In the world of alternative therapies, there are multiple methods for the proper management of discomfort, ailments, and injuries in both humans and animals. For this reason today some horse owners look for these options to help recover the equine of a particular pathology. Therefore in this issue we will discuss the benefits of Equine Hydrotherapy
Equine Hydrotherapy is one of the variants within a wide range of alternative therapies for horses. Equine hydrotherapy is a therapy that involves placing horses in a common pool of water and making them walk underwater. Water in the pools for equine hydrotherapy is added salts that help the regeneration of affected tissues.
Why is equine hydrotherapy used?
The purpose of this alternative therapy, such as Equine Hydrotherapy, is to provide assistance to equines for their recovery. It strengthens muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones after an injury. For what is considered an excellent therapy to deal with an injured horse or with sequels of the injury.
It is also an excellent resource to help optimize performance and tenacity by applying to healthy horses. So it is a way to apply this therapy from a preventive point of view. Even healthy horses can get more out of Equine Hydrotherapy than you can imagine.
For Equine Hydrotherapy to have a positive effect, it must comply with certain parameters such as: aeration, the depth of the water, the temperature and the total concentration of salt in the water.
If all these elements are in order, the facilities will be adequate to treat the equines in the Equine Hydrotherapy sessions. In this way through this alternative therapy is intended to heal a horse or on the contrary strengthen your health.
Equine hydrotherapy Process
Hydrotherapy starts when the horse is gradually submerged in the water pool. This has a treadmill on the bottom of it. After the horse is in the right place, the tape begins to move. Hence, the horse is forged to undertake a walk at his own pace inside the pool.
Likewise, the water jets found on the sides of the pool send water to the legs of the horse. So this pressure water acts as a massage. The buoyancy of the water calms the pressure on the body of the horse. This favors the strengthening of the horse’s bone system.
What are the variables to consider in equine hydrotherapy?
For aeration, it includes the use of underwater jets that massage the horse and cause enough revolt in the water to produce a calming effect. On the other hand, the oxygen movement in the water is increased by the jets. For what constitutes a factor that stimulates the healing step of the equine.
The depth of the water in equine hydrotherapy, the greater this is, the influence on the tissues increases. As for the temperature of the water in the pool, it must be cold to comply with a calming effect. In addition, the water temperature helps prevent liquid deposits in cases of injuries.
In relation to the concentration of salt in Equine Hydrotherapy, it will depend on various elements. This should be used with care to help heal wounds, as well as the reduction of fluids from a bruise.
Advantages of Equine Hydrotherapy
- One of the main advantages of Equine Hydrotherapy is animal rehabilitation. Since it is an alternative way of physiotherapy and recovery for horses that need this therapy due to musculoskeletal injuries. The important thing about this therapy is the frequency with which it is applied to obtain the results that are expected to be the total recovery of the horse.
- As far as joint therapy is concerned, some equine specimens require special care for their joints. Others for the activities they have done throughout their existence need equine hydrotherapy sessions.
- Helps to improve the horse’s breathing: As a respiratory treatment, it also applies the benefits provided by Equine Hydrotherapy since it provides cardiorespiratory capacity for competition foals.
- Improvement of muscle tone: Muscle training through equine hydrotherapy is excellent. As for horses, contact with water forms a treatment to increase muscle mass in the back of the animal. Because the therapy focuses on this area. On the other hand, Equine Hydrotherapy sessions must be constant to notice the changes.
- Horse multifactor welfare: As we can see has several positive effects on the health of the horse. So not only rehabilitate but also have a healthier, relaxed and happy horse. This being key elements in the welfare of the equine.
How is equine hydrotherapy practiced?
The Equine Hydrotherapy is an exercise that takes place in a round shaped pool. There the guide or veterinarian turns the horse with a fiber. The pool facilities must have a cement floor so that the horse does not slip. Also the depth of this should be about three meters.
Then the horse begins to make turns swimming, increasing the number of pools gradually. In effect, it is strengthening its ability to float. In this way the animal can continue its training in the absence of pain.
The main element of Equine Hydrotherapy is that cold causes several basic reactions:
- First one is at the cellular level. It reduces the cellular temperature that according to some studies is the cause of cell death and alterations of the DNA itself. This last type of damage can be a cancer-promoting factor.
- The second has to do with the decrease in the permeability of the walls of the vessels. For this reason, the total amount of fluids stored in the affected area is decreased.
- Finally, the cold sleeps the compromised area acting as a precise analgesic. One of the highlights of the cold is that the positive effects in the course of recovery do not expire.
The frequency with which the Equine Hydrotherapy should be applied is two to three times a week. This in order to observe effective changes in the horse without leaving it exhausted to train.
On the other hand Nicolás Hoyos, executive director of Asocaba (horse riding association of Antioquia, Colombia) says the following
“20 minutes of pool equals almost two hours of exercise.” Nicolás Hoyos
Effects of cold water on equines
We already know the positive effects of cold water on humans. Well, in animals it also applies. This is due, in part, because horses have a high body temperature. That’s why horses relax more in cold water. This is one of the most striking benefits of the cold because its positive effects remain and increase during the healing process. They also give a psychological benefit to the horse through the reduction of stress.
The cold desensitizes partly wounded, this acts as a limited sedative. Likewise, the greater the elevation of the water, the higher the influence performed on the tissues.
Equine hydrotherapy. Your best investment
Alternative therapies are an excellent option to treat some injury in horses. What you have to take into account is that it should be preferably recommended by the trusted veterinarian. Likewise, equine hydrotherapy centers are not very common so this type of therapy can be expensive if they have to move the equine to another city.
If you have a nearby health center where you can apply equine hydrotherapy, you are lucky. It should be noted that it is a wonderful option as a preventive method in competition horses.
On the other hand, if the owner owns the necessary financial resources, he can invest in his own farm in a pool to give equine hydrotherapy to his horses. Either way equine hydrotherapy is the best investment you can make. They will not regret it.
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