Whether you’re an avid equestrian training for a show or enjoy spending weekends hacking out on the trails, caring for your horse takes work.
Despite your best efforts to bubble wrap your horse, there’s likely going to come a time when rehabilitating your horse will become necessary.
Rehabilitation can be needed for a variety of reasons, and it’s important to know how you can support your horse’s recovery, working alongside your veterinarian throughout the process.
Getting your horse healthy and back to enjoying their regular activities is vital to keeping them content, and this article is here to help.
Below, we’re going to provide you with a comprehensive guide to rehabilitating your horse.
You’ll learn about four common reasons rehabilitation may be necessary, the basic standard of care and healing information, and discover some rehabilitation supplies that can support the process.
It’s important to note that before beginning any recovery program, you should consult your veterinarian regarding any health issues or physical ailments your horse may be experiencing.
4 Reasons You May Be Rehabilitating Your Horse
Like many people, when the topic of rehabilitating your horse comes up, you may automatically think of your horse being injured, but in truth, rehabilitation can occur for various reasons apart from that.
In fact, oftentimes, it’s about responding to signals your horse is giving you to ensure they are in good health.
Here are four of the most common reasons horses require rehabilitation.
No matter how well you care for your horse, there’s always a risk of them hurting themselves, whether they’re out in the field or in the middle of a training session.
Some injuries that may require some form of recovery include:
- Pulled muscles
- Tendon Injuries
- Foot abscess
Many injuries can occur as a result of undiagnosed issues, such as a slight pelvic tilt or even a weakened core, making a thorough examination by the vet particularly important when issues arise.
Just like any living thing, horses are susceptible to getting sick, whether it’s an infected cut, an allergic reaction, or a respiratory infection.
While treating some of these conditions will require medical intervention, such as antibiotics, some illnesses may require additional measures in place to support your horse while they recover.
For example, if your horse is suffering from allergies, using items like equine nasal strips, the Flexineb to administer sinus-clearing medication, or specialty cough syrup like Kick The Cough can help improve their breathing.
While no one wants to think about a horse being harmed, it is an unfortunate reality, and after the initial trauma is dealt with, they often undergo various forms of rehabilitation.
This may take the form of resocializing the horse, nourishing them to improve their overall health, or even overcoming fear and anxiety.
4. Behavioural Struggles
Behaviour struggles can occur for various reasons, from anxiety, frustration, pain, or even as a result of undiagnosed issues.
In these cases, recovery would often take the form of modifying the behaviour through groundwork, training, slow exposure to the trigger of their anxiety, and even calming supplements.
Basic Standard of Care for Rehabilitating Your Horse
Whatever the reason your horse is recovering, there are a few vital steps that are essential to ensure your horse is well cared for and you’re taking all the necessary steps.
Here are some of the basic aspects of rehabilitation you’ll need to include throughout this process.
Consult a Veterinarian
First and foremost, you need to contact your veterinarian and have them come to visit and assess your horse.
While you may know what’s going on, it’s vital to get a professional’s opinion. Not only will this ensure no other signs go missed, but that you don’t cause further damage or irritation.
Your vet will be able to provide a treatment plan tailored specifically to your horse’s needs based on their assessment.
This may include aspects like:
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
Your vet will be your greatest asset in keeping your horse healthy, so it’ll be important to keep them involved in the recovery process.
Rest and Recovery
This is possibly one of the most crucial parts of rehabilitating your horse.
Giving them time to recover before working towards rebuilding strength or training will help ensure they don’t become injured or further injured in the process.
Depending on why your horse needs rehabilitation, the length of time they’ll need to avoid strenuous activity (or activity altogether) will vary, so it’s important to take your vet’s advice when they give their recommendations.
Just as in their everyday life, properly nourishing your horse is essential in regaining and maintaining their healthy state.
Your horse may require a special diet or supplements to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need and potentially to assist in keeping them calm while they recover.
Again, your vet will play a big role in the additional supplements your horse may require during this time.
As mentioned above, physiotherapy and chiropractic care may be recommended by your vet.
It can be incredibly helpful to have a knowledgeable physiotherapist assess your horse and provide any functional support.
Physiotherapy is especially good if your horse is recovering from an injury or working to rebuild muscle or strength.
While chiropractic care can help reduce inflammation and improve mobility, physiotherapy can help train specific muscles to support recovery.
Monitoring Progress and Adjusting Treatment
As your horse recuperates, you’ll need to closely monitor their progress.
This includes tracking any changes to their condition and scheduling regular checkups from the professionals involved in your horse’s care.
Not only does this ensure the treatment they’re receiving is working, but also that it’s adjusted to match the changes you’re seeing in your horse.
Horse Rehabilitation Products and Supplies to Consider
There are many products that can go alongside your horse’s recovery, making it easier for you to support them throughout this time.
Which ones you need would depend on your horse’s specific concerns, but here are some of the most common horse rehabilitation products.
Supportive Boots and Bandages
Therapeutic boots are great options to help give your horse some additional support when recovering from sprains.
They also help prevent further damage from occurring as your horse regains their strength during the healing process.
Better yet, they’re a powerful proactive solution to support your horse during their regular training sessions.
One of the best multi-purpose therapy options are ice boots.
These boots can be used proactively after a training session to help cool down your horse’s legs and minimize any inflammation or be included in a recovery routine for a leg injury.
Compression badges, on the other hand, can help promote healing by reducing swelling, giving additional support and improving circulation.
A common tool for rehabilitating your horse is vibration therapy.
Using a vibration plate can support a quicker recovery by improving circulation, stimulating muscles, reducing inflammation, and even increasing bone density over time.
Vibration plates, however, are for far more than just rehabilitation.
They are also a powerful preventative measure, supporting your horse both before and after training to reduce the risk of injury.
Supplements can be used at any time, but they can become particularly important while your horse is in recovery.
After evaluating your horse, the vet may suggest one or more supplements to help support their recovery and ensure they’re getting the necessary nutrients they need.
Including supplements in your regular routine can also help improve your horse’s health day to day, so they’re worth considering as a preventative measure as well.
If your horse needs medication or general respiratory support, a Flexineb nebuliser is a great tool to have on hand.
These devices fit around the nose of your horse and make it easy to administer medication directly to your horse’s airway and lungs.
Nebulisers can help improve your horse’s breathing through certain natural therapies, such as saline and eucalyptus, and are a common solution to support horses struggling with respiratory issues.
Supplies To Rehabilitate Your Horse in Rockwood
When it comes to rehabilitating your horse, having the proper supplies, equipment and the right team working alongside you can make a huge difference.
Whether you’re looking for preventative measures to support your horse’s everyday health or need therapeutic supplies to help with recovery, System Equine is your one-stop shop.
You’ll find various rehabilitation supplies in our online shop that can help support your horse during their recovery, as well as daily care solutions to improve their overall health.
Shop our online store, or contact us, and our team will be happy to support you with all your rehabilitation supply needs.