Competitive Edge Therapeutic Massage, Competitive Edge Saddles  
Specializing in Therapeutic Massage and Correct Saddle Fit for both Horse and Rider!

Why Myofascial Release?

What is Myofascial Tissue?

Myofascial tissue is literally the glue that holds us together.  It’s what’s in between each and every cell of our body, and yet on a larger scale holds our organs in place, and surrounds our muscles, ligaments and tendons.  It’s what gives us our tremendous strength, range of motion and flexibility.  Normally, healthy myofascial tissue is very strong, supple and slick.  It can withstand pressures of over 2000 lbs. per square inch!  That’s much stronger than bone, as bone would crush under such pressures.  But due to things like injury, trauma, surgery, stress, bad postural habits or sickness, the myofascial tissue can become sticky, gnarled and develop adhesions that limit our range of motion, flexibility and strength.  This can also be called “scar tissue.” 

What is Myofascial Release? 

Myofascial Release is a form of Massage Therapy that specifically releases the restrictions in myofascial tissue. 

How can massage help my horse?

With proper techniques, a trained therapist can release those restrictions and regain the mobility and strength that was lost when the myofascial tissue originally became restricted.

When a restriction occurs in the myofascial tissue, (whether horse or human), the body responds by overusing another part of the body to “compensate”, leading us to call this behavior “compensating”.  Let me give you an example.  Your horse has trouble picking up his right lead canter consistently.  He can do it; it just doesn’t seem easy for him.  He happens to be an “off the track” Thoroughbred who was trained to run and run hard on his left lead (between 70-80% of all horses are “left handed” by nature).  Therefore, he’s used the left lead predominantly throughout his career. 

This would be an example of “bad postural habits”.  Because he’s repeatedly using his left lead at the canter, it becomes more and more habitual to continue to use the left lead canter.  This can actually strengthen the muscles on the left side of the horse creating an imbalance.  The myofascial tissue can actually encourage the muscles to pull bones out of place and cause great discomfort, loss of strength and range of motion.  Hence, your horse doesn’t want to pick up his right lead because it is more uncomfortable. 

Through proper techniques, a trained therapist can manipulate the soft tissue (including muscle and myofascial tissue) and release the restrictions that have developed over time.  Once the restrictions are released, the therapist can then encourage natural range of motion movements to retrain the actions that were lost or limited due to the restriction in the myofascial tissue.  The therapist can also offer stretching and strengthening exercises and increasing your awareness of his movements to help keep your horse free of restrictions. 

The Equipe Viktoria is pictured below.  

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