Tying Up – Do You Show An Equine Athlete?

Back in the late 90’s I went to a horse show in Fresno California and ran into an interesting situation of a horse tying up. So what happened with that horse at the show? Things ended quite well actually. Massage put our friend back in the show and the problems were gone.


What are some of the causes of this fairly common problem which leaves trainers and owners feeling somewhat helpless when this happens to their horse? There are many contributing factors in cases of horses tying up, the most common cause being oxygen deficiency.


How are muscles fed what they need in order to keep from being fatigued? The answer is, via the blood flow.


What can I do to prevent tying up? Regular massage can make a big difference.


Why massage? When muscles are tight, blood flow is restricted which restricts the amount of oxygen delivered to the muscles. Massage is one of the most effective things you can do for your equine athlete to help relax muscles and improve blood flow.


Why is good blood flow important? Blood delivers nutrients to the body. Essentially, the life is in the blood. With restrictions in blood flow due to tight muscles, deficiencies will occur, leading to health problems.


The Greeks had a saying,

" The athlete who does not use massage is the common man."

We also find in the history of horse massage that the mighty Roman Army when issuing a horse to a soldier also issued him a “massage manual.”


So as you can see, this is not a new idea!


As mentioned earlier, there are many factors that contribute to a horse tying up. Massage can help prevent it, but in addition to that, so can examining your horse’s diet.


There are some simple things you can do:

  • Remove all sweet feed from the diet. If a horse is fed molasses , its chromium will become unavailable, and chromium is needed to burn glycogen for energy.
  • If a horse is fed salt, use a free-choice white salt bock only, as TRACE MINERAL salt blocks can lead to a mineral imbalance. Do not put salt in the feed.

To learn more about equine health and massage, please visit my webpage  www.howtomassageahorse.com for videos and other information. I would love to help you take good care of your athlete and yourself.

Contact Us Today!

Geary Whiting’s Equine Massage Therapy School for Horse & Rider

P.O. Box 1836
Big Sur, CA  93920

Phone No.: 530-410-5270

Email: info@gearywhiting.com