The Power of R&R for Horses

Sometimes rest is the best recipe for recovery for an injured horse. Learn about the science of healing, aggressive vs. conservative treatment, and exercise rehabilitation.

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The Power of R&R for Horses
Deborah Hamel's Phoenix Farm offers horses a place to rest and recover. | Photo: Courtesy Deborah Hamel

Sometimes rest is the best recipe for recovery

Deborah Hamel is in the business of rest. On a spacious farm in Normandy, France, she provides injured horses a place to recover. She tends to their needs with conservative therapies such as hydrotherapy and cryotherapy (icing), and her Phoenix Farm just won the Normandy Horse Council’s 2019 Equi-Projects Business Creation Prize for her efforts.

“The idea is to care for and recondition these (convalescing) horses … mainly sent to us by equine veterinary clinics that support the concept,” Hamel says. “But, of course, we also welcome those that just need a restful break in the great, green open.”

This kind of rest and recovery facility isn’t just attracting the attention of regional award councils. It’s representative of equine veterinarians acknowledging the importance of rest in the healing process. As veterinary medicine progresses, it brings more advanced clinical and surgical therapies for our horses. But often, our sources say, we just need to give Mother Nature the time and conditions to work her magic

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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