Horse massage therapist Brian Smith with his horse Morrison.
Horse massage therapist Brian Smith with his horse Morrison. Chris Lines

Tough mounted-infantry stallions inspire career in massage

WARWICK resident Brian Smith's love for horses was born through a time of great danger.

Growing up in South Africa, Mr Smith faced mandatory enlistment after high school.

Mr Smith opted to join the mounted-infantry.

"Our routes were planned to go from water-point to water-point, and the horses doubled as our sentries," he said.

"Those horses worked hard, if I knew then what I know now I could have helped them."

Inspired by the physical plight the horses endured, Mr Smith is now a qualified horse masseuse.

"The biology is pretty much the same as humans, they just have much bigger muscles," he said.

"Horses have over 700 muscles but we only focus on around 40 moving ones."

Just like any human massage, introducing yourself to the client and establishing trust is an important first step.

"I like to pat them gently and rest my hand in their nose, so they get used to my scent," Mr Smith said.

"Once the therapy begins, I start by feeling for tension, temperature and tenderness, locating any points of soreness and providing relief with pushing and tapping motions."


Horse masseuse Bryan Smith with his horse Morrison.
Horse massage therapist Brian Smith with his horse Morrison. Chris Lines

Mr Smith said the horses show their relaxation just like we do, often letting out a sigh or a yawn and dropping their head.

After around one to four sessions of massage the horses should begin to show signs of improvement.

"Their behaviour improves, they have a greater range of motion, and their healing will accelerates among other things," he said.

One of Mr Smith's most memorable clients was a massage he donated to the class leader in one of Warwick's three-day events.

"The trainer came up to me the next day and said the horse had never jumped so well in its life, he asked if I could travel with him to all the state events," Mr Smith said.

At home Mr Smith cares for a retired racehorse named Morrison, who was originally purchased for $600,000.

Morrison is currently having the most relaxed retirement any former racing star could ask for, thanks to Mr Smith's expertise.

Phone Brian on 0432 609 424.