How to Combat Winter Stiffness
Help For Your Horse's Cold Weather Woes
Your horse doesn’t have to be a senior or have prior conditions to succumb to winter stiffness—although those things often intensify the effects.
Cold weather changes the properties of tendons, ligaments and joint fluid. Muscles contract and become shorter, altering function, reducing blood flow and becoming more susceptible to damage. The cold season also triggers the expression of gene coding for inflammation in the body. These compounding effects can easily cause pain, stress and dysfunction throughout multiple body systems of the horse; minimal changes often go undetected until compensation progresses into more noticeable or drastic symptoms appearing in posture, gait, or behavior.
So what can we do to best support our horses?
Blankets, wraps, shelter, increased forage and providing opportunities for movement can be effective ways to increase warmth. Fortunately, routine massage for winter aches and stiffness is a proven, effective way to treat pain, prevent damage and resolve ailments before they become a bigger problem.
If you suspect your horse is struggling with cold-induced stiffness or could benefit from extra support, take action.
Supportive therapies don’t have to be complicated. Like you, I want the best for your horse. Routine bodywork provides relief from winter ailments to help you and your horse enjoy winter fun.
To your good health and happiness.