Massage for horses?
The very first equine massage therapist became so completely incidentally. Jeak Meagher (1925-2005) began his career as a medic in WWII. After the war, he decided to work purely with athletes and whilst working as a physical therapist for players in the NFL he developed 'Sports massage' with the aim of addressing musculoskeletal issues before they became injuries.
It was only when, in 1985, one of his clients told him they had a very old quarterhorse, which could no longer stand as his hindlegs were too weak. He asked Meagher to take a look and Meagher found that the horse was suffering from muscular spasms, much like his owner. He treated the horse and when the owner reported 'it was as frisky as a colt' Meagher became intrigued with the impact he could have on horses too and by studying and practising with any horse he could lay his hands on he developed equine massage therapist and became the first equine massage therapist for the US equestrian olympic team.
Since then, many modalities, machines, rugs, boots etc. have been developed to treat and prevent injuries, but still it remains that the value of human touch is often unrivalled.