Keeping you and your horse on the road to success

About Riding High

Kelly has been involved with horses from a young age and in a variety of fields from hunting, polo (competing as part of the Southampton University team) and British Eventing. Like so many equine fanatics Kelly chose to keep her passion as a hobby and persue a very successful career as a classical musician and teacher, however she soon felt that horses needed to encompass more than just her evenings and weekends. After many years of unlucky injuries and the rehabilitation of her eventing hopefuls, Kelly became interested in the techniques employed by many therapists and qualified in Equine Sports Massage with distinction through The College of Equine Physiotherapy. Kelly is furthering her knowledge and studying for a degree in Equine Physiotherapy as well as attending regular CPD's.

The Benefits and uses of Equine Sports Massage.

Today's equestrian owner has a greater understanding of the anatomy and biomechanics of the horse. With this knowledge comes an increased awareness of the requirements to maintain their health, happiness and fitness. Over 60% of a horse’s body mass is muscle in comparison to the 35-40% in humans, therefore many issues (whether they appear behavioural or physical) can be referred back to a muscular tension or pain. There are a variety of benefits gained from equine sports massage and as a keen rider I completely appreciate that a happier horse makes for a happier rider.

Benefits and uses include:

  • Tension release
  • Rehabilitation
  • Improved performance
  • Competition fitness and assessment
  • Event massage (pre and post competition)
  • Muscle toning
  • Relaxation
  • Circulation
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Detoxify
  • Increased range of movement
  • Reduced tactile defence
  • Increased stamina
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Skin and coat appearance
  • Cell renewal
  • Scar tissue and blemish appearance


We demand a lot from ourselves and our horses all year round and an injury free, supple and sound horse is what we strive to achieve through our training. A little extra help can go a long way and equine sports massage promotes muscular health, essential for these high demands on the musculoskeletal system of the horse. As a flight animal the horse's instinct is to conceal injury and therefore it can take months before these minor injuries, strains and muscular compensations become apparent.

Signs of Muscular discomfort

  • shortened stride
  • difficulty with lateral exercises
  • stiff or slow to warm up
  • bucking or rearing
  • a lack of impulsion or wanting to go forward
  • hollowing
  • girth / grooming or tactile defensiveness
  • toe dragging or unbalanced foot placement
  • altered behaviour be it under saddle or in the stable
  • atrophied or unbalanced muscles development

By incorporating regular massages into your horses routine allows for early detection and prevention of any further damage.



Treatments – what to expect?

After veterinary permission has been obtained (please see The Veterinary Act below) Kelly will carry out a thorough visual and palpated assessment as well as a walk and trot up in hand. A full case history will be detailed and an appropriately tailored sports massage will be given. Treatments take approximately 1.5 hours.

Pre-competition Massage

Competition days can be stressful for both horse and rider, from loading and travelling through to warming up there is a lot for both parties to cope with. Pre-competition massage can help to relax the horse reducing any muscle tension therefore achieving the same comfortable focus that you both enjoy at home. Massage also helps improve circulation delivering oxygen and energy to the muscles in preparation for whatever activity is to follow. More importantly the equine sports massage techniques warm the muscle tissue decreasing the length of time required in the warm up arena and diminishing the chance of muscle fatigue during competition.

Post-competition massage

After competition or high intensity training, massage can aid the removal or lactic acid and reduce muscle soreness for the days to follow allowing for on-going training. Equine sports massage also influences cell renewal and aids the recovery of damaged muscle cells reducing the chances for injury or recurring injury.

General maintenance

This may seem unnecessary when all is going well but from personal and professional experience the general maintenance of the fit and healthy horse is one of the most important. If everything is going well allow me to do all I can to prevent anything from holding up your fun!


Massage has many benefits for both rehabilitation and the box rested horse. Preventing atrophy of muscles, alleviating tension (both mental and physical) and maintaining suppleness and flexibility are all key components for making sure that once you are given the all clear from your vet your horse is unlikely to fall foul of re-injury or compensatory injury.

The Veterinary Act

It is a legal requirement that anyone treating an animal must have veterinary permission. If an animal displays any symptoms which I believe to require veterinary treatment I may decide not to proceed until advice has been sought.


Treatment + assessment (lasting approx. 1.5 hours) £35.00. Yard discounts are available for cumulative treatments.

Continued Development

As a member of IAAT (International Association of Animal Therapists) Kelly continues to development her knowledge by attending a variety of CPD training days. Alongside this she is also due to qualify in Equine Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation by 2018.


Kelly's gentle yet effective method is reassuring for both horse and owner. Despite his competition background, Coby had never had a treatment but Kelly's soothing, confident presence made him comfortable and responsive to it. He has improved in muscle tone, evenness and way of going and now has a huge crush on Kelly - making goo goo eyes at her every time she is on the yard.

Amy Parks - Journalist and Eventer
I have watched Kelly work on a number of horses, including my own, and she is an excellent massage therapist. She is knowledgable, has a good eye and feel and coupled with her good technique leads to great results. I would happily recommend Kelly.

Wendy Vaughan - Equine Physiotherapist (Naturally Better)
Kelly has excellent palpating skills, a deep knowledge and a terrific empathy with the horses.

The College of Animal Physiotherapy


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Get In Touch

Please get in touch to discuss your requirements, or book an appointment!