Endurance horses are hard working by any measure. At the top levels of the sport, horses can actually die as a result of competition stresses, including catastrophic limb fractures, but even at the lower levels, achieving and then maintaining the required levels of fitness and stamina requires a significant commitment, with shortcuts all too often resulting in injuries.
Inadequate fitness is generally believed to contribute to the potential for both orthopedic injury and lameness and ‘lameness' in all of its guises, is the most common reason for an endurance horse to require veterinary attention.
The most likely injury to result in a lame endurance horse is either a tendon or ligament injury, followed by both acute and chronic joint conditions and hoof pain. Recurrent lameness is seen in a significant number of cases, making a correct diagnosis of the underlying issue of significant importance for a successful return to competition.
Back pain is almost as frequently a reason for seeking veterinary advice, with younger horses whose musculature is less developed more likely to present with problems of this nature. As back pain frequently develops as a consequence of hind limb lameness, poor saddle fit or rider asymmetry, an individual approach to resolution is likely to require multiple specialties and treatment modalities.
Given the demands on the respiratory system of an endurance horse, inflammatory airway disease and associated coughing can also be problematic and metabolic disorders of the muscles including rhabdomyolysis (tying-up), should always be a consideration when formulating diets. An understanding of correct hydration and electrolyte requirements are important in reducing the potential for episodes of colic.
ArcEquine microcurrent technology supports the endurance horse in a number of different ways, both in training and during the competition season. An ArcEquine unit delivers unique sequences of microcurrent configured to support an increased rate of healing in all types of injured tissues, together with a reduction in associated pain and inflammation.
All training results in microtears to tissues, which repair during recovery periods. In addition, as muscles fatigue, production of lactic acid becomes performance-limiting and can be the cause of stiffness following a period of strenuous exercise of competition. Using an ArcEquine can facilitate rapid elimination of lactic acid in just minutes, rather than hours, which is just one way in which the technology can facilitate more effective training programmes, faster recovery rates after a competition and reduced potential for injury.