Guest post by Christa from piaffestyle.com.
Horses are considered athletes. You ride them an hour a day, and sometimes they are also put in a walker for another 30-60 minutes. So, they need to be taken care of just like athletes are. Horses are very muscular animals, so there’s a lot of muscle to get sore. Soreness occurs when horses are either not warmed up or cooled down properly, or when they have been working heavier than usual. When horses are working, they’re exercising their muscles, just like you would, when you’re at a gym.
Exercising breaks muscle tissue, which then repairs itself by using protein in the body. This explains muscle growth. Now, when there’s too much exercise, improper warm up or cool down, muscles might get sore. This is because of lactic acid build up or swelling of the muscle compartment that results from an influx of white blood cells, prostaglandins (which are anti-inflammatory), and other nutrients and fluids that flow to the muscles to repair the “damage” after a tough riding.
How to use solarium lamps for horses?
Solarium lamps are an excellent way of taking care of your horses muscles. A solarium, which is a system of large red lamps that give off infrared heat, will help your horse. IR is a form of heat radiation, which provides artificial sunlight during winter months, and is beneficial for horses who don’t get to stay out on a paddock hours at a time. It improves performance, increases circulation, and reduces injury. The heat energy generated by the lamps penetrates the skin, aiding in warming up prior to exercise and drying and loosening muscles after exercise.
Solariums are usually installed above a grooming area or water stall. You can leave your horse under the lamp before or after riding, or even after washing him. Next, you adjust the lamp level accordingly to the horse’s size. Turn on the solarium, and voila! Let your horse relax and enjoy the solarium. You can even tack and untack your horse whilst under the solarium, and your horse can enjoy the IR for as long as 45 minutes to an hour.
Christa is a professional dressage rider and a full-time writer. She has trained with Olympic riders such as Terhi Stegars and Piia Pantsu, and worked as a rider and groom all over the world. Christa grew up in Finland, but now lives in New York City. After 5 years break from horseback riding due to an accident, she’s finally back on track and aiming to get back to international competitions as soon as possible! Read more about Christa and her journey on www.piaffestyle.com and follow her on Instagram @piaffestyle and Twitter @ piaffe_style