About My Bodywork

My focus is to add movement quality to your pet’s program in the most considerate way possible. I firmly believe that most bodywork does not need to be done with intense pressure. Relaxation and optimal results are still to be had without leaving muscles sore after a massage. In fact, it has been my experience that I am able to get further relaxation and better results by allowing animals to reset their own bodies based on the directions I give them via caring touch.

I was trained in Sports Massage at the beginning of my career. I am so very grateful for this training and the relief it provided many animals along the way. My massages developed into a combination of soothing techniques, deep tissue and acupressure points. I was seeing some amazing results, however, I had a horse that needed a little extra attention. It became my mission to find bodywork that this horse didn’t just tolerate, that wasn’t just effective: I wanted him to enjoy the process as well!

Along my journey towards this goal I have added trigger point therapy (2019), Bowen Therapy (2019), kinesiology taping (2021), and myofascial decompression massage aka cupping massage (2022). Of these modalities, I find that Bowen and kinesiology taping are my personal favorites due to their ability to reset the body and extend the benefits of a massage, but I enjoy them all and each has its place in a wellness program. I look forward to finding out which massage modalities in my tool kit helps your animals live their best life!


Lillian Arena (Lil) has been a Certified Canine & Equine Massage Therapist since 2007 and has her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from UNCW.

An animal lover from birth, she spent every allowable second helping at the barn where she fed her love of horses, riding and all things four-legged. This exposure allowed her to learn how to care for a variety of different animals.

Having competed extensively in the Hunters growing up, Lil saw massage as a way to ease the horses’ job and help extend their careers through caring touch. Combining her animal care experience with her bodywork knowledge, Lil has helped a variety of animals ranging from young & healthy to those with a host of physical and/or mental troubles.

Lillian Arena
Lillian ArenaB.S. North Carolina University

My goal with my horse Abel is to keep him comfortable and enjoying his work. Lily’s services have kept him moving freely and fluidly during his dressage and jumping riders. He is relaxed, focused, and comfortable in his skin! I’ve noticed an improved range of motion and flexibility since keeping with a regular, therapeutic program with Lily. He always falls into a deep state of relaxation during sessions, which tells me how much he enjoys time with “Aunt Lil!” I would recommend integrating The Vital Horse and Hound into part of your horses’ overall wellness routine.

Hannah Flannery, I would recommend for an overall wellness routine!

Lilly and her massage therapy has been amazing for my senior horse Elvis. I can tell if he hasn’t had a session with her in a few days. He’s really stiff and moving slowly. Not eating as well and in general not as comfortable as I would like for him to be. So I now keep him on a regular schedule with her. It makes his life better! Thanks Lilly!!

Kim F, Arena Sports Massage offers a great service!

Lillian is incredible. Her dedication to and focus on rescue animals, is inspiring. Both of our rescues had behavioral challenges and Lillian made a significant impact. Better than any trainer out there!

My horse loves Lil’s therapeutic work. She dotes on all of the animals that she comes in contact with and they show their appreciation of her time, touch, and attention!

Comment: Thank you! You have such a great crew. It’s always my pleasure to work with them.

Melissa Spell Deal, Recommended Service!
Want something lovely to do with your pets?

This meditation is here to help you travel to and explore your heart center. Your heart center is where all the loving things such as empathy, compassion & patience reside. During the meditation, you will invite your beloved animals to join you in this lovely, peaceful place and feel the magic that follows!

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