Ace Animal Therapy
Professional care for the animals you love
Your local animal massage therapist
Lydia Kirby is fully qualified and insured in Therapeutic Massage For Animals – awarded by The Royal Agricultural University and delivered by Berkshire College of Agriculture.
Lydia works through veterinary referrals and freelance, covering Sussex, Surrey, Kent and other areas. Lydia provides a high standard of tailored massage therapy, range of motion exercises and stretching for horses, dogs, small animals and livestock, to improve rehabilitation and performance.
Therapeutic Massage For Animals is a science, evidence-based profession. Thorough static and dynamic assessments of the animal are performed to form a treatment plan. This therapy boosts performance, aids rehabilitation from various diseases, injuries and musculoskeletal disorders.
I understand the performance demands having cared for, trained and competed horses in: showjumping, eventing, hunting, polo and dressage. I appreciate how much animals enrich our lives, so they deserve to be treated as individuals to maintain optimum health.
What is Animal Massage?
Therapeutic Massage For Animals is an animal health profession used to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of equines and small animals. Knowledge of anatomy, physiology and massage therapy techniques are applied to the animal to improve and restore musculoskeletal function. It may be used for: warm-up, injury prevention, rehabilitation or performance maintenance.
Autonomic benefits of therapeutic animal massage include; releases endorphins, reduces cortisol level, lowers heart rate, reduces anxiety and it acts as a natural form of pain relief. Physical effects of therapeutic animal massage are; improves range of motion and mobility, injury prevention, pain management, relieves spasm and tension.
The aim of this treatment is to restore function, promote wellbeing and improve quality of life. Lydia uses vast knowledge of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics to form a tailored programme to suit your individual animal. Bespoke treatment is essential for the individual animal’s health and wellbeing so do not hesitate to get in touch with a free phone consultation and we can discuss how I can best help your animal.
I have an extensive background in animal care, which has given me years of experience and knowledge. I worked as a professional dog walker and on horse yards for eventing, polo and drag hunting. I managed a livery yard and worked as the yard supervisor of a riding school. I graduated from Hartpury College with three Distinction Star Grades in the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horse Management (Equitation). This enhanced my horse management skills and enabled me to gain first-hand experience in the use of rehabilitation and conditioning facilities, including the high-speed and water treadmills. In my own time, I enjoy walking my family’s two poodles and exercising my competition horse, Ace!
Since 2019, I have been working towards a BSc (Hons) degree in Veterinary Physiotherapy. I qualified in Therapeutic Animal Massage in autumn 2020 and launched my own treatment business – Ace Animal Therapy. My mission is to help animals to enjoy fitter and healthier lives. Having seen the transformative results of animal massage therapy and physiotherapy, I am keen to help owners to develop their understanding too. Whether you are looking for advice in maintaining a pet, seeking rehabilitation from injury, or trying to improve the performance of your competition animal, Ace Animal Therapy is here to support you.
Therapeutic Animal Massage is beneficial for leisure and performance animals. It will promote the animal’s musculoskeletal health and mental well-being so they can be at optimum health, improving their range of movement and performance.
Our work together begins with a free telephone consultation. During this, we will discuss your animal’s history, nutrition, workload, problems and short term/long term goals that you have.
I will then go on to assess your animal statically, analysing; posture, conformation, muscular balance, symmetry and abnormalities. Following this I will perform a dynamic assessment as there is a connection between biomechanics and posture. After the static and dynamic assessments I will use muscle palpation and range of motion exercises to gain a deeper understanding of your animal’s movement and restrictions.
From my assessments I will devise and perform a treatment plan using a variety of range of motion exercises, joint mobilisations and massage techniques. This will be a programme of interventions tailored to your animal’s specific need and the goals that we have agreed. Treatment will enhance muscle tone and improve range of motion.
Animal Massage Therapy Sessions
Equine Massage: £45 (1 hr – 1.5hrs)
Canine Massage: £35 (45 mins – 1hr)
Frequently asked questions
Under the Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order 2015 an animal may be treated by physiotherapy (referring to manipulative therapies – for example massage, chiropractic, osteopathy and hydrotherapy) provided the animal has been examined by a vet who has made a diagnosis and then referred it to the therapist.
Following treatment a report will be written, this is available to other members of the multidisciplinary team involved with your animal including; farriers, vets, saddlers, dentists etc. This will facilitate good communication and the best care can be provided to your animal.
I recommend the animal is allowed a period of rest following treatment. For a horse this should be 24 hours without ridden work and a small animal should not have intense exercise. However this is dependent on the individual so can be discussed during treatment.
I will be available for telephone support following treatment, as I would like to develop a strong patient-owner-therapist relationship to aid your animal as best as I can.