In the evolving world of equine rehabilitation and training, creative approaches such as SURE FOOT® Stability Pads and Vitafloor® Vibration Therapy are revolutionizing the way we enhance equine wellness and performance. These technologies offer unique benefits, catering to a range of needs from improving balance and proprioception with SURE FOOT® pads to promoting circulation and muscle strength through Vitafloor®.

Today, I want to break down these two therapies and discover how they can help improve your horse in more ways than one. Let’s dive in as we tackle these strategies that start from the ground up!

The Science and Application of SURE FOOT® Stability Pads

SURE FOOT® Stability Pads are a tool designed to improve a horse’s balance, postural stability, and overall proprioception. In human words, these pads offer a non-invasive way to enhance the horse's ability to sense the position, movement, and action of its limbs. These pads are made from varying densities of foam and are used by placing them under a horse’s hooves during standing exercises. The unstable surface of the pads encourages horses to engage and strengthen core muscles and adjust their balance continuously. This not only enhances their physical stability but also contributes to a calmer, more focused demeanor.

Benefits of SURE FOOT® Pads:

  1. Improved Proprioception: By standing on an unstable surface, the horse's sensory and motor pathways are stimulated, enhancing its awareness of limb positioning and movement.
  2. Muscle Strengthening: The continuous adjustment needed to maintain balance on the pads helps strengthen the core and stabilizing muscles, such as the multifidus muscle, the most important stabilizing muscle of the horse's spine. Incorporating this therapy into regular training routines can improve a horse's balance and coordination, making them more agile and responsive. This is particularly beneficial for horses performing in disciplines that require precision, such as dressage, cutting, and jumping.
  3. Enhance Stability: The proprioceptive feedback helps improve joint and postural muscle stability, reducing the risk of injuries.
  4. Promote Relaxation: The gentle instability can also help relax tense muscles, reducing tension and alleviating behavioral issues linked to physical discomfort.

Sure Foot Stability Pad Session

Sure Foot Stability Pads, front range equine performance.

A typical Sure Foot Stability Pad session lasts between 5 to 20 minutes, depending on your horse's needs and level of experience with the pads. For beginners, sessions may start at around 5 minutes to allow your horse to get accustomed to the sensation and gradually increase in duration as your horse becomes more comfortable and benefits from the therapy.

Our team at Front Range Equine Performance will be with your horse every step of the way!

Once your horse is comfortable on the pads and showing improvement in strength and postural stability, we add in additional exercises, such as carrot stretches and sternal lifts, while your horse is on the pads to further challenge their stability and nervous system.

Understanding Vitafloor® Vibration Therapy

Vitafloor® Vibration Therapy is an advanced therapeutic technique that uses whole-body vibration to promote health and performance in horses. Originally developed for human athletes, this technology has been expertly adapted for horses. This noninvasive therapy has been shown to enhance muscle function, improve circulation, and support overall well-being.

By standing on the vibrating platform, horses experience microscopic contractions in their muscles, increasing blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body and training their stability. This not only helps in warming up the muscles before intense activity but also aids in recovery and rehabilitation after exertion or injury.

Benefits of Vitafloor® Vibration Therapy:

  1. Improved Circulation: The vibrations stimulate blood flow, which helps in delivering oxygen and nutrients to tissues more efficiently while also aiding in the removal of metabolic waste products.
  2. Enhanced Muscle Function: Regular use of vibration therapy can increase muscle tone and strength by promoting reflexive muscle contractions.
  3. Bone Density: Vibration therapy can stimulate bone growth and density, which is particularly beneficial for young or recovering horses.
  4. Joint Mobility: The therapy enhances joint flexibility and reduces stiffness, which is crucial for athletic performance and recovery.
  5. Stress Reduction: The gentle vibrations can have a calming effect, reducing stress and anxiety in horses.

Vitafloor® Vibration Therapy Sessions

Vita Floor Rehabilitation, front range equine performance.

A typical Vitafloor® Vibration Therapy session lasts between 10 to 20 minutes. The duration can vary depending on the horse’s specific condition and the therapeutic goals set by the veterinarian or therapist. Our team at Front Range Equine Performance will be with your horse every step of the way!

Therapies to Support the Health and Performance of Your Horse

As we went over before, both of these techniques have tremendous benefits for a horse if needed. We use these strategies in many different situations:

  • Rehabilitation: These therapies help maintain muscle mass and joint flexibility during periods of reduced activity and improve proprioception and muscle strength, aiding in faster and more effective recovery.
  • Training and Conditioning: Incorporating these strategies into regular training routines can enhance a horse's balance and coordination, making them more agile and responsive. They are particularly useful for performance horses, including racehorses and show jumpers.
  • Behavioral Therapy: Horses with anxiety or nervousness can benefit from the calming effects of the pads and vibration therapy by encouraging relaxation and can help reduce stress-related behaviors.
  • Geriatric Care: Older horses often suffer from reduced proprioception and muscle weakness. These can help combat the effects of aging, such as muscle atrophy and joint stiffness, enhancing their quality of life.

Taking a Step in the Right Direction with Equine Therapy Techniques

Both of these therapies provide non-invasive solutions to common issues, from performance enhancement to injury recovery. As with any therapeutic regimen, it’s important to collaborate with your veterinarian or a qualified equine therapist so that these treatments are applied effectively and safely.

Whether for competitive training or general maintenance, these innovative tools open new nerve pathways to optimal equine health. Embrace these advanced therapies to ensure your horse not only performs at their best but also lives a happier, healthier life.

If you have questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (970) 368-3125, or you can email us at [email protected]. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram.