Therapeutic Equipment

Before you invest in a therapeutic modality, look not just for testimonials and anecdotal reports, but for hard scientific proof and comparable applications in human medicine. Before using any type of modality on your horse, be sure to discuss
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Higher, faster, stronger. It’s human nature to push our horses to the edge, whether it be in the jumping ring, reining pen, or on the racetrack. But when our willing equine partners exert themselves on our behalf, they can sometimes push tissues past their limits. And when microtraumas–tiny, almost imperceptible signs of stress to tissues, ranging from torn muscle fibers to microscopic bone fractures–begin to accumulate, they can leave horses lame and laid up. It’s no wonder we’re constantly looking for new ways to heal our horses faster.

Today we have a wide range of therapeutic gadgets. Some of these are only useful in the hands of a veterinarian; others can be safely applied by just about anyone.

Taking Water to the Next Level

Horse owners have long recognized hydrotherapy–applying water to the skin surface–as one of the most effective ways to deal with equine injuries. Cold water or ice applied to a fresh injury can help reduce swelling and heat, and it can provide temporary analgesia (thanks to its numbing effect) all at the same time. Hot water aimed at an older injury can stimulate blood circulation and encourage the body to deal with any lingering edema in the area

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Written by:

Karen Briggs is the author of six books, including the recently updated Understanding Equine Nutrition as well as Understanding The Pony, both published by Eclipse Press. She’s written a few thousand articles on subjects ranging from guttural pouch infections to how to compost your manure. She is also a Canadian certified riding coach, an equine nutritionist, and works in media relations for the harness racing industry. She lives with her band of off-the-track Thoroughbreds on a farm near Guelph, Ontario, and dabbles in eventing.

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