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Welcome to Happier Pony Equine Massage, LLC

Cat Needham, Certified ESMT (Equissage)

Standard rate: $65/hour for Northern Virginia

Have a rescue or therapy riding facility? I offer discounted rates for horses who help!


Hi! I’m Cat, and I love to make ponies happier! I truly believe that massage is a fantastic way to supplement good horse care. Equine massage is excellent for performance as well as overall well-being, and whether your horse is a finely-tuned athlete, a weekend warrior, or a steady Eddie who occasionally meanders slowly down a trail, all can benefit! Massage is an often overlooked component of aiding horses with:
-Mobility issues
-Behavioral changes
-Stress from forced stall rest
We aren’t vets, so we don’t diagnose medical matters, but Equine Massage is a proven methodology for helping most horses improve their bodies and minds. 



About Me

Some of my best friends never say a word to me.

I have always had an affinity and love for all animals, and I’ve had almost a sixth sense of where they are experiencing pain. I’ve been “in horses” for 50 years, and like all of you, I have been horse-crazy since I was a toddler. From learning to post on my Aunt’s show Arabian to leasing a feisty Appaloosa, to finally owning my dream unicorn in the form of my sweet, trusty American Quarter Horse, Rolo, I have always had horses in my life. And since they have given my life such richness, I wanted to do something to give back to them.

Horses can’t talk. But they let us know in many ways that they are sore or tense. Equine massage is a way to bridge the communication gap between them and us, and most importantly-  make them feel better! 

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To schedule a Happier Pony massage, please contact me! 

My rates are $65/hour for Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties. I will travel outside these areas if needed, and my hourly rate will vary, depending on distance. Have a rescue or therapy riding facility? I offer discounted rates for horses who help!

(703) 593-8797

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Happier People, Happier Ponies!

Highly recommend HPEM!!

Cat has a wonderful, gentle way with horses and can sense where they are ouchy before even putting her hands on them.
On a very cold day she massaged the large older mare I am leasing. This horse has old hind leg injuries that required retirement from competition several years ago. 
Tori is sound at the walk but has been out of work for 4 years, therefore was very stiff and tense. I started working with this mare in January 2021 and have been making steady progress with her rehab but wanted some bodywork done. 
Due to those injuries and extended time off, the massage techniques had to be modified to be more gentle for Tori. In some areas just putting a slight bit of touch from the hand was enough to loosen up an area. It’s amazing how something so small can make such a big difference! 
Cat is extremely knowledgeable about how the muscles and ligaments in a horse’s body impact their way of moving. She kept a watchful eye on Tori’s body language during the session and used that feedback to gauge how and where to massage next. The horse truly dictates what is focused on and nothing in an appointment is ever rushed. 
Immediately after the session with Cat I noticed that Tori was tracking up SIGNIFICANTLY better. Our daily carrot stretches are more fluid and the little exercises given to me have made a big difference in how Tori feels and moves - both on the ground and under saddle. 
I can enthusiastically recommend Cat Needham and Happier Pony Equine Massage for equines of all shapes, sizes, and ages!


Can’t recommend her enough!!

My eventing thoroughbred loves his massages from Cat with Happier Pony Massage. Stretch suffers from occasional muscle soreness as he is in heavy work for eventing training. Cat does a wonderful, thorough massage. She finds the spots where the horse is sore, and gradually works them, adjusting as necessary depending on the horse’s reaction.She is patient and really takes her time making sure no issues are left unattended to. As she works, she’ll talk you through any observations of soreness or discomfort so you can pay attention to them later on.After the session she sends detailed notes on the session that make for a useful record to keep track of issues.


We are so lucky to have you!! 

She has a kind heart, warm energy, knowledgeable instincts, and healing hands! My Lucy is so much happier after a session with Cat. Her end-of-session notes are informative, educational, and reassuring to me. Thank you Cat! 


Wendy Miller Owner/Operator Dunn Movin Farm

Cat is compassionate, caring, and truly cares about your horse and well-being! Give Happier Pony Equine Massage a try, you won’t regret it! 


Princess Brio Loves HPEM!

Miss Brio has many opinions, and will let you know what all of them are. One opinion she shares consistently: she absolutely LOVES her massages! Cat has worked on her several times now and each time, she tailors her approach specifically to Brio and how she's feeling that day. More pressure? Less pressure? A little more focus in one specific area? Brio lets her know and she gets it done! The reactions she has during her massages are hilarious, too, and show me she's really relaxing into it. Riding her the day afterward is always a pleasure. Cat absolutely makes Brio a Happier Pony!


Five Stars!

Ruger practically melts into his massages from Cat. He has a history of recurring hoof abscesses that have given him some odd asymmetries, and Cat has a wonderful combo of skill and intuition which allows her to work through his (mild) resistance to get the spots that really need it. She is very thorough and the massage never feels rushed - she spends as long as is needed to treat the issues presented, changing her approach to suit the horse in front of her that day, and explains what she's doing as she goes. Afterward, she provides you with exercises and tips to follow up on problem areas. Ruger is definitely a happier pony after his massages! Five stars!


Will definitely use again!

Cat is an amazing intuitive healer. She sized up my 4 year old feral mustang, put him at ease, and relieved him of years of pressure. Cat figured out pressure points that I was unaware of, suggested remedies, and overall put my horse at ease. If she can work with a mustang, she can work with any challenging client. She was respectful, considerate and very sensitive to my horse’s individual needs. Will definitely use Cat again!
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