Most of us are well versed on guide dogs and many of us are familiar with the work of assistance animals. However, the role of the therapy horse tends to be less understood. This incredible animal serves a multifaceted and dynamic role in the therapeutic riding stable – enhancing the quality of life for hundreds of people in the course of its career. Few equines have “jobs” with as profound an effect on humans as therapy horses. Helping people with physical rehabilitation, social skills and self-esteem… these are all part of the therapy horse’s job description. More than just a “job” , treats are important, but it takes more than apples to keep a therapeutic riding horse happy and healthy. NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association) communications director Kay Marks explains, “Horses are the most important resource any centre has,” she says. “They must always be treated as partners in the therapeutic process, not as a tool to be used.”
At KTRA, we put our horses' comfort first and foremost, without them we wouldn't have a program! Because these horses take unbalanced riders it can be incredibly taxing on their bodies. Our vet recommended that we raise funds to purchase an Equine Solarium to keep our horses healthy and happy.
What is an Equine Solarium? An equine solarium is a form of infrared therapy suitable for all horses.
How does it work: The infrared heat from the solarium penetrates the skin into the underlying muscle and generates a form of energy that increases metabolic activity, causing capillary dilation to occur. When this happens the blood flow is increased bringing increased oxygen and nutrients to the cells. The process also stimulates metabolism for improved digestion and promotes the killing of pathogens and parasites that cause your horse to get sick. You will find your equine partner’s muscle elasticity improves which helps recovery from exercise and decreases the risk of Injury. The increased circulation allows blood sugars to be absorbed more quickly and speeds up the elimination of waste products such as Lactic Acid, a leading cause of muscle soreness and tying up.
Reasons Our Horses Deserves an Equine Solarium:
"You wouldn't go work out at the gym or run a marathon without stretching and warming our muscles up, why would you expect your horse to do the same?"