KEEP YOUR HORSE WELL, FIT AND SOUND - Must-Have Therapy Tools for Performance Horses

Treatments and assessments that ensure your horse feels well, keeps fit and stays sound.

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Must-Have Therapy Tools for Performance Horses 
In today's equestrian sporting environment, demands placed on the equine are high; so it iis no wonder that training and performance related injuries occur. 
There is a fine line between peak performance and injury and we all know that things sometimes do go wrong. 
There are a plethora of alternative therapies available to complement conventional veterinary treatments aiding recovery from injury and helping keep horses at their peak. And choosing the right treatments require knowledge, experience and team work! 
At Flawborough we work closely with veterinary professionals and other talented professionals in providing an extensive range of complimentary therapies and successfully treating many injured horses each year, our bespoke rehabilitation solutions ensure the best outcome for each individual case and giving the much needed support and guidance that both owner and rider need.  
Our injury management and prevention programmes may include any combination of cold therapy, heat, exercise, massage, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and magnetic fields. 
Following injury, the success of any therapy will be dependent on the accuracy of diagnosis and a thorough veterinary evaluation should always precede the use of any therapeutic procedure. 
Must-Have Therapy Tools flawborough spa
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Infra-red therapy
  • Manual therapy
  • Sports Massage
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic therapy
  • Deep oscillation therapy
  • Laser therapy
  • SCENAR technology
  • Acupuncture
  • Dentistry
  • Ultrasound
  • Magnetic therapy
  • Kinesio taping

Prevention and Intervention 
We firmly believe that prevention of injury is as important as the cure itself and offer a whole range of solutions to benefit physical performance and well-being.
At Flawborough, your horse doesnt need to be injured to be cared for!  We also deliver pre and/or post competition therapy to keep your horse at its peak and optimise performance.
Your horses movement potential and overall physiology can be assessed - and by working together with you the owner, our therapists and vets we alll agree on the goals required. 
We also develop bespoke programmes that offer your horse the opportunity to relax, refresh and recover from the stresses of training - and prepare its physiology for the demands it may be about to face in competition.
Our treatments and assessments will help to ensure that your horse feels well, keeps fit and stays sound.

Hydrotherapy benefits 
Using Hydrotherapy as part of a training regime can benefit competition horses greatly - reducing the everyday stresses and strains that can develop into more serious injuries. The Spa can be used to prevent stiffness, improve suppleness and mobility.
FLAWBOROUGH HORSE_AND_JUMPTina Canton (Pic left) of Tinderbox Sports Horses is a regular user of the Spa. She has first hand experience of the benefits of using this treatment pre and post competition - and as part of her training programme.
 Is great for injuries and cleans up cuts well says Tina, ‚Äöwe use it as part of our training regime and find that our horses can benefit greatly from greatly reduced stresses and strains that could develop into more serious injuries.
With the regular use of cold water therapy immediately after hard exercise, many of the stressors within tissues are removed before inflammation develops. Cold also significantly improves bone surface density  reducing the opportunity for bone stress related injuries to commence.
‚I believe it helps to encourage peak performance says Tina's and my horses really enjoy using the Spa.
Of course, we all know the benefits of cold hosing but with Spa treatment the water is kept at a constant 2 degrees C which takes out heat and inflammation and also increases circulation to affected areas.
During the summer season, hard ground can lead to windgalls. For one event rider, apart from being unsightly, they changed the horse to being much heavier in the hand to ride. But following a programme of Spa treatment, he commented  made a huge difference - how light he is to ride and with a wonderful floating action!‚ 
Benefits can also be seen during dressage with improved ride ability following treatment the day before a competition.
When joints are put under stress a horse will naturally shorten his stride and mobility is limited. Hydrotherapy can help by reducing pain and inflammation. And in the Show Jumping phase, riders have reported horses being much snappier in front and jumping more consistently. 
Lumps, bumps and bruises
Windgalls, jar up, bog spavin, bone spavin, sore shins, splints, fractures, navicular and pedalostitis. All performance horses can suffer with these problems from time to time and we successfully treat numerous cases every year. 
The Spa has a significant effect on splints both old and new, not only improving soundness but reducing the cosmetic impact too. Icing has been proven to increase bone density in humans and as the Spa gets the legs colder than any other treatment thats why we get such good effects with sore shins too.
Research shows that Spa treatments can be a very relaxing experience for an injured horse and although not a cure, can work well to relieve symptoms in the early stages of the formation of bone and bog spavins to reduce heat and pain.
One of the greatest hunter chasers of all time - Red Rum  suffered from pedalostitis and won three Grand Nationals. His training programme involved walking in the sea daily to stay sound. 
The Hydrotherapy Spa greatly intensifies the natural healing effects of cold running sea water in a safe and controlled manner bringing many benefits. The effect of increasing blood flow and circulation to affected areas, although not a cure, means that the Spa will greatly help to ease pain with conditions such as pedalostitis  and navicular. 
Vet Matthew Barlow comments The Spa can accelerate healing and repair over a wide range of injuries to the lower limbs. And, its very useful in relieving symptoms and reducing pain particularly in the early stages of an injury.

Thermography - Identifying trauma and injury
There are an increasing number of effective tools that can be used in the assessment of the horses movement potential and overall physiology. These include: Thermography, Gait analysis, Cardio-vascular analysis, Sports Performance analysis, Back care and Foot assessment. 
Thermography is a non-invasive monitoring tool used to detect injury and illness through changes and irregularities to a horses thermal and neural pattern. It can be used on a regular basis as a diagnostic tool particularly when a rider feels that a horse is not going as it should. 
It is also useful to monitor recovery from injury and to judge when the time is right to get a horse back into full training. And for some performance horses, Thermography is used regularly as part of training programmes.
Thermography can accurately pinpoint the location of an injury and can help to prevent further trauma. In fact, it can accurately detect many injuries and physical conditions before any clinical signs and symptoms are visibly apparent. And it provides a unique way to monitor a horse before and after competition to ensure it is in peak condition.
The ability to monitor a horses recovery from intense activity injury and illness, in addition to it's other benefits, makes Thermography a must have modality for us here at Flawborough. 

For more rehabilitation articles click on links below
By Emma Hawthorne - Proprietor and Treatment Manager at Flawborough Equine Rehabilitation Centre
Please contact us for further information or to arrange a visit:
Flawborough Equine Rehabilitation Centre, Hall Farm, Flawborough, Nottinghamshire NG13 9PA
Telephone 01949 850332