Introduction – A Guide to Better Backs

Danish Warmblood at grass in summer© Kit HoughtonHorses have evolved over millions of years to be free ranging herbivores – they were not designed to carry humans on their backs or to perform the various gymnastics and repetitive movements we expect them to do. As a result many horses and ponies can end up suffering from chronic back problems that can lead to

– Poor ridden performance such as stiffness, hollowness, shortened stride length and/or

– Behavioural problems such a napping, bucking and rearing.

There are two routes to consider in treating these problems, and these are

– Remedial where a back problem is diagnosed

– Preventing back problems (which is obviously preferable)

Animal physiotherapy including Massage and Magnetic therapies has become popular for the treatment and maintenance of the musculoskeletal system in recent years.

Magnetic Therapy has been proven to have both positive effects in humans and animals in treating scar tissue, inflammation, reducing swelling, stiffness, muscle cramps and arthritis.

The Equilibrium Therapy Magnetic Back Pad is designed to help relieve back soreness and inflammation. Powerful Vitaflex® magnets are used and can be placed wherever healing is needed.

Massage Therapy, essentially the manipulation of soft tissues, has been noted to aid the prevention of injury, recovery from fatigue, relaxation and increasing mobility. (Hemmings, 2001). Performance depends on freedom of movement, full flexibility and an absence of musculoskeletal pain, all of which can improve with massage (Gellman, 1998). Traditionally massage methods have been manual but with recent advances in technology, electrical modalities have been introduced.

The Equilibrium Therapy Massage Pad is designed to offer effective, affordable and easy to use massage therapy. The pad works by stimulating the muscles on the horse’s back, helping to increase back flexibility and promote relaxation.

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