Helen is a fully qualified Equine Physiotherapist and sit on the committee for IAAT (The International Association of Animal Therapists).
Helen provides some insights into the world of equine tapingâ€¦
As with any human athlete, horses also require help every now and again for support with their muscoskeletal system.
I use tape in several ways to maximise the horseâ€™s athletic potential in different disciplines and decrease the recovery time during injury.
The main reasons I find for taping are;
- Proprioception â€“ asking the horse to use muscles that are perhaps atrophied or contracted
- Haematoma â€“ as a lymphatic drainage to reduce the swelling
- Pain â€“ to lift the fascia and allow blood flow to the pain site
- Support â€“ for tendon, ligament issues
Using tape alongside physiotherapy, I am able to best judge the suitability of each application for maximum rehabilitation of the horse.Â E.g. A rotated pelvisÂ would require taping along the Semitendinosus for proprioception to encourage the opposite hind limb to step under and help rebalance, or where I have manipulated the pelvis back, keep the pelvis level.
Where a trauma has occurred, perhaps a kick in the field, I am able to alleviate stiffness through stretches but with the use of tape I am able to treat any Haematoma that has occurred by encouraging the drainage back to the lymph glands.
The tape lasts (dependant on weather, rugs, clipping etc) between 3-5 days and I always leave the client with spare tape pre cut and instructions on how to reapply. Kinesiology taping is a simple and affective form of treatment that most owners can use to treat their own horses.