Athletes and their performance horses work very hard to win the race. Strenuous training often leads to soreness, stiffness, injuries and pain. That is why it’s important for those who participate in horse racing to cool down after an intensive physical exertion. Horses can primarily benefit from pre and post event therapy. Horse massage is a great therapy because it triggers the body’s ability to self-healing; it relieves stress and assist in recovery from injuries. Massage techniques affect the whole body of the horse by enhancing circulatory, musculoskeletal and nervous system functioning. Horse massage can be a crucial part of ongoing health maintenance plan, physiotherapy and rehabilitation process.
The benefits of regular horse massage include:
• Preventive therapy
• Better metabolism which results in better health and performance
• Relieves muscular tension and alleviate pain
• Shorter recuperation time from surgery or broken bones
• Faster healing and recovery on horse of all ages and conditions
• Better caring for their needs and emotional bonding with horses
• Relax the horses when excitable and relieve stress
• Reduces inflammation caused by strenuous activities, muscle strain and trauma
• Help to assess and detect any musculoskeletal abnormalities
• Helps in maintaining mobility and relieving discomfort on older horses
Massage has been used to treat horse injury and illness for thousands of years. This form of alternative medicine is widely accepted and recognized by traditional medical community. It can be easily applied, cost effective and should not be treated as luxury by horse owners. With the broad range of ailments addressed by horse massage, it’s every bit as important as veterinary medicine. Massage therapy should be included in every equestrian’s toolkit.
Horse massage and hydrotherapy play a very important role as preventive, maintenance and rehabilitation therapy. Hydrotherapy uses water in different forms (liquid, solid and vapour) for pain relief, treatment of wounds and rehabilitation of lameness. This method is one of the first aide treatments for horse injuries. Cold water from a hose cleanse injury in the gentlest way, it slows down the inflammatory process and reduce the amount of pain and swelling. This is the first line of defense when an injury, bruise, cut, kick or bump occurs. Cryotherapy or the use of cold water or ice is beneficial for pain because of its numbing effect and its ability to reduce inflammation. It can be done through direct immersion or direct application of ice pack. A cold water spray through a nozzle provides similar benefits of a vigorous massage.
Hydrotherapy for horses is practiced in many forms, swimming pools and water treadmills are gaining popularity for horse injury rehabilitation. Pool supports the horse body weight while allowing mobility in walking without causing strain and injury. The water helps to minimize scar tissue and increases blood circulation to the damaged part, promoting healing process.
People who wager on horse racing betting websites are mostly impressed by the horse physical appearance. If you want to maintain your horses’ healthy joints and hooves, or if he has a specific injury after winning a race, you can treat your horse to a session in a horse spa. Hydrotherapy spa uses chilled cold salt water to massage the horses’ legs; this increases oxygen content and stimulates blood flow. This method is the best solution compared to icing and bandaging horses’ legs. It helps to heal soft tissue injuries, active splints and bone fractures. The healing benefits of spas extend to horses in various levels of recovery.
The second phase to the healing process involves the use of heat to encourage circulation and maximize the healing effect. From cold water treatment hydrotherapy can be switch to applying heat. The application of heat causes blood vessels to dilate thereby increasing the blood flow to the affected area. The excess blood flow helps to drain excess fluid and dead cells out of the area. In cases of chronic injury, application of heat is more preferable. A horse with arthritis will greatly benefit from this treatment. Alternate hot and cold water treatment can be used to get the benefit of penetrating pain relief.
The right combination of horse massage and hydrotherapy provide pure equine bliss as it relaxes the horses and prevents lots of problem. Horses really enjoy their massage and hydrotherapy they become more cooperative and willing to work. Horses are athletes too and we help them win if we treat them right.