Quick guide to equine therapy


With lots of different therapies available, it can be hard to work out what type of therapy might best suit your horse…and what each therapy does and how it works. Below we talk about the lowdown on some of the most popular therapy types…

What – Static Magnetic Therapy

How – Studies have shown that magnets provide natural non-invasive therapy that works to support blood flow and the supply of oxygen to injured areas. Magnets themselves don’t heal, but they help support the environment for natural healing.

Why – To help support general wellbeing and relaxation as well as any issues where an increased blood supply would be beneficial

When – Any time you like! Some people use magnetic products each day, some when travelling, some as and when an issue presents itself.

What – Massage

How – massage applies pressure to key muscle groups, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments to enhance health and wellbeing

Why – it can be used for relaxation, to tone and warm up muscles, to help remove waste products, and to support the movement of lymph, blood and oxygen around the body

When – massage can be used in cases of rehabilitation, but can also be used to support performance as per human athletes.

What – Pulsed Electromagnetic Therapy (PEMF)

How – PEMF uses different frequencies to help stimulate different cells in the body to help them regenerate, and work more efficiently together. The intensity, frequency and duration varies depending on the application

Why – can be used for general health and wellbeing, rehabilitation and to support healing

When – it can help to support the repair of soft tissue injuries, reduce inflammation, for pain relief, and it can also be used to support the healing of a fracture.

What – Cold Therapy

How – cold hosing, ice boots and packs, or machines that can measure the temperature of the coolant as it enters and leaves the pads

Why – to reduce the risk of injury after exercise and to reduce inflammation

When – after exercise to help prevent injury or in cases of injury, to help reduce inflammation and also to encourage the flow of ‘new’ oxygenated blood when the therapy stops.

What – Heat Therapy

How- heat pads and packs, which can be put into rugs and boots

Why – to relax and soothe the muscles, to increase circulation and to reduce stiffness

When – heat therapy can be used in the healing phase after injury as it increases blood flow and helps to re-oxygenate and relax the muscles and ligaments. It can also be used for tight muscles.

What – Hydrotherapy – water treadmill

How – purpose built equine water treadmills that are safe, easy to operate and allow the horse to work in a non-concussive environment, in a natural outline

Why – to enhance suppleness, stride length, muscle tone and strength. It can also be used for rehabilitation and for aerobic activity

When – some people use a water treadmill as part of their horse’s fitness regime, and it’s commonly used as part of a rehabilitation plan.

Did you know? Water treadmills can be used to help build strong tendons and ligaments

Did you know? A water treadmill takes up a lot less space than an equine swimming pool and is a lot easier (and cheaper) to maintain

Did you know? Many places with water treadmills allow one off use, or you could book a series of sessions as part of a rehabilitation/fitness programme

Did you know? Some water treadmills also have salt water, spa jets and chiller units (so it applies cold therapy too!)

What – Hydrotherapy – Spa

How – large units designed to accommodate the horse in a safe, comfortable way. When the doors are closed, the unit fills with water, either cold water or salt water, which has additional benefits

Why – It works on a similar idea to cold hosing, in that it is used to lower the temperature of the tissue, reducing the tissue’s metabolic rate helping it to survive following injury. It also provides relief from pain, bruising and inflammation. When the spa is used with salt water, it can also support wound healing

When – A spa can be used for tendon and ligament injuries, soft tissue damage, inflammation, hoof related issues, arthritis, concussion and laminitis. When filled with salt water, it can also be used to support natural wound healing, and also helps to further reduce swelling.

Did you know? Spas can be used for rehabilitation and performance. They can be used after exercise to help reduce the risk of injury and support top performance potential

Did you know? The benefits of the spa continues after treatment. When in the spa vasoconstriction occurs to the lower limbs submerged. Once removed, vasodilation occurs in which increased oxygenated blood flows to the area, limiting tissue damage and aiding in the removal of cellular debris and waste products

Did you know? This idea isn’t confined to horses, many athletes submerge themselves in ice water after strenuous exercise for the same reasons

For more information on any of the therapies above, contact us on 01494 883433.