Guest blog – The benefits of massage and heat for horses

To celebrate the launch of the new Massage Mitt Hotspot, we caught up with the experts, Equilibrium Products, to help to explain the benefits massage and heat have to horses.

Equilibrium Massage Mitt Hotspot and Massage Pad

Benefits of massage

Tension is often one of the most common reasons for poor performance. By increasing relaxation and improving back flexibility, the negative effects of tension can be reduced. Massage is well known for its ‘feel good’ factor and has been shown to aid relaxation and assist with the maintenance of healthy muscle and muscle function. A relaxed horse, with relaxed muscles, will move with fluidity and suppleness.

The perfect way to deliver massage to a horse is through the Equilibrium Massage Pad. The innovative design provides effective, affordable equine massage. Proven at Myerscough College to improve back flexibility and promote relaxation in horses. The Massage Pad has 3 different settings, low, medium, and high. This allows you to select the intensity of the program to suit your horse. Each program has three types of massage: stroking, pulsing and vibration which ensures muscles are worked in different ways.

You can use the horse Massage Pad before riding, after riding or on a day off! Here’s a few ideas on when you might choose to use it:

  • Horses on box rest to maintain good circulation.
  • After exercise to help support recovery.
  • Before exercise as part of warm up.
  • At a show after travelling to relax.
  • On your horse or pony’s day off as general maintenance.
  • Anytime as a reward.

While the Standard Massage Pad is suitable for multiple sizes of horses, the size who most benefit from the Standard size are those 14.1hh – 16.1hh, or in 5ft9 to 6ft3 rugs. Pony and XL sizes are available for horses and ponies either side of that range.

What about the benefits of heat?

Heat can help to:

  • Support healthy muscles and soft tissue.
  • Warm up muscles or joints before exercise.
  • Maintain lymphatic function.
  • Increase metabolic and nerve activity.

Therefore, using heat is ideal for:

  • Older horses.
  • Horses that are slow to warm up.
  • Horses in work.
  • Young horses who are learning new things.
  • Horses undergoing retraining.
  • Those returning to work after a period of rest.
  • For any horse or pony to enjoy as a reward.

The perfect way to deliver heat to the horse is through the Massage Mitt Hotspot as it is repeatable and safe to use. The Hotspot is set to reach the ideal warm temperatures needed as shown by research. Traditionally horse owners would use a hot water bottle or a wheat bag to deliver heat to the horse, we find the Massage Mitt Hotspot is now a much more convenient and reliable option.

Hot water bottle Vs Massage Mitt Hotspot

The negatives of hot water bottles / wheat bags

  • Unpredictable temperatures
  • Starts very hot – can be a shock to the skin
  • Starts to cool down quickly
  • A lot of heat lost to the atmosphere
  • Need access to hot water / microwave
  • Covers need to be washed – not straightforward with a wheat bag

The positives of Massage Mitt Hotspot

  • Set to a specific target temperature with a cut off to prevent overheating
  • Starts at an ambient temperature and gradually increases to pre-determined maximum temperature
  • Set to maintain correct temperature, can be switched back on after 10 minutes (only 2 x 10 minute sessions to be used on one localised area)
  • Insulated behind the heat element to prevent heat travelling back towards the owners’ hand and out into the atmosphere
  • Battery operated to deliver 10 x 10-minute heat sessions
  • Easy to wipe clean and keep sanitary

Combining the Massage Pad and Massage Mitt Hotspot offers horse owners the best of both worlds.  A targeted hand-held mitt to reach any muscle in the horse, using heat and massage, combined with the Massage Pad to work the muscles over the back.  The Massage Combo is the ULTIMATE massage and heat.

Make sure you don’t miss out either! Use the Massage Mitt Hotspot on yourself at the end of a long day. It’s the perfect size to use on your lower back, neck, or shoulders – all areas that riders, or anyone that works with horses, will probably have some minor niggles from time to time!

If you liked this blog, you might also like ‘How to massage your horse’ by Equilibrium Products.

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