The importance of warming up
After Ruby’s fantastic performance having had a pre warm-up treatment with the Activo-Med Combi sport rug, I’ve since adopted this tactic as standard where possible. Previously we’d just been giving her a relaxing treatment per day which she loved, but obviously this had made such a difference to her ridden work that I want to keep it as part of her working routine.
I spoke to Sarah Curtis, ITEC qualified equine & human massage therapist covering Hampshire/Wiltshire areas about why the rug might have made such a difference to Ruby when used as a pre warm-up measure. Here’s what she had to say;
“The importance of having an effective warm up and cool down procedure is often overlooked, however both are a necessity in enabling the horse to use his muscles to maximum efficiency for both optimal performance and injury prevention.
“By raising the tissue temperature and enhancing circulation the muscles will be suitably prepared for the start of exercise; muscle tone will be elastic allowing a greater range of movement and also help prevent acute injuries. Assisting the body to return to its original state by aiding the removal of waste products such as lactic acid will also prevent muscular pain and stiffness.”
Like many professionals, Sarah promotes careful ongoing management of the muscles as a means of treating any minor tears, tweaks or areas of tightness before they develop into something more problematic; prevention is always better than cure. By using the Activo-Med rug between treatments, I can ensure that Ruby has any minor issues addressed daily so they don’t cause problems at a later date. I was surprised to learn how long it can take for injuries to actually show up. Sarah explains; “It can take 90 days for a small muscle injury to become apparent by which time it can become more serious or cause a different problem.”
The PEMF (pulsed electro-magnetic field therapy) is a great addition, as this technology helps with the regeneration and stimulation of cells to make them work more efficiently, hence why they are so beneficial for rehabilitation and treating injuries, as well as an aid to help enhance performance.
I’ve also used the rug on my ex-racehorse after he had a McTimoney chiropractic treatment last week; I recently bought him to go eventing with, but wanted to get him a ‘pre-season MOT’ before we started doing too much. His pelvis had been substantially wonky and so was causing imbalance and difficulty in cantering on the right rein; sometimes he found it quite impossible to pick up the correct canter lead. The day after his manipulation, he was pretty grumpy and sore as you’d expect after such adjustments. Our chiro had recommended we use the Activo-Med rug on him too, and after 20 minutes, he was a much happier chap and his usual soppy self again. Clearly he felt better for it; this really is such a useful and versatile bit of kit!
I’m now continuing to treat them both with the Activo-Med, and will be using the rug for warm up and cool down with Blue prior to and after exercise. He tends to be quite stiff and take quite a while to loosen up and start really performing, so I think having seen what a difference it made to Ruby, it could give us a real head start with him. Early indications from first use – very good! Will hopefully have some more updates on that soon.
About Sarah Curtis
Sarah Curtis is a qualified ITEC equine and human sports massage therapist based on the Hampshire/Wiltshire borders, with a BSC Hons in Equine Science. Having produced her own event horse to Intermediate level, and she has an excellent understanding of the effects of competition and training upon the horse. Her services are available at selected BE events this season to help horses achieve optimum performance, and can work very well to complement the Activo-Med.
|The importance of warming up|