Fascia is a made of up elastin, collagen, and a fluid ground substance. It is the three-dimensional web which surrounds every bone, muscle, nerve, organ, and vessel down the cellular level from head to hoof. When restrictions develop in the fascia, whether from trauma, repetitive training, or poor posture, those restrictions create pain, swelling, misalignments, poor muscular biomechanics, and decreased range of motion, strength, and lameness. This results in a loss of pliability, whereupon the collagen becomes dense and fibrous, and the ground substance can solidify. Standard testing will not show fascial restrictions.

Myofascial release (MFR) is a whole body hands-on manual therapy technique, which addresses the fascial system. Myofascial release is used to elongate fascial tissue and relieve pressure from these painful and sensitive areas to restore motion and power.

Myofascial release (MFR) is a gentle, non-injurious treatment modality, that is useful for pain, decreased range of motion, undiagnosed lameness, inability to pick up a lead or maintain a gait, difficulty bending, change in behavior, or loss of power and agility.

Riders benefit from this treatment modality as well. If a rider’s body is misaligned, that pain and hardness will reflect in the horse’s body. This is referred to as mirrored dysfunction. Thus, the horse and rider can improve their performance with myofascial release (MFR). 

Links for further information:

Understanding myofascial release for horses

Equine Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release and the Equine Athlete