It is no secret that elite human athletes know the importance of utilizing exercise and training techniques that will promote, improve and lead to optimal performance. However, a well-thought out rest and recovery program is also essential for world-class athletes to achieve their performance goals. Recovery and maintenance between training and competition enables the body to repair itself and strengthen itself between activities.
An effective maintenance and recovery program for equine athletes is just as important for them as it is for their human counterparts. Most horse trainers and owners of sport horses and thoroughbreds are mindful of this. Typically, they use various nutritional, conditioning, and rehabilitation regimens to prevent injury and enhance the overall health and wellness of their horses while they are training and competing.
A growing number of trainers and owners have begun to incorporate hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) into their horses’ training and competition programs. In fact, over 25% of our clients use HBOT exclusively for maintenance and recovery of their show horses and thoroughbreds. They do so because HBOT is an effective recovery tool, helping to alleviate stiffness, soreness, and micro-tears in the muscles after a hard workout. This allows horses to return to work healthier and happier, while reducing the risk of re-injury.
HBOT is a unique and non-invasive treatment that promotes healing and accelerates recovery simply by putting the horse in a pressurized environment and allowing it to breathe 100% oxygen. The science behind HBOT is quite simple. The high concentration of oxygen that the horse breathes becomes soluble in its bloodstream under pressure, and is carried throughout the body where it can not only aid in recovery but also heal damaged tissues, assist in repairing tears and lesions in affected ligaments and tendons, and reduce pain and inflammation in joints.
Kasey Ament knows first-hand how HBOT can make a significant difference in achieving peak performance in elite equine athletes. We have worked with Kasey to incorporate HBOT as a key treatment in her training program for 5 of her show jumpers. The program typically lasts 6 weeks and is focused on keeping the horses healthy and sound in preparation for their next big show. In addition, treatments are also used during the show to recover from training or competition events.
Kasey noticed a significant difference in the performance of her horses that used HBOