The Dangers Of A Dry Summer
Our hot summer has lead to very dry and hard ground, which brings with it the danger of concussion related injuries. We’ve all been there, a long walk out on warm summer’s day or perhaps we’ve taken our return to running or jogging a little too far- we certainly know the pain and discomfort of sore shins in the days which follow. Warm, dry weather brings a plethora of exciting outings, shows and sponsored rides, and as much as these events are fun, we would do well to consider the added impact of heat and hard ground on our horses’ bodies.
If left untreated, sore and tender muscles and tendon injuries will put a total stop to the summer fun. The key to catching injuries early is to pick up on the subtle cues. Reluctance to jump where they usually never refuse; shortening of stride to minimise impact; slight lameness, increased tension and reduced flexibility are all indicators of slight soreness and a clear indication that rest is best. Taking a moment to wait and watch will pay dividends in the long run.
There are plenty of non-Invasive equine therapy options to choose from to help the healing process on its way, each with their own health benefits. Let’s explore a few options you can take advantage of if the need arises…
Non-Invasive Equine Therapy: Massage
We all know that establishing and encouraging oxygen-rich blood flow is essential for healing, and done correctly, massage is a safe and effective way to speed up recovery. Massage is one of the oldest forms of non-invasive equine therapy dating back thousands of years and until fairly recently strapping with wisps of straw was part and parcel of the daily grooming routine.
Simple hand massage is a great way to relieve tension in tight muscles. Our fingers can detect the tensions in the soft tissues of the horse’s body. When massaging horses, it is importance to go gently at first and find the points of tension and pain. Once the problems areas have been found, pressure can be applied in short, slow repeated strokes over the affected areas.
Massaging the larger muscle groups can be hard work on the hands as it can be tiring to maintain adequate pressure through the palms of our hands for longer than a few minutes. So why not give the Massage Ball by Epiony a go? It makes use of innovative cold gel technology inside the rotating stainless-steel ball and can help to reduce inflammation, soothe, and relax tight muscles, reduce stress, and alleviate pain. The soft polymer handle also means it remains a comfortable experience for both horse and owner.
Massage is not only effective post trauma, but horses may also often benefit from a good massage prior to exercise to stimulate the circulation and warm muscles up; another useful way to use massage is to calm, horses are extremely sensitive and knowing the pressure points can certainly help when calming an agitated, tense, or uncomfortable horse. For horses who don’t mind having their ears touched a gently pulling motion often helps to calm.
Horses have also been known to respond well to the use of essential oils. It is vital to check which are specifically suited for use on horses though as they are not always the same as those we would use on humans.
Magnetic therapy is a beneficial source of non-invasive equine therapy. The application of magnetic forces to specific pulses causes an increase in circulation. Consequently, this leads to more effective oxygen uptake which in turn decreases healing time by increasing tissue activity. Whilst massage is good for aiding recovery of muscles; magnetic therapy is great for assisting in the healing of bones and tendons. Conditions such as arthritis, fractures and tendonitis often respond well to magnetic therapy. Magnetic therapy is more of a long-term treatment, it is often advised to continue treatment for a minimum of 3 weeks and to continue treatment even after initial symptoms seem to be resolved.
As it is not practical to manually apply magnets for a long duration, there are a range of products designed to ensure magnets remain comfortably in contact with the body over longer periods of time. Take a look at our range of magnetic horse ware. Our Magnetic Rug is lightweight and ideal for wear in the stable or whilst travelling and covers all of the major muscles. Our Magnetic Hock Boots are comfortable and can be worn by your horse overnight. These Magnetic Stable Boots are particularly useful for horses who are stabled for long periods of time.
Heat & Cold Therapy
The Massage Ball by Epiony can be useful for providing cold therapy when massaging by placing it in the freezer for a short while prior to use, especially useful when working very gently over areas where bruising may be present, particularly on the body or around the stifle. The application of heat is also a useful non-invasive equine therapy. Heat therapy is known for both its analgesic effects and ability to promote circulation. Application of a heat pad, such as the Epiony Heat Pad, increases the blood flow locally by up to four or five times that of resting levels, applications of heat should never exceed 30 minutes as the blood flow will plateau and decline after this period of time. Heat is great for soothing pain and providing relief to stiff joints following an injury.
This tool uses innovative cold gel technology within its 360-degree rotating stainless steel ball, to help reduce inflammation, soothe and relax tight muscles, reduce stress and alleviate pain.
The Heat Pad has been made from a light weight super soft leatherette fabric combined with heat resistant insulation wadding to trap and reflect the heat back onto the muscles to sooth and relax them.
“With the cost of living increasing, I am fully aware that you are looking for products that are affordable. I believe that natural equine products should be for everyday use and not just a luxury.
Therefore I try and ensure the products we have in our range are cost effective without compromising on quality and all are as natural as they can possibly be.”
– Vicky Southern, Founder of EcoGreen Equestrian