Please remember that massage is never a substitute for veterinary care.
It doesn't matter if you do dressage, show jumping, cross-country, eventing, hunter, polo, barrel racing, cutting, or trail ride. The tasks we ask our horses to perform on a daily basis can all lead to muscle tension. Not only are they carrying their own body weight, they are carrying ours too - and sometimes they have to make up for the rider's incorrect body posture. Tense muscles are shorter and less flexible which makes them pull on tendons and ligaments and restrict proper movement in the joints above or below. Tight muscles do not allow for proper circulation which makes toxins build up in the tissue. It results in soreness and pain and the horse will try to compensate by shifting his weight differently. If that goes on for extended periods of time you can end up with muscle loss in an affected area. A body that is in pain doesn't heal and lack of circulation decreases the effectiveness of the immune system. That is when you start seeing other health problems surface.
Regular massage will restore circulation, help drain and boost the lymphatic system, lessen the risk of injuries, increase focus and body awareness, decrease mental stress, and will have a sedative/relaxing effect on the nervous system. A horse that is free of tension will perform better since he is able to move to the best of his ability, tight muscles forces the horse to work harder to achieve the same. Energy that could be used to improve and excel.
I don't use any tools when massaging your horse, as I rely on what my hands can feel. Being able to feel how the muscles respond to pressure, hot and cold areas, swelling in the tissue etc. It is all about the subtle responses and the connection you create with the horse. I often combine massage and acupressure in a session to get the best result possible.
Sometimes two or more sessions are needed to begin with to address a given problem, but with regular bodywork you will be able to help keep your horse healthy by having "maintenance work" done. Sessions take place at your barn, or facility of choice.
By law, massage and acupressure is required to be done under the direct or general supervision of a licensed veterinarian.