Would you know when to use Massage or Magnetic on your horse or both?
Animal physiotherapy including Massage and Magnetic use has become increasingly popular for the maintenance of horses in recent years, but do we really know which product is best suited to use on our horses and when?
Magnets have been used on both horses and humans for many, many years. Magnetic fields have been seen to sustain good blood flow and can therefore help to optimise leg and back health. Supporting general health benefits such as joint mobility and function, and also help to maintain strong tendons.
The Benefits of Magnets
The body’s cells have electromagnetic properties which means they can be energised by a magnetic field. Vitaflex® magnets present two alternating poles to the body, negative and positive, making them different to standard Neodymium magnets, which present only one pole. These strong, circular and permanent magnetic fields of alternating pole sequences penetrate into the body tissue.
When should I be using Magnets?
- Every day as part of your horses’ daily routine for maintaining general health. Usually overnight or in the day when stood in.
- For horses in work from hacking to competition. This includes horses returning to work or retraining.
- For older horses or those who are slow to warm up.
- Horses on box rest, standing in for long periods of time or on limited turnout.
- General knocks and bumps.
Equilibrium Magnetic Chaps are soft and comfortable magnetic boots designed to be worn in the stable to support mobility, aid joint function and maintain healthy tendons.
Equilibrium Hind and Hock Magnetic Chaps are specifically designed to allow Vitaflex® magnets to be placed directly on the hock joint. Suitable for all horses and ponies to support mobility, aid joint function and maintain healthy tendons.
Essentially the manipulation of soft tissues in the body, massage methods have historically been manual but with recent advances in technology, electrical modalities have been introduced. Massage could help with performance, which depends on freedom of movement, full flexibility and an absence of musculoskeletal pain, all of which can improve with massage (Gellman, 1998).
The Benefits of Massage
Massage has been shown to improve flexibility and promote relaxation. Tension is often one of the most common reasons for poor performance in horses and by increasing relaxation and improving back flexibility; the negative effects of tension can be reduced. Like us, most horses can benefit from a massage session but maintaining a healthy back through massage can help prevent performance inhibitors such as lack of bend, hollowness, shortened stride length, or in more serious cases napping, bucking and rearing.
When to use Massage
- For horses on box rest to maintain circulation
- After exercise to help tired muscles
- Before exercise as part of warm up
- At a show or after travelling
- On your horses day off as part of a maintenance programme
- Anytime as a reward
The Equilibrium Massage Pad is designed to offer effective, affordable and easy to use massage. The pad works by vibrating against the muscles on the horse’s back, helping to increase back flexibility and promote relaxation. Studies have shown that regular use of the Equilibrium Massage Pad increased back flexibility on average by 46%. The Massage Pad is now available in standard, extra large and pony versions!
The Equilibrium Massage Mitt is an easy to use portable hand-held massage mitt for use on large muscle groups in the back, neck, quarters and hamstrings, helping to promote relaxation, improve flexibility and maintain healthy muscles. Now you can get heat and massage within one product – see more on the Massage Mitt Hotspot here.
When should Massage and Magnetic be combined?
Combined use of the Massage and Magnetic products can have many positive benefits:
- For the ultimate maintenance regime.
- To help promote healthy muscles.
- For horses on box rest to maintain healthy circulation, flexibility and relaxation.
- Competition horses in regular work – helping to keep them in tip top shape, using before and after riding.
- For older horses still in work or those who are slow to warm up.
- For horses travelling long distances.
- For horses returning to work after periods of rest.
- For ex-racehorses in retraining.
- For horses in winter who just feel the cold.
If a horse is displaying signs of more serious back pain it is advisable to consult your vet and physiotherapist before using any additional products.