Equine Taping

By Lee Hall - Licensed Physiotherapist , Diploma in Equine Animal Rehabilitation

Guest blog post

About Kinesiology Taping and Equine Taping

Kinesiology taping has been used on human athletes for many decades. Developed in the 1970s by a Japanese chiropractor Dr.Kenzo, many athletic events have seen increased use of kinesiology tape to improve and support athletes performance .

The use of kinesiology taping began at the 2008 Olympic Games and by the London Olympic Games in 2012 the use of kinesiology taping was a common standard for athletes.

As with human athletes, horses can also experience injury, over training, biomechanical issues, and chronic or acute issues. The world of competitive equestrians as well as everyday horse enthusiasts, recognizing the benefit in human athletes sought to capitalize on the benefits of this technique.

As with human patients the benefits of kinesiology tape are well documented. Pain relief, pressure relief, circulatory improvement , swelling reduction with lymphatic drainage, support and stability for joints, and improved proprioception are some of the benefits recognized.

Equine taping patients present a very different client /therapist experience. The horse has no preconceived notion of what might or might not work and will readily show relief from a taping application. Licking, chewing, yawning or sighing are obvious signs of immediate relief. Post treatment gait assessment can also demonstrate the added benefit and comfort to the horse.

Taping applications need more preparation for a horse. The skin and hair needs to be thoroughly cleaned and dry prior to taping. Tape strips should also be measured and precut as often the equine patient is a bit wary of long strands of tape. Spidertech has some precut strips that make application easier in some instances as well as some handy to use lymphatic taping precut packages.

Equine clients also present unique challenges and rewards for a physiotherapist. An additional pair of hands may be needed to assist positioning the horse as the tape is applied. Its hard to tell your equine patient to stand still while you apply the tape!

How Spidertech Tape can be used

The width or type of tape required is dependent on the area to be taped and whether it is for support, proprioception, pain relief or lymphatic drainage. There are many different brands of kinesiology tape on the market and results may vary depending on preparation, climate and therapist experience and desired effect.  I find Spidertech tape to be effective in many applications. It has good stretch and appears to stay on for up to a week depending on the area of application. It also appears to have relatively good water resistant properties.

I have found the Spidertech 6“ wide tape to be particularly useful for larger areas such as spine and pelvis and larger horses such as warm bloods .  The area of pressure from the 6” tape from Spidertech provides a consistent pressure without worrying about multiple layers of smaller tape.

Equine patients are rewarding to treat and the relief they feel is evident. Horses have a knack of getting hurt in every possible way and need an experienced kinesiology tape practitioner with exceptional tape such as to best support their recovery and enhance their performance.

The applications for kinesiology taping are as endless as the possibilities and benefits of its use.  As a physiotherapist with a diploma in Equine Animal Rehabilitation I am pleased to be able to provide my equine patients with quality and durable taping through Spidertech.


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