Recent studies have shown that hydrotherapy can lead to signs of improvement in as little as 20 days for horses that have suffered from Deep Digital Tendon Flexor damage (DDFT). Daily treatment can both reduce inflammation, and provide gentle exercise to aid recovery. Working with the natural resistance of water, you can improve muscle tone around the area, as well as building up fitness and stamina levels without ridden exercise. There are several effective types of hydrotherapy that can be used in treatment combination, including swimming and water treadmills. In the world of both racing and events, hydrotherapy is often used to help train horses that have fragile limbs and joints, as well as helping them to build up strength.
If your horse has DDFT, using cold water and ice as a form of hydrotherapy is extremely beneficial. It can help to decrease swelling and inflammation in the same way that using a cold compress would help human beings. Following this treatment, use warm water on the affected area, to maintain blood flow and get the lymphatic drainage system working effectively – this is essential for repairing tendons. The natural buoyancy of the water will help support your horse’s limbs, whilst building up the muscle strength, in order to return to full health and fitness. This means that they will have no strain on the injured tendon area, whilst they are recovering.
Salt water pools are extremely eco friendly, and don’t contain harsh chemicals that can harm the pH balance of a horse’s skin. In treating DDFT, the saline in the water is a natural anti inflammatory, that will help to soothe aching wounds and accelerate the healing process. It is natural type of hypertonic poultice. Salt water can also improve suppleness and prevent stiffness of limbs. Horses find soaking in these pool very relaxing, especially when the water is kept at a cool 2°, as it encourages circulation. Along with DDFT, salt water can help treat wind puffs and wind galls that are often found in combination.
Returning to fitness
Swimming is highly recommended for horses when they are returning to fitness after DDFT damage. A study by New Zealand researchers into non-invasive measures of animal welfare found that it is a great substitute for ridden exercise, as the viscosity and buoyancy of the water naturally supports muscles and ligaments, as well as aiding muscular development. Swimming also provides the horse with good cardiovascular exercise – essential for rehabilitation.
Equine Hydrotherapy is a natural and extremely effective way of supporting your horse if he is recovering from DDFT. It is beneficial for muscle strength, as well as being a calming and relaxing experience.
By Jenny Holt
For Sara Gumbiner and Polaris, the Kentucky Three-Day Event has always been in the stars. Sara and the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Brandenburg’s Windstar X North River Lady) have been partnered for seven years, with
People.Horses.Culture conference in Adelaide suitable for “anyone who supervises interactions between horses and people”.
One of Australia’s leading Eventing riders and coaches, Will Enzinger, has been appointed to Equestrian Australia’s High Performance Panel. He will fill the position formerly held by the late Gillian Rolton (AM). The role of the High Performance Panel (HPP) is to oversee the EA High Performance strategic direction, plans and provide guidance support to the HP program. It also ensures the program is consistent with the policies, procedures and objectives of EA.
Horse SA has recently launched a free online course for horse owners titled ‘Incidents involving large animals’. The easy-to-follow format supported by illustrations and photographs, covers such topics as horse behaviour, working as a team and specialist equipment.
Source: Horse SA Home
Horse owners will often experience a great sense of wellbeing from the companionship and affection their animal offers. Along with pet ownership, holidaying is one of the best ways human beings can benefit their wellbeing. However, many pet owners feel forced to stable their companions, and suffer from separation anxiety as a result. This trend has led to many Australian holidayers going pet-friendly, with towns like Brighton reporting higher concentrations of local holidaymakers.
When it comes to horses, you’d be surprised to find that travelling abroad is absolutely feasible. However, there are medical considerations in hand, alongside logistics, choice of location and planning. If you plan ahead, though, there are great benefits – for you and your equine pal.
What to consider
Before you embark on a trip, there are a few key considerations when considering protecting your horse. Transporting a horse via plane is absolutely doable, as in other modes of transport. Be wary, however, of conditions such as shipping fever. You will be well aware of the risks of shipping fever over short distances, and a break every 3 hours is recommended to mitigate risk. Consider this when travelling long distances. There are wonderful places for you to experience on horseback, from the mixed lush and desert vistas of Andalusia, a particularly horse-friendly country, to the steppes of central Asia. Plan your trip into segments to keep your horse healthy whilst still experiencing the world.
