How Kinesiology Tape Helps Horses

Kinesiology Taping is popular in human sports medicine and athletic maintenance. What we’ve come to realize is that horses benefit in the same ways to an even greater degree! Essentially, K-Taping helps the horse to heal himself. For working and performance horses, the benefits from a broad spectrum stimulant for self healing can be the edge a horse needs to stay sound year after year. Tune in while we break down the mechanism behind the tape! BTW, Rock Tape is my favorite KT brand as it has the most consistency and best stick. 

Decompression & The Lifting Effect

A horse’s body is put together with many different parts- organs, bones, muscles, skin, ligaments, etc. What we now understand is that all of these parts are more or less glued together by a biological web called fascia. The outermost fascial layers that attach muscles with all that surrounds them (skin, tendons, more muscle, etc) tend to wad up and become dense and tight, preventing circulation and compressing tissue layers. Understanding this concept helps us to see how horses become so muscle sore, stiff, and hard bodied.

When we apply the K-Tape it lifts the fascia attached to the skin. This mechanism is simple but very powerful. By lifting & stretching the outer facial layer that has compressed everything (more fascia, tissues, blood vessels) underneath, we increase circulation in the area. This reduces inflammation, reduces muscle tension, and allows better slide between facial layers.

Conclusively: The lifting effect and subsequent tissue decompression increases circulation, reduces inflammation, and takes away pain.

Neurosensory Stimulation

Coolest concept ever. Wrap your head around this!

Wherever tape sits on a horse, the sensory nerves on the manipulated skin and underlying tissues are stimulated. They ring to the brain saying- “It’s here! It’s here!” Again- Such a simple concept but SO powerful. As well as depicting intensity of pressure, temperature, and fine point discrimination, these sensory nerves allow the brain to comprehend coordinates of the detected area in space.

From a sports medicine perspective, we can immediately relate the importance of body coordination. More still, by stimulating the brain’s awareness of specific areas on the body, we can direct biological healing. Left untouched, inflamed areas, areas with poor circulation, and areas with dying cells/tissue can easily become dull and ignored by the brain and the immune system. With neurosensory stimulation, the brain’s attention is brought back to the area in focus and from there it initiates biological healing.

Think about it- why do we have so many issues with horses’ legs? Why is it that the lower we go the more problems we have, and the harder they are to fix? It is because there is poor circulation down the limbs. With this, cells do not get the nutrients and energy they need to survive, and then nerves become less receptive. This causes the brain to overlook the area, and doesn’t direct the body to heal. So when we knock on the door with K-Tape and say “Hey brain down here, you’ve got a problem”, we can not only fix the problem, but we can help the body heal itself!

About Madison Maavere

Hello, I am a young professional in the equine industry with a passion for improving horses' physical health and emotional wellness. I grew up riding horses in north Georgia and by the time I was 10, I decided I wanted to ride professionally. This dream grew into the mountain that I climbed every day, striving to reach the top. Until I was 16, I did not have my own horses, so I began diving whole-heartedly into any barn that would allow me to work off rides, training, and showing. While this path may not have gotten me the most blues in the show ring, it opened my eyes and my heart to the vastness of the horse world and how perception based it can be. When I was 16, my family moved out on 6 acres so I could have my horses at home (IE, so my family could see me on a daily basis), and for this, I am truly grateful. Running my own farm, albeit small, was liberating and humbling, and it revealed to me that my passion was not so much for riding sport, but for the love of the horse. Fast forward 6 years, and I am well into my final year as an undergraduate Equine Science/Management major at the University of Kentucky. I have been so fortunate in the opportunities I've received here and the relationships I've been able to build. The cutting edge research, quality horsemanship, and innovative businesses located around Lexington, KY have given me a strong sense of reality, and inspired me to really look at where I can make an impact in today's horse world. What I've realized is that while I like equestrian sports, I love the horse. Moreover, I love to help the horse. I want it to be happy and relaxed, to be sound and comfortable, to eat well and be healthy. I want the horse to have every defense against pathalogical disease, and I want it to have skill sets that people value so it can live a long, loved life. In this love, I feel called to advocate for the horse. I want to learn everything I can about how to improve horses' sustainable wellness, and I want to share what I learn so that horsemen of all experience, backgrounds, and goals can feel inspired and enabled to improve their horses' lives. It is my true desire to initiate and spread a dynamic in which horses are not for the industry, but the industry is for the horses.

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