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Photo - Helena Whiting

Helena Whiting- Equine Sports Massage Therapist - Ringwood , Hampshire

Physical Therapy

General Information

Professional / Company name Helena Whiting- Equine Sports Massage Therapist
Profession Physical Therapy
Location Hampshire
Website Address

Specialities / Skills

Equine Sports Massage

Qualifications / Affiliated Bodies / Regulated Bodies

 Helena spent 3 years studying for my degree in Sports Science at Brunel University in West London and graduated in 2014. At 24 years old, she decided to focus my career on her true passion in life and work with horses.

She completed the Equissage Europe Sports and Rehabilitation Massage course in 2015, taught personally by Helen Woolley and is currently studying for a postgraduate Masters degree in Veterinary Physiotherapy.

Helena a fully trained and insured ESMT based in Ringwood in the New Forest, covering Hampshire, Dorset and South Wilts.

For any further information please do not hesitate to contact.


What is Equine Sports Massage, ESM?

ESM endorses the use of human sports massage techniques and applies them to the equine athlete in order to treat and prevent pain or discomfort within the muscles. It helps to maintain and improve a horse’s performance and can be used to treat existing problems as well as prevent potential issues before they arise. A common issue, such as a spasm in the muscle, can take up to 10 days to present itself as pain or discomfort in your horse, so it is vital to include sports massage within your horse’s routine to ensure they are able to continually perform at their best.

ESM largely works the muscles, skin and soft tissues, but it also has a positive effect on the nervous system, circulatory system and lymphatic system.

ESM is a fantastic way of assessing and locating problem areas within your horses musclulo-skeletal system, and can be used in conjunction with veterinary input, remedial farriery, saddle fitting, and veterinary physiotherapy where required.

ESM can be used to treat a range of common musculoskeletal issues, changes in behaviour and typical schooling problems. An ESMT’s ability to assess and treat your horse is down to an extensive understanding of equine anatomy and physiology, and often a schooling problem will develop as a results of pain in an area you may least expect. Therefore, it is important to have your horse assessed by an ESMT in order to locate and treat any issues before they develop further.


What are the benefits of sports massage for my horse?

Regular, professional sports massage will ensure your horses’ muscles are prepared for any level of work.

Massage does this by:

  • Increasing blood flow to the muscles which, in turn, promotes the removal of waste products and toxins which normally cause pain and stiffness
  • Increasing the range of movement within joints and improves resting muscle tone
  • Preventing spasms forming within muscle fibres and relieving existing spasms through the use of deep pressure massage techniques
  • Working in unison with the lymph system to reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Increasing bio-feedback which promotes the use of disused/atrophied muscles and improves the muscle's ability to contract
  • Reducing tension and promoting relaxation by releasing endorphins

When should I employ an ESMT for my horse?

Sports massage can be used for general maintenance during training to ensure your horse’s muscles remain supple and free of any pain or discomfort. ESM can also be used during a period of box rest or reduced work load. Naturally, horses often experience muscle atrophy/wastage during an extended period of rest. Sports massage stimulates the atrophied muscle fibres and causes them to contract, inevitably leading to hypertrophy of the muscle. It also works with the lymphatic system to reduce swelling and inflammation which often occurs when a horse’s movement is limited.

Sports massage can also be given before or after an event. It warms up the body and prepares the muscles for a period of intense work by stimulating the active contraction of muscle fibres and increasing blood flow. It can be tailored to stimulate or relax a horse prior to an event, dependant on the task at hand. Following an event, sports massage helps to prevent stiffness by removing toxins and waste products which are secreted in the horse’s muscles after a period of high intensity exercise, thus increasing the speed at which the muscles can return to their resting state.


ESMT has been known to treat a variety of common musculo-skeletal issues. You should seek the help of an ESMT if your horse displays any of the following:

  • Reluctance to relax into an outline, or neck stiffness
  • Lack of poll flexion and bend
  • Lack of head inclination through lateral work
  • Failure to track up, uneven stride length, or general stiffness in the limbs
  • Inability to pick up a particular canter lead, or inability to perform flying changes on one lead
  • Difficulty when performing lateral work, on one or both sides
  • Stiffness or lack of bend on one rein
  • Head shaking, tilting and shyness
  • Sore or cold backed, bucking or rearing when ridden
  • Hollow backed
  • General musculo-skeletal problems

Further Information

Years of experience 0
Locations Based in Ringwood in the New Forest, covering Hampshire, Dorset and South Wilts. For any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.
Prices I provide a range of treatments which include: Initial assessment and sports massage £45 Follow up/ maintenance/ remedial sports massage (approx 1hr) £40 Pre event massage £30 Post event massage £30


Fiona Runciman