We all know that professional human athletes take training and recovery seriously. They follow a strict set of practices that enable them to achieve optimal performance while staying healthy and preventing injury.
Take elite cyclists for example, they’ll be doing everything they can to reach the start line at peak condition. Professional coaches will take a holistic approach where not only is training maximized but also rest and recovery. From ice baths to massage guns, they will ensure their athletes are provided with the best training tools and therapies.
But what about when it comes to equine athletes? Is a holistic approach being taken when it comes to training horses? Are owners aware of the therapies available that can increase the performance and longevity of their horse in its sport?
Below are some key therapies and tools that should be used in the program of every equine athlete to support training and maximize recovery.
Ice is essentially nature’s anti-inflammatory. Research continues to show the benefits cryotherapy has for reducing pain and inflammation and its effectiveness in aiding in the recovery and rehabilitation of acute injuries like tendon and ligament injuries and conditions like laminitis.
But did you know cryotherapy is also a very effective therapy for healthy horses who train hard? Using INSTANTCRYO™, high pressure is combined with extremely cold temperatures. 30-second treatments before and after exercise allow for:
- Reduction in muscle fatigue, tightness, and soreness
- Increased muscle repair
- Improved blood flow
- Increased mobility
- Injury prevention
Regular use of cryotherapy can help ensure your horse stays healthy and has longevity in its sport. Find out more about our INSTANTCRYO™ product here.
Equine hydrotherapy is the act of using water to improve the health and well-being of horses. The buoyancy of the water helps reduce concussion on horses’ limbs and increases their range of motion. The higher resistance builds stronger muscles and aids in reducing swelling and improving circulation. Along with cryotherapy, hydrotherapy is one of the best alternative methods to help reduce muscle fatigue and increase recovery pre and post-exercise.
The importance of a good training and conditioning program
Ensuring your horse is on the right exercise program is crucial for progression and long-term success. Incorporating treadmills into a horse’s training regime is highly beneficial. Treadmill training encourages a greater range of movement of lower limbs, increases lumbar flexion, decreases impact shock, and allows for the horse to cross-train in a controlled environment which reduces the risk of injury. This can be particularly beneficial for young horses as training on uneven surfaces can put unnecessary stress on their joints.
ECB equine is the official UK agent for the GG engineering high-speed treadmill. The treadmill operates at speeds of up to 45km/h and 6 degrees of incline. It is one of the best training methods to incorporate into a horse’s exercise routine with research highlighting the benefits it has for improving endurance and speed. Find out more about the treadmill here.
If we want our horses to perform like athletes, we must treat them like athletes. This means providing them with the right training and recovery tools that prevent injury and ensure performance can be sustained in the long run. While traditional medication and treatments still have their place, many non-invasive and drug-free methods can be added to a horse’s program to enhance maintenance care and prevent injury.
If you are interested in buying one of our products, please contact us here.