Cart 0

Trigger Points for Horses - Sacroiliac Pain

Posted by Team NAT on


 Trigger Point Massage for Horses - Andy Eckley


Andy Eckley's Bio


A common misconception is that you need to use a stronger force to release a trigger point on a horse than you would with a human

This however isn't my experience. If you are accurate then being a trigger point therapist for horses doesn't have to be painful for yourself or lead to finger joint problems.

A big difference to applying trigger point therapy versus simple massage is in its accuracy. So, if you are exactly on an active trigger point you don't need a lot of pressure.

Always try to use a supported thumb to the correct depth depending on the sensitivity of the tissue you are addressing.

Remember that the first time you press on an active trigger point this is going to send a pain signal to the horse.

Horses are flight or fight animals and you need to ensure that the pain signal is low, for your own safety, and for the wellbeing of the horse. 

Using the Base of Your Hand

An alternative and very useful technique for releasing tension from active trigger points is to use the heel of your hand.

This is an excellent technique when releasing tension in the horses back, loins and down the back of the hamstrings.

When using the heel of your hand use stronger pressure as you are not concentrating on a precise trigger point location but moving the fascia and muscles overlaying an active trigger point which is often swollen or in spasm.

Direct Pressure

When releasing a trigger point its recommended that you use direct pressure.

Direct pressure means your thumb is applying pressure at 90 degrees to the surface of the horse. So it doesn't mean its horizontal or vertical as a rule but its at right angles to the surface your working on.

You could use any finger or thumb to apply the pressure as it makes no difference to the horse!

What's important is that your touch must be accurate and comforting. You should start off lightly and then increase the pressure.

Often a horse will lean into you to help increase the pressure. I've even had horses push so strongly into my pressure that they've lifted me off my feet against a wall.

If this happens to you, you’ll know that you and your horse are in complete agreement that you have found the correct spot.

You can move your thumb in small circles on a trigger point or apply direct pressure with no movement.

Test to see whatever works best to release that point.



Find a Trigger Point Professional in your area

More Articles About Trigger Points

Trigger Points for Horses - Online Course

NAT Professional Courses

Certify as a Trigger Point Therapist



About NAT Courses

As a manual therapist or exercise professional, there is only one way to expand your business - education!

Learning more skills increases the services that you offer and provides more opportunity for specialization.

Every NAT course is designed to build on what you already know, to empower you to treat more clients and grow your practice, with a minimal investment in time and money.

Help Desk


About Niel Asher Education

Niel Asher Education is a leading provider of distance learning and continued education courses.

Established in the United Kingdom in 1999, we provide course and distance learning material for therapists and other healthcare professionals in over 40 countries.

Our courses are accredited by over 90 professional associations and national accreditation institutions including the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Full details of all international course accreditations can be found on our website.  

Printed course materials and other products offered on our websites are despatched worldwide from our 3 locations in the UK (London), USA (Pennsylvania) and Australia (Melbourne).

More About Us



We are honored to have received the 2017 "Excellence in Education" Award from the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.

Since 1999 Niel Asher Education has won numerous awards for education and in particular for education and services provided in the field of trigger point therapy.

Read Full Article 


Award Winning Instructors

Niel Asher Healthcare course instructors have won a host of prestigious awards including 2 lifetime achievement honorees - Stuart Hinds, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, AAMT, 2015, and Dr. Jonathan Kuttner, MD, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, NAMTPT, 2014.

Meet the Instructors



If you are a qualified/licensed manual therapist or exercise/fitness professional you can expand your credentials with NAT certification.

In addition to national accreditation for continued education, each course that we offer includes "NAT Learning Credits". By taking and completing courses you can accumulate NAT credits to qualify for NAT certification.

There are currently 3 levels of NAT certification. Certifying NAT is a valuable way to show your clients that you take continued education seriously, and to promote your skills and qualifications.

Most of our courses are accredited for CE/CPD/CPE. A full list of CE accreditations can be found by clicking on the link below. 

About NAT Certification


Niel Asher Technique

Since 1999 the Niel Asher Technique for treating trigger points has been adopted by over 100,000 therapists worldwide, and has been applied to the treatment of a number of common musculoskeletal injuries.

The Niel Asher Technique for treating frozen shoulder was first introduced and published in 1997 and has been widely adopted by therapists and exercise professionals working within elite sports and athletics.

Read More


International Students

Most of our courses are available as either "Printed" or 'Download" editions, wherever you live. Internet connection is required to access online and downloadable material.

When you purchase a download edition, you receive immediate lifetime access to all course material. Course texts can be downloaded and printed if required. 

When you purchase a "Printed" edition, you will also receive free access to the download edition.

We ship Worldwide from locations in the USA, UK, and Australia. Most items are despatched within 24 hours and shipping is FREE for all orders over US$50.



Where to Start?

We offer a range of over 50 courses, presented by some of the worlds leading manual therapists. All courses are reviewed annually, and new courses are regularly added.

Our courses are modular, and designed to build on what you already know. For more information, please visit our "Where to Start?" page.

Start Here



Trigger Points for Horses Course

Click for Details





Related Posts

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

  • Send me some information on this.

    Debbie Riley on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.

Words from our students



Sold Out