The therapeutic use of water dates back to ancient times to treat injuries and illnesses. The benefits of water, hot or cold, are still used for therapeutic or relaxing purposes. And today, balneotherapy is transposed to horses.
For horses, balneotherapy consists of several methods adapted to each situation:
– the swimming pool: the horse walks and swims in a corridor of water
– the walker: the horse walks in circles generally against the current
– the spa: the horse is passively in the water.
The temperature of the water is also important:
– cold water stimulates the immune system, reduces nerve conduction and controls inflammation
– hot water relaxes sore muscles, lowers blood pressure and neutralizes bacteria.
Balneotherapy is interesting for many situations: recovery of an athletic horse, resumption of training, convalescence (tendinitis, arthritis, synovitis, bone trauma, joint pain, hoof injury, infection, etc.).
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the benefits of balneotherapy on horses:
– stimulates blood circulation
– increases the irrigation of the muscles
– reduces the risk of contractures and aches
– increases heart rate
– increases pulmonary ventilation
– works the joints without pain
– relieves the body and muscles
– develops stamina
– corrects muscle asymmetries
As you have understood, balneotherapy improves the physical condition of a horse with a minimal risk of injury.