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Top 10 Horse Therapy & Horse Rehabilitation Techniques

In order to properly help your horse recover from injury or illness, it is important to be aware of the various different types of therapy and rehabilitation that are available. Continue reading to learn about the top 10 horse therapy and rehabilitation techniques.


top 10 horse therapy horse rehabilitation techniques

10: Horse Compression / Bandaging

Horse compression bandages are used to minimize swelling, inflammation, and edema. This most typically happens following an acute injury or surgery.

Benefits of equine compression wrapping and bandaging include:


  • Minimize edema
  • Reduce swelling
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Encourage healing of a wound


Top 10 Horse Therapy & Horse Rehabilitation Techniques

9: Equine Magnetic Therapy

Equine magnetic therapy is a form of therapeutic treatment that helps reduce pain and speed up recovery time. It is typically used for back and leg injuries.

Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field (PEMF) gently emanates a magnetic field that stimulates cell metabolism. PEMF is non-invasive, does not cause any pain, and does not require any sedation.

Benefits of magnetic therapy for horses include:


  • Pain relief
  • Increased circulation
  • Increased flexibility and range of motion
  • Reduced swelling and inflammation
  • Increased stamina and endurance 
  • Reduce bruising


Top 10 Horse Therapy & Horse Rehabilitation Techniques

8: Equine Cold Therapy

Equine cold therapy is exceptionally useful for treating an injury it its early stages.

Applying cold ice packs directly to the affected area in the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury decreases blood flow, which reduces the damage that is able to occur and reduces pain. 

Cold therapy can be administered in the form of cold packs, ice cup, or boot. It is useful in the treatment of laminitis, acute tendon injuries, splints, and general cases of swelling and inflammation.

Benefits of icing for horse injuries include:


  • Pain reduction
  • Reduced inflammation
  • New injury treatment
  • Old injury management


Top 10 Horse Therapy & Horse Rehabilitation Techniques

7: Low Level Laser Therapy

As the name suggests, equine laser therapy makes use of lasers that are directed on specific points of the horse’s body.

The light energy from the laser stimulates molecules to release neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters in turn decrease inflammation.

Benefits of laser therapy for horses include:


  • Reduced inflammation
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Less scarring
  • Increased rate of tissue repair
  • Increased blood flow

 Top 10 Horse Therapy & Horse Rehabilitation Techniques

6: Equine Shock Wave Therapy

Equine shock wave therapy is commonly used for treating bone injuries, soft-tissue injuries, and musculoskeletal issues in horses.

Don’t be fooled by the name - shock wave therapy has nothing to do with electric shock.

A shockwave is a pressure wave that is directed to a precise area of the body to treat injury.

The waves stimulate and encourage the healing process while simultaneously reducing inflammation, creating new blood vessels in soft tissue, and regenerating bone.

Benefits of equine shock wave therapy include:


  • Stimulate new blood supply to area of injury
  • Pain relief
  • Stimulate new bone growth
  • Encourage healing process
  • Less scarring


Top 10 Horse Therapy & Horse Rehabilitation Techniques

5: Equine Chiropractic Therapy

Chriopractic therapy makes use of controlled force that is manually applied to a specific region of the body (usually somewhere along the spine) to trigger therapeutic responses.

Equine chiropractic care is done to improve and restore the range of motion to joints that have been identified to be “out of place”, which in turn reduces inflammation and pressure in the surrounding soft tissues.

It is also typically used to maintain soundness and to enhance performance abilities.

Benefits of equine chiropractic therapy include:


  • Pain relief
  • Stress relief
  • Increased mobility/flexibility
  • Tension relief
  • Improved performance
  • Improved posture
  • Leveled gait rhythm 
  • Stiffness relief

     Top 10 Horse Therapy & Horse Rehabilitation Techniques

    4: Equine Heat Therapy

    Equine heat therapy is most beneficial when there is a chronic issue with the joints or muscles, to provide therapeutic care after an acute injury.

    Benefits of heat therapy for horses include:


    • Increased circulation
    • Muscle relaxation
    • Pain relief
    • Stress relief
    • Increased mobility
    • Improved joint flexion

       Top 10 Horse Therapy & Horse Rehabilitation Techniques

      3: Equine Hydrotherapy

      Equine hydrotherapy refers to the practice of submerging the horse in water and having them undergo various different exercises.

      It is typically done with either the use of underwater treadmills or by free-swimming in a swimming pool.

      Equine hydrotherapy can be used both as a form of rehabilitation and a preventative way of building and maintaining general wellbeing and fitness.

      The water provides a high amount of resistance, which increases muscle activity and range of motion while simultaneously reducing inflammation and pain.

      One of the most benefits of using equine hydrotherapy is that there is very little stress on the joints and muscles.

      Other benefits of equine hydrotherapy include:


      • Reduced inflammation and swelling
      • Improved respiration rates
      • Pain relief 
      • Improved blood flow
      • Improved lymphatic drainage
      • Improved joint flexion
      • Improved stamina

         Top 10 Horse Therapy & Horse Rehabilitation Techniques

        2: Equine Acupuncture

        Equine acupuncture may at first sound a bit strange, but it has proven to be exceptionally beneficial in treating various equine medical conditions.

        Acupuncture is an ancient chinese practice that involves the insertion of thin needles through the skin to target specific areas (acupuncture sites) that trigger therapeutic effects.

        Benefits of equine acupuncture include:


        • Stress relief
        • Pain relief 
        • Improved microcirculation
        • Reproductive and hormone regulation
        • Inflammation reduction
        • Fever-reduction

           Top 10 Horse Therapy & Horse Rehabilitation Techniques

          1: Equine Massage Therapy

          Muscular stress can lead to mental distress, lowered endurance, and decreased performance - among other symptoms.

          Equine massage therapy is used to encourage blood flow, reduce lactic acid buildup, and eliminate metabolic waste.

          Whether your horse has a large amount of stress and anxiety or has injured themselves while training or showing, they can benefit immensely from massage therapy. There are a few different types of equine massage, including:

          • Stretching
          • Basic Massage
          • Manual Lymphatic Drainage
          • Myofascial Release
          • Trigger-Point Therapy

          Benefits of equine massage therapy include:

          • Improved locomotor function
          • Improved immune system function
          • Improved posture
          • Pain relief 
          • Build trust
          • Encourage relaxation
          • Improved circulation
          • Stress relief
          • Improved flexibility and range of motion

          Paddock Blade: Best Paddock Cleaning Tool

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          For more informative equestrian blogs, check out our blog page.

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