Dressage horses are a combination of bodybuilder and gymnast, but with their powerful musculature engaged in the repetitive execution of movements that are often very close to the limit of individual equine physical abilities, injuries can be all too frequent.
The life of many dressage horses revolves around almost daily training on an artificial arena surface, interspersed for many with hacking out over varied terrain and occasional low-level jumping. However as the training progresses up the levels, the horse is put under increasing physical and psychological stresses to develop more power, suppleness, improved balance and the resilience essential to successful competition performances.
Injuries invariably present with lameness and damage to the suspensory ligaments of the hindleg and the structures of the hock joint are often diagnosed. Dressage horses also suffer muscle strains in different muscle groups associated with training for too long, at too high a level or too frequently for the body to have the opportunity for recovery.
The requirement to progressively strengthen muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones in the dressage horse is dependent on a steadily increasing level of appropriate training exercises and activity. It is known that susceptibility to injuries increases with overwork, as although the horse's body is continually regenerating, if the damage is too extensive, healing cannot keep up, resulting in weakness and ultimately, injury.
Turnout is vital to physical relaxation and psychological wellbeing in dressage horses and good management will also include correct nutrition, veterinary support and the regular use of ArcEquine's unique microcurrent therapy. Used by a growing number of successful riders at every level, ArcEquine delivers not only accelerated healing of injuries, with an associated reduction in inflammation and pain, but more importantly, it supports faster recovery from the daily micro-damage incurred during training to help prevent injuries occurring in the first place.
Olympic Dressage Rider and International Trainer Richard Davison confirms; "ArcEquine plays an important role in my competition horse management regime, especially in injury prevention and accelerating recovery after training and competitions."