The shod hooves of a galloping bay horse step on the sand of an outdoor arena at equestrian competitions. Horse riding. Equestrian sports. - Foto Shutterstock di Valeri Vatel

Equine Cryotherapy: Enhancing Performance and Recovery


Victoria Delville- Cutts, therapist to many alternative therapies

We had the privilege to meet with Victoria Delville- Cutts, therapist to many alternative therapies such as Cryotherapy and Salt Therapy. She took us through the process of these alternative therapies explaining as to how they benefit sport horses and how these alternative therapies have helped horses recover from injuries, prevent injuries and diseases, and how these treating methods are crucial in a horse’s routine.

Equine cryotherapy is a cutting-edge technique that utilizes cold therapy to benefit horses. Cryotherapy works on horses by applying controlled cold temperatures to targeted areas, that have indulged traumas or even just that need to go through a recovery process coming from fatigue. Causing vasoconstriction, reducing inflammation and pain. The cold temperatures also lower the metabolic rate, minimizing the risk of secondary damage and supporting the healing process of old and new injuries.  Cryotherapy has anti-inflammatory effects, releases endorphins for pain relief, and can be applied locally or gradually to the whole body. Overall, cryotherapy helps reduce inflammation, manage injuries, minimize muscle soreness, and enhance equine well-being. Equine cryotherapy has become increasingly popular in the equestrian community as an alternative therapy used for horses competing and training on a regular basis.

In this article, we explore the benefits of equine cryotherapy and its potential to revolutionize equine performance and care.

  • Enhanced Recovery:
    Equine cryotherapy accelerates recovery by reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain. It promotes faster healing and minimizes the risk of secondary injuries. After strenuous exercise or an injury, horses often come across inflammation and swelling therefore causing them pain throughout different areas of their body. Cryotherapy in this case is used to combat these issues by reducing blood flow to the affected area, through vasoconstriction.
    This decreases inflammation, promotes the healing process and minimizes the risk of secondary injuries. The incorporation of cryotherapy in the routine of a sport horse expedites healing and helps horses recover from any form of performance exhaustion.
  • Reduced Muscle Soreness:
    By mitigating muscle inflammation, cryotherapy minimizes soreness and fatigue after intense exercise, facilitating quicker recovery. By applying controlled cold temperatures, cryotherapy mitigates muscle inflammation, thus reducing muscle soreness and promoting quicker recovery. This alternative therapy allows horses to bounce back faster, enabling them to perform at their best both during events and training sessions.
  • Injury Management:
    Cryotherapy plays a crucial role in the effective management of injuries, such as tendonitis, sprains, and strains. It reduces tissue temperature, accelerating the healing process and minimizing the risk of secondary damage.
  • Performance Optimization:
    Incorporating cryotherapy into regular maintenance routines optimizes equine performance by reducing inflammation, improving joint health, and minimizing the risk of overuse injuries. This holistic approach to performance optimization promotes longevity and gives horses a more competitive edge
  • Stress Reduction:
    Cryotherapy sessions promote relaxation and release endorphins, reducing stress-related behaviors and enhancing the horse’s overall well-being.

In conclusion, equine cryotherapy offers a range of benefits, including enhanced recovery, reduced muscle soreness, injury management, performance optimization, and stress reduction. By embracing this innovative technique, horse owners and trainers can provide their equine partners with the care and support needed for optimal performance and well-being.

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