually takes longer since I will also conduct an evaluation of your horse.

What happens during a massage session?

I will work on 22 different muscle groups from poll to tail on each side of your horse and help him stretch. After I'm done, you will need to hand walk your horse for 5 minutes.

How often does my horse need massaged?

It depends! Horses that are used daily will benefit from more frequent massages, which may be once or twice per week. It is best that we talk about your horse's current condition and your plans for him before we make a decision. Experts recommend that horses receive at least one or two sessions per month in order to continue seeing benefits.

I have noticed that some horses that have not been massaged before or that have had an extended break in bodywork may not respond much in the first session. If this is the case, I definitely recommend doing at least 1-2 more sessions to get an accurate assessment of whether massage therapy is beneficial for the horse.

What types of payment do you accept?

You may pay at the time of service via cash, check, or credit card. Online payment at the time of booking will be available soon!

What should I expect at my first appointment?

At the first appointment, I will conduct an evaluation of your horse. This will start with some basic paperwork; then I will ask you some questions about his/her history and any issues you notice about his movement or behavior. I will take pictures of him, video record him walking and trotting each way, and check for any initial areas of concern, including saddle fit. Once that is finished, I will massage your horse.

Do I need to be present during the massage?

You do need to be present at the initial appointment in order to sign papers and provide me with information about your horse. If you are unable to attend subsequent sessions, please let me know, and we can discuss this on a case-by-case basis.

Does massage therapy really work?

Yes! Check out our benefits page, and see real-life examples on our case studies page!

Can you perform chiropractic work or adjust my horse?

No, I cannot perform chiropractic work. However, massage therapy will help a horse that receives chiropractic work by relaxing the muscles so they don't continue to pull the skeleton out of alignment.

How do I know whether my horse needs a massage?

Check out our quiz, which will help you determine whether sports massage therapy may be helpful for your horse. As a general rule, every horse will reap some health benefits from receiving consistent massages. In my own herd, I have found that even our trail horses have improved range of motion, increased relaxation, decreased stiffness, and better muscle tone as a result of massage therapy.

Is it ok to massage my horse right before we leave for a show?

If your horse receives massage therapy on a regular basis, this isn't a problem at all. For horses that do not receive massages regularly, it may not be a good idea since he may be sore if we work out some tight areas during the session.

Do all horses like massage?

I have not found a horse, yet, that doesn't enjoy a good massage. That being said, sometimes a very stiff or sore horse will have periods where he is uncomfortable during a session as we work on releasing the tension in a particularly tight area. After a few sessions, he is usually more relaxed and begins to enjoy it. In a few cases, it has taken several weeks for the horses to learn how to release the tension they had been holding for so long. Once they "figured it out" though, there were significant behavioral changes in those horses, both in the saddle and on the ground.

Do you offer package deals?

Yes! We have several packages and ways to save. Check out our services page for more details.

Are there any side effects to the massage?

A horse who is new to sports massage therapy or has a lot of tension may be a little sore after the first session. You may also notice your horse drinking more water, sweating, or going to the bathroom more often than normal. This is his body's way of flushing out toxins and metabolic waste. It's a typical occurrence after a massage therapy session.

Can I ride my horse before a massage?

Yes, it is ok to ride your horse before the massage as long as you've cooled him down before the appointment. Riding him before the massage is better than riding him afterwards.

How soon after a massage can I ride my horse?

It is ideal if you can wait until the next day to ride; however, you CAN ride the same day if needed.  At a minimum, you should give him a few hours to enjoy his relaxation before you ask him to work.

Do you have a referral program?

Yes! Check out our services page for more details.

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