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What is whole body vibration p1 - 411 Barrel Horse Wellness

Updated: Oct 11, 2019


Flipping through the pages of any equine catalog, you will notice a plethora of therapy products. Liniments, wraps, boots, magnets, supplements, massage-rs, fairy dust, ice packs and hollow promises all suggesting that THEIR product will help your performance horse. How are you to chose: Brand endorsement? Color assortment? Newly improved? Horse-approved? It's tiring to say the least. I know at one time I found my self sarcastically asking, "which product should I waste my money on today?" I bet you can relate!

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EquiVibe is a product that promotes performance, rehabilitation and prevents injury in horses. It is a low profile platform run by electricity that vibrates at different speeds. When a horse stands on this platform he receives benefit from the vibration.[/caption]

If you are one of the awesome horse-people who read my blog, you already know how I chant and hum my mission statement like it's going out of style:

To teach relationship building between horse and human and to develop an intimate understanding of horse psychology and physiology through progressive horse keeping.

The reason I  am passionate about sharing this with you, is because it aids into explaining the value of seeking out additional and reliable integrative therapy for your horse. When we are trying to condition a performance horse, or simply keep their wellness at a maintenance level, we should have certain expectations from the start. Riding your horse and feeding them hay is NOT enough to sustain an athlete, let alone win. But if their conditioning routine was thorough and included: stretching, muscle building, toxin ridding, fascia releasing, and mentally stimulating components then you would probably be the one to beat.

One of my favorite types of therapy also happens to be one of the most proven therapies for helping horses. Whole Body Vibration Therapy is non-invasive, side-affect free and enjoyable for horses. WBV helps with overall circulation, enhances bone density, activates dormant muscle groups, accelerates healing and provides relaxation to horses and humans alike. EquiVibe has had many accounts of nothing less than miracles occurring with proper application of their machine. Bowed tendons, soft tissue injuries, viral diseases, stiffness, and hoof problems are some of the few ailments that have been resolved with this type of therapy.

Below I've included some excerpts from experts (say that 5 times fast!) on just why Whole Body Vibration can rock your world. And with the principle of "won't hurt, might help" there isn't anything to lose with doing some research on this integrative modality.

By properly and gently warming up a horse to accept the EquiVibe plate, it prepares the horse to (not only sit still) receive all the benefits of the vibration plate. Equi-Vibe webpage says, “One of the immediate effects of Whole Body Vibration (WBV) is improved circulation of both blood and lymph. Anything that can improve circulation is of significant benefit to the equine athlete, and the total horse population. Increased blood flow improves oxygenation of the tissues, removal of toxins and metabolic waste, and enhances the body’s ability to heal itself, drug free. Designed to increase bone density, reduce muscle soreness and inflammation.”

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40 Hz for 20 minutes[/caption][caption id="attachment_1183" align="alignright" width="225"]
40 Hz for 20 minutes[/caption]

Linda   from an Equine Conditioning Facility also adds , “We usually run horses between 20-40 Hz most of the session. I’ll run a horse up to 60 Hz for a minute or so, then back down to 40 Hz & finish the session at 20 Hz.  The lower hz range helps increase lymphatic drainage throughout the body.  The medium & higher level frequencies have been shown to reduce joint pain and enhance overall muscle strength. All frequencies help improve bone integrity. Varying the vibration frequency enhances the circulation & overall effect of the vibe plate. Also, the EquiVibe plate vibrates vertically rather than in a circular configuration.  This is noteworthy as vertical vibration has been proven to activate the muscle spindle cells within the body of a muscle in order to passively mimic muscle contraction.  Vertical vibration also activates the postural muscles which facilitates better muscle balance & coordination. Tendon injuries need to heal with the fibers re-attaching vertically in order to attain the most strength. Vertical vibration is thought to have more of an anatomically “friendly” force on healing tendon injuries versus circular vibration which can be more antagonistic. Plates which vibrate in a circular configuration are also beneficial but recent research findings have found that circular vibration can put torsion on muscles which can provoke mild/minor sprain/ strain according to research studied by Dr. Kyle Daigle. Since we load/unload our skeleton in a vertical manner naturally when walking or running–vertical vibration is proving to be more natural than circular vibration.”

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WBV is safe to combine with other therapies. Lucky is having a nice nap after some myofascial release and stretching! 50Hz for 30min.[/caption]

I can personally attest to how Vibration has helped my horse. If you have followed along the blog you may recall this post. Where my barrel horse reduced the temperature in his fetlocks, increased it in the hoof capsule, and decreased the size of his fetlocks noticeably within one session. By 10 vibration sessions and one barrel race later he ran in the top 15 fastest horses of that race. His muscles also began to fill in and appear less rigid as the fascia finally relaxed beneath the skin.

Do you have any questions about how vibration therapy can help your horse? I would love to have you email me your story, and maybe I can provide you with some resources that can assist in recovery or prevention! Please feel free to reach out for help or more information if you think your horse can benefit from the vibe plate. Let Randy from EquiVibe know you read my (Kathleen from Integrated Equine) posts and he can help too : 1.866.858.9481

If you aren't in the market for a platform, or near someone who provides services at their facility, consider these boots. They are an economical version, and although it's not WBV they DO work and they are surprisingly powerful. I've had these puppies in my arsenal for awhile and they don't disappoint.

There are few published case studies on WBV in equines - which is why they should pay attention to the success it's giving my horses! *Note: In my opinion the linked case study didn't operate at a high enough Hz, and didn't provide a long enough application to make a difference in a horse. Bottom line is that the equipment you invest in matters. IE: for effective benefits you must operate vibration at 20-60 Hz (not a measly 12-21 Hz like in case study) for more than 20 minutes. Please see my post here for witnessing immediate benefits after ONE vibe session.

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One way I accelerate the healing process even FASTER is by combining WBV with red light therapy (those little flash lights by his feet).[/caption]

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