Where’s good to go?
Obviously, some countries will be less horse-friendly than others. Depending on the familiarity of the surroundings at home, you might look for more open terrain, or be comfortable in forested areas. Furthermore, the culture of a country and the relative costs of stabling and land permits can be a sticking point. That aside, look no further than Northern Europe. The United Kingdom and Ireland have a rich equine history and have a culture positively minded to animals of all types. The United States shares this, too, for trips further afield and to a different culture entirely.
What about when you’re there?
When you’re there, you should have picked a country with a good network of stables and support facilities with accommodation lined up. In the worst case, using modern mapping apps can help you to find a place to stay in the worst case. Be aware of different food labeling in other countries, and that the ingredients and types of hay and so on are suitable. It never hurts to ask.
Travelling with your horse can be wonderfully invigorating and give both you and your companion the opportunity to see the world together. However, there are certain considerations to be made to ensure your horses’ safety. Make sure you take them.
By Jenny Holt
What if there was more to communicating with horses? Could you truly build a relationship of trust and confidence with your horse using feel, timing, balance, empathy and light hands? This is the story of Steve Halfpenny, the remarkable Australian horseman.https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/833001869/steve-halfpenny-soft-feel-and-light-horses
The Dublin Gold Cup is one of the premier meetings in the Irish calendar, but rightly or wrongly, the rest of the racing world views it more in the context of being one of the best indicators for the Cheltenham Festival.
The latest tips
From the almost Lazarus-like performance of Edwulf to the growing concerns over former bookmakers’ darling Faugheen, there was certainly plenty to take in. The Twitter tipsters at Racing Bets post daily predictions and tips as the Cheltenham Festival draws ever closer. Here are five of the stories that have attracted their attention.
Edwulf the Brave
After last year’s festival, Edwulf looked like another of racing’s sad casualties. His collapse at the final jump of the National Hunt chase left spectators the world over with a bad taste in their mouths. Initial rumours that the horse had died proved to be premature, but when it was confirmed that he had suffered oxygen starvation and temporary blindness, the prognosis was bleak.
His return to competitive action was therefore miraculous enough, but to go on to win the Gold Cup is the stuff of fairy tales. Surely a repeat performance at Cheltenham would be asking too much? At 25/1 there are certain to be more than a few each way bets.
The Supreme Novices Hurdle just got tougher to call
The opening race of the festival is invariably something of a free-for-all, with as many as 30 entrants. It has a habit of producing surprise winners, but while the bookies have been backing the Willie Mullins trained Getabird as hot favourite, Samcro’s performance in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle has got everyone wondering. He led from the start, and victory never looked in doubt. Those in the know think this could be a very special horse, and whether he ultimately runs in the Ballymore or the Novices Hurdle, he has every chance of beating all comers.
Faugheen in decline?
A few short months ago, the horse nicknamed “the machine” was being tipped as having a real chance in the Champions Hurdle. It all went wrong over Christmas, and Dublin was set to be the great return to form. However, a lacklustre performance had Willie Mullins shaking his head. “He had no spark,” said the veteran trainer. Arch-rival Nicky Henderson’s Buveur D’Air is now 1/2 on to win for the second year running, and Faugheen is looking like an increasingly remote shot, drifting to 8/1.
A new favourite for the Stayer’s Hurdle
The horse that spoiled the party for Faugheen is not to be underestimated. Supasundae has come into form at just the right time, and most of the bookmakers now have the Jessica Harrington trained gelding as favourite to beat Sam Spinner in the Stayer’s Hurdle.
Mullins on the up
Faugheen concerns aside, Willie Mullins will have left Leapordstown a happier man than when he arrived. Doubts over many of his Cheltenham runners were cast aside, and seven winners is an impressive tally. He will look to take Henderson on in his own back yard next month, and the likes of Min, Footpad and Total Hero have the potential to win him plenty more silverware.