Equilibrium Products Improve Horse Welfare:
Posted in Archive 23/07/2010 15:29:17
Equilibrium Products Improves Horse Welfare Through the Testing of Protective Equine Boots & Advances in Technology
For the last 10 years, Equilibrium Products has been dedicated to making products of the highest quality which provide innovative, effective solutions to common problems, improving our horses' welfare throughout their working relationship with us. This includes: leg protection, fly protection, sun protection, head-shaking solutions, magnetic and massage therapy systems.
Recently, Mackey Ireland has assumed responsibility for the sales and distribution of the entire Equilibrium Product range throughout the whole of Ireland, so you can be sure that these top quality products are backed up by the outstanding customer service that Mackey Ireland is renowned for.
The Equilibrium philosophy - testing products to the limits
Totally committed to the health and well-being of your horses, all of the Equilibrium team are experienced horse owners. Products are designed, tested and used rigorously by staff and by professional riders throughout the development stage, to ensure the products are effective, comfortable and easy to use.
This care and attention goes into the design and development of all Equilibrium Product's ranges - Stretch & Flex, Equi-Chaps, Tri-Zone, Field Relief, Net Relief and Equilibrium Therapy
In addition to field trials, Equilibrium uses a team of independent experts to test products in the laboratory or in clinical trials as appropriate.
As part of their equine boot development programme, Equilibrium Products commissioned extensive independent research on the protection levels provided by boots, and on potentially negative factors, namely heat retention, restriction and weight (both dry and wet). The test programme included splint boots, support boots, bandages, tendon boots, cross country boots and wraps.
Why bother with boots?
Most riders will say that they use boots primarily to provide protection or support. However, there is minimal information to suggest that boots provide support for soft tissue or osseous structures. Using boots to restrict movement, for example after injury, can inadvertently lead to the creation of new problems elsewhere.
Using boots to provide protection during training and competition is entirely valid, but there are considerations in the use of leg protection that include weight, restriction of movement or blood supply and overheating.
A series of tests have been developed by Dr David Marlin, a highly regarded international expert in equine sports physiology, to assess the efficacy of boots on the relevant measures of protection against concussion and penetration injuries; overheating; weight; and flexibility
These tests are used by EQUILIBRIUM PRODUCTS to develop boots that improve protection levels, improve flexibility, reduce weight and reduce heat build-up
Assessing and minimizing negative factors
Any weight added to the lower leg requires more energy to be used to get the leg moving. Thus, adding small amounts of weight to the end of the leg in the form of a boot or a bandage significantly increases the effort the horse must make to run and can also alter the stride characteristics. And some boots or bandages can absorb up to their own weight in sweat and water.
Very stiff boots can restrict the range of movement of the lower leg, compromise tendon function, lead to soft tissue injury, and/or affect stride characteristics and performance. The ideal is a flexible, light boot that provides an adequate level of protection.
Tendons increase in temperature during exercise. The more intense and prolonged the exercise the higher the core tendon temperature will become. Tendon cells have been shown to be particularly sensitive to heat, causing an inflammatory reaction which can damage the tendon structure. Boots and bandages all insulate to some degree and so can make the tendon temperature even higher. Heat-retentive boots will increase leg and tendon temperatures much more than boots that allow heat to escape.
Measuring protection against concussive and penetrative injuries
As protection is the over riding reason boots and bandages are used, tests were developed to measure how well boots protect against concussion and penetration injuries. The testing was carried out using a custom made test rig consisting of a tower from which either a blunt hammer or a cutting blade (to stimulate different types of accidental injury) could be dropped onto the boots in a controlled fashion. This established methodology is also used to assess body protectors. The boots were tested at forces measured or estimated to occur when horses hit fences or brush or over-reach.
Equilibrium Products remain committed to offering the highest level in equine leg protection and only launch boots that exceed the required performance standards.
Equilibrium Products prides itself on outstanding after sales service. If you are not happy with a product, Equilibrium will exchange it or help you find the product that is right for your horse.
For further information on Equilibrium's fantastic product range or to find your local stockist, please contact Mackey Ireland on email@example.com or telephone 045 404620 or check out www.mackeyequestrian.com or www.equilibriumproducts.com