What are some alternative treatments that are done with horses?
Some alternative treatments can be done by you! Others need to be done by a professional who has special training and sometimes certification. Here is a brief list of some alternative therapies and how you may be involved in them. For the most part, these serve the purpose of creating a more comfortable sport horse. Used in conjunction with modern day medicine, alternative treatments (as I call them) support your horse's "feel good" levels. Many of these treatment have tons of science to back them up, others maybe only a little bit. And by no means is this a complete list!
- Electro-stim is a series of pads and wires, connected to a battery pack and working along certain meridians, or around affected joints. A current runs through the wires and increases oxygenation and blood supply. You may be responsible for setting up the system, which includes knowing the attachements and meridians. (Most systems have a super manual to follow). You will also be responsible for monitoring the horse during this time, the wires are easily chewed or stepped on and too much movement can disrupt the pads.
- Cold lasers are another treatment that you may carry out. The goal here is to increase blood supply, also. (A common theme among alternative therapies.) Most laser systems have many settings, and should be outlined in the manual. This will tell you the setting and location for the treatments. During treatment, your horse will likely need to be in cross ties.
Some laser treatments require a Veterinarian, others you can do by yourself with the proper equipment.
- You may also be using a magnetic blanket, which is quite heavy and probably needs to be supervised on your horse. It's shaped like a traditional blanket, only it contains wires, a battery pack, and magnets, of course. Some horses dislike the blanket, and can be distracted by hay or grazing. It will generate quite a bit of heat, so in summer or hot temperatures you may opt not to use it.
Note the magnetic blanket's battery pack near the withers!
- Some alternative treatments, like massage, acupuncture, and chiropractics, are to be done by Veterinarians or other professionals trained and certified in their field. You will probably get to help! (And in the case of acupuncture, counting the needles as they go in is a good idea....)
Chiropratics in action!
Up close with acupuncture.
- Vibrating plates. These flat machines literally vibrate your horse. Not violently, but pleasantly. They are designed to work on bone density, and may even help with soft tissues. They are actually quite nice for people to stand on also.
What special alternative treatements does your horse receive?
*Be sure to use these, and all, treatments with your Veterinarian's instructions*