Choosing where to place your Vitaflex Magnets

The reason we use Vitaflex magnets

horse, magnet, therapy, magneticThe Equilibrium Therapy Magnetic Back and Quarters Pad is supplied with four 25cm Vitaflex magnets. Vitaflex magnets are unique in the way that they present both north and south poles to the body. Vitaflex magnets have concentric circular magnetisation which amplifies the magnetic field for wider coverage on the horse’s back. Read more about Vitaflex magnets.

One attractive feature of the Magnetic Back and Quarters Pad is that you can move the magnets on the inside of the pad to where the increased circulation is required, giving you unlimited options as to where to put them. This article should help you decide where to place the magnets to best help your horse.

Where should I place the magnets?

For general wellbeing as part of a maintenance programme:

Horse Drawing General fig 1

Figure 1

For a ridden horse the most common areas of tension are directly underneath where the saddle would sit; on the wither area and extending from under the saddle over the lumbar area. For general wellbeing placement of the magnets should run along the length of the back pad to cover these areas. See fig. 1. It may not be necessary to use the quarters extension in this situation.

Cold backed

Use the same placement of magnets as for general use, but for best effect try adding in use of the Equilibrium Therapy Massage Pad. Use the Magnetic Back and Quarters Pad overnight, then the Massage Pad for 30mins immediately before you ride. We would recommend keeping the quarters attachment on for a horse with a cold back (even if there are no magnets in it) to ensure a more consistent temperature along the full length of the horses’ back. See fig 1.

Horse Drawing Sacroiliac fig 2

Figure 2

Sacroiliac region

For tightness or weakness surrounding the sacroiliac joint, place the magnets directly over the sacroiliac region. In addition to this, we would suggest placing magnets behind the saddle area as a lot of horses with problems in the sacroiliac will compensate through their lumbar area putting excess load on these muscles. See fig 2.

Horse with suspensory pathology

Another case where predictable compensation is seen is with suspensory ligament issues in the hind limb. It is common for horses with issues here to show discomfort through the sacroiliac joint. See fig 2.

Horse Drawing Kissing Spines fig 3.

Figure 3

Kissing spine

If your horse has had surgery or injections for kissing spine, ensure you check with your vet when you can start using magnetic therapy. It is usually around 14 days post injections but use after surgery can vary so much depending on how invasive the surgery has been. Using magnetic therapy in the later stages of healing could help to increase circulation, helping to create a better healing environment and maintain a healthy back during recovery and return to work. Place the magnets directly over the affected area, either side of the dorsal line and not directly over the centre of the spine. See fig 3.

Combined use of the Massage Pad before returning to ridden work can help warm up the back muscles.

Ill fitting saddle

Horse Drawing Saddle fig 4.

Figure 4

Magnetic therapy can have a twofold approach here.

If you have discovered your horses back has changed shape and you have had to have your saddle adjusted, it is likely that these areas may be tender and will need to recover and re-adapt. Most commonly this is around the wither or towards the back of the saddle. Place the magnets over the area directly affected by the saddle. See fig 4 for example.

Once your saddle has been adjusted, the load on the muscles may have changed. Continue to use the magnets to help the muscles recover throughout the strengthening process.


Horse Drawing Veteran fig 5

Figure 5 – Veteran

As your horse ages circulation can slow down and become naturally less efficient, especially if they are stabled or sedentary for any length of time.

Using the Magnetic Back Pad together with the Quarters extension can help promote better circulation along the back so they can maintain a healthy back for longer.

Try to give coverage to the entire length of the spine to give your golden oldie as much help as possible. In this instance you may wish to purchase additional magnets to place in the quarters pad and consider using Magnetic Chaps to increase circulation in the legs. See fig 5.

Stiffness on one rein

If your horse shows stiffness through one side of their body you can load up with magnets on the side where the stiffness resides to help to alleviate the asymmetry. Place three magnets on the stiff side (see Fig 6) and one magnet on the other side (see Fig 7). If your horse struggles to bend more on the right rein, he is likely to be stiff through the left side of his neck or back so place more magnets along the left side.

Knowing exactly where your horses’ stiffness is originating from will help to identify where the magnets need to be placed. This is something you should ask your horses’ physiotherapist or massage therapist.

Horse Drawing Stiff side 1 fig 6

Figure 6

Horse Drawing Stiff side 2 fig 7

Figure 7

To target the shoulder

Horse Drawing Shoulder fig 8

Figure 8

Forelimb lameness caused by an issue in the lower limb often results in a shortened stride

length. The shortening of the stride can in turn lead to stiffness through the shoulder creating a secondary problem. This puts increased stress on the shoulder muscles causing tension through the triceps.

It is possible to place magnets over some of the proximal (upper) muscles and structures of the forelimb. If your horse struggles with movement through the shoulder, place the magnets as shown in fig 8.

Horse Drawing hock OA fig 9

Figure 9

Horse with arthritic hocks

It is common for horses with Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) in the hocks to show tension through the hamstrings and through the lower back. They will also often have muscle atrophy of the gluteal muscles. Placing the magnets as shown in Fig 9 over the middle gluteal muscles and hamstrings can help ensure these muscles don’t ‘switch off’.

Top Tip: Attaching the magnets in the right place

When you are trying to place a magnet over a specific location try placing the magnetic pad on the horse first and fasten it loosely. You should then be able to easily slide the magnets underneath the back pad to your located area. Then tighten the fastenings as required.

Where not to place the magnets…

It should not be necessary to place the magnets directly over the horses’ spine so that the magnet is going across the centre line of the back pad, as this may make it uncomfortable for the horse. Please also remember not to use magnets on open wounds, bruises, areas of inflammations or immediately following steroid injections. The reason for this is that magnetic fields dilate blood vessels and hence, increase the flow of blood.

It is not advisable to use magnets on a horse with a heart murmur or in the first trimester of pregnancy for you or your horse! Note: People with heart pacemakers should not handle magnetic products.

When do I need more magnets?

For general use, 4 Vitaflex magnets should be sufficient, however if your horse is suffering with a more chronic condition it may be beneficial to add more magnets to cover larger areas. Additional packs of 2 x large magnets (25cm each) are available to purchase separately.