Equine Salt Therapy: a drug-free form of therapy

Mouth of Andalusian Horse during salt therapy

Equine salt therapy has emerged as a popular and natural approach for improving the well-being of horses.

Derived from the ancient practice of halotherapy, an ancient greek treatment form which employs salt for therapeutic purposes, Equine Salt therapy provides numerous benefits for horses, including respiratory health enhancement, stress reduction, and overall relaxation. In this article, we dive into the realm of equine salt therapy, exploring its underlying mechanisms, advantages, and practical applications within the domain of equine wellness.

We had the privilege to meet with Victoria Delville- Cutts, therapist to many alternative therapies such as Cryotherapy and Salt Therapy (read our first article “Equine Cryotherapy: Enhancing Performance and Recovery“). She took us through the process of these alternative therapies explaining how they benefit sport horses.

Understanding Equine Salt Therapy

Equine salt therapy also referred to as salt inhalation therapy or salt spa therapy for horses, revolves around exposing horses to an environment rich in minute salt particles. This exposure can take place in specially designed salt rooms, salt chambers, or through the use of salt nebulizers. Equine salt therapy capitalizes on the inherent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and mucolytic properties of salt, which contribute to addressing various respiratory and skin conditions in horses.

Salt therapy provides a non-invasive natural and drug-free form of therapy, for performance horses, The first time Equine slat therapy was used in the horse industry was to improve breathing and enhance performance in the horse racing industry. Equine Salt therapy is also used to cure skin allergies and skin irritation (eg. Sand cracks).

The therapy increases oxygen to the airflow allowing the horse to perform at its best.

Benefits of Equine Salt Therapy

  1. Respiratory Health Improvement: The primary advantage of equine salt therapy lies in its positive impact on respiratory health. Inhalation of salt particles aids in purifying and detoxifying the airways, reducing the accumulation of mucus, and facilitating the elimination of pathogens and allergens. Horses with conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), recurrent airway obstruction (RAO), and other respiratory ailments can benefit significantly from this therapy.
  1. Stress Reduction: Horses, like humans, experience stress and anxiety. Equine salt therapy provides a calming and soothing environment that helps alleviate the stress level in horses. The therapeutic properties of salt induce relaxation, allowing horses to unwind and achieve equilibrium, both physically and mentally. The results of relaxation and stress relieve, are often seen immediately after the first session.
  1. Management of Skin Conditions: Equine salt therapy exhibits positive effects in managing various skin conditions in horses, including dermatitis, allergies, and fungal infections. The salt particles effectively cleanse the skin, diminish inflammation, and promote the healing process, thereby aiding in the resolution of these conditions.
  1. Enhanced Performance and Recovery: Equine athletes can also benefit from salt therapy. The improved respiratory function and overall well-being resulting from this therapy contribute to better performance and faster recovery times for horses engaged in competitive disciplines.  With horses copeting and travelling all over the world and in different climatic regions, salt therapy often helps the respiratory recovery process before important events.

Types of Salt Therapy methods

Different types of Salt Therapy methods, based on space and facility:

  1. Salt Rooms and Chambers: Specialized salt rooms or chambers offer controlled environments where horses can breathe in salt-infused air. These spaces are meticulously designed to optimize the dispersion of salt particles and create a serene atmosphere for the horse.
  1. Salt Nebulizers: Portable salt nebulizers disperse minute salt particles into the air. They can be used in stables, horse trailers, or during travel, providing a convenient option for salt therapy on the go.

Equine salt therapy represents a natural and effective approach for promoting the health and well-being of horses. With its positive influence on respiratory health, stress reduction, management of skin conditions, and overall performance enhancement, this therapy has garnered recognition among equine enthusiasts and professionals. By harnessing the power of salt, equine salt therapy offers a holistic avenue for supporting horses’ health, enabling them to thrive and lead more balanced lives.

V. Sozzi Senn in collaboration with Doctor Victoria Delville- Cutts

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