How To Help Relieve Equine Back Pain

Soothing Equine Back Pain With Natural Therapies

The horse's back is amazing! Not only can we ride our horses, but we can gallop, jump as well as exercising at a more leisurely pace.

However, the equine back is relatively inflexible, and given the demands that we put on our horses, the back is constantly under strain. Many horse-owners will have heard of "the backman", but in reality this is not actually a therapy - the term "backman" can cover a multitude, some good some not so!

In this blog, I'm focussing on some of the most popular therapies used to help the equine back.

Equine Muscle Release Therapy

This therapy has developed from the Bowen Technique that is used on humans. An Australian - Tom Bowen developed this technique for humans during the 20th century, so is fairly new and it wasn't until 1990 that an Australian, Alison Goward began to use a variation of the technique on horses. EMRT is the "official" Bowen technique for horses.

It can be used to help with strains (e.g. ligaments, tendons, muscles), skeletal problems and tension amongst other things.

Find out more here

Equine Bodywork

This therapy is based upon Equine Sports Massage however, it also utilises a variety of other massage techniques and other complementary therapies to help the horse. The treatment consists of a full body massage and stretching routines. Ideal for helping to maintain a healthy back.


Trigger Point Therapy For Horses

This is sometimes called Myotherapy. Which literally means muscle therapy. It's a method for relieving pain based on the application of compression to trigger points in the body. Trigger Point Myotherapy (TPM) developed out of a method of pain relief developed in the U.S.A. by Dr. Janet Travell, M.D.

Trigger points are defined as hypersensitive locations in the muscles that cause pain in response to undue stress. They develop into tight bands or knots within the muscles. These bands or knots can cause the muscles to spasm, limit the movement of joints, and cause pain.

Trigger points often do not occur in the same location where the pain is felt. Instead the pain may occur some distance from the actual location of the trigger point. Ideal if there's a muscle tension.

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Equine Sports Massage

Equine sports massage is the therapeutic application of a variety of massage techniques. These are used to help increase circulation and range of motion, relieving muscle spasm/tension, enhancing muscle tone and improving the horse's stamina and overall performance.

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There's many other therapies that can be used to help equine back health. But hopefully the above gives an idea of some of the ways you can help your horse's back - naturally.

Other Ways To Help Your Horse's Back

Additionally, there's many ways to help prevent back problems for your horse. Including:
1. using the therapies above (or others) as a preventative method
2. having correctly fitting tack or rugs
3. good hoof balance.

Remember.. With any ailment it's important to get Veterinary advice before using a therapy to help. Consider too that what works with one horse may not necessarily work with another.

Find out more about dozens of natural animal therapies here at Taranet. Or read other articles in this Natural Pet Health Blog. Take a look at the sitemap here to explore!

About the Author

Suzanne Harris is founder of this Taranet website at, and also provides business coaching to horse and dog care and veterinary professionals.