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Massage Pad - Summary of Test Results
Clinical Trials – Equilibrium Massage Pad
We are dedicated to creating carefully designed products that improve the wellbeing of the horse. All of our products are thoroughly researched, tested and quality checked.
The Equilibrium Massage Pad has been independently tested by Myerscough College in Lancashire.
The results, following 6 weeks of testing, show that the massage pad offers significant benefits to working horses, improving back flexibility, promoting relaxation and that it could help to increase stride length.
There were two parts to the study:
1) The horses were measured for signs of stress / relaxation immediately before, during and after the application of the massage pads over a six week period
2) The horses were assessed in terms of flexibility and suppleness. There were two groups of horses – a treated group and a control group.
Back flexibility was assessed using the ‘Arch Dip Test’. The Arch & Dip test is a reliable and proven indicator of back flexibility (Pelham & Schobesberger 2006). It involves the use of pressure stimulus to generate a reflex in the horses’ back. Pressure applied to a specific region in the spinal area results in the horse ‘dipping’ away from the pressure, with a more flexible back allowing the horse to exhibit a greater ability to dip away from the source of the pressure. The arch test involves the application of pressure to the horses’ midline, in order to stimulate an upwards arch reflex in the horses’ back away from the source of pressure. Similarly, a more flexible back allows the horse to exhibit a greater ability to arch the back upwards away from the source of the pressure.
As a measure of relaxation, the horses also had their heart rates monitored.
Test results demonstrated an overall improvement in back flexibility of approx 46%.
The trial showed that the stride length of the horses who wore the Massage Pad which was turned on increased over the test period by 12cms, whereas the control group showed little improvement. Horse owners know that a small change in stride length can make a major difference to the way of going in the horse.
Using a heart rate monitor, horses wearing the EQUILIBRIUM Massage Pad had a consistently lower heart rate than those in the control group.
The results after 6 weeks of testing indicate that 1) the horses appeared more relaxed and 2) the performance of the horse would be expected to improve due to the increased flexibility of the horses’ back muscles. Relaxed muscles will assist with flexibility and movement in particular for competition horses performing dressage movements and jumping technical fences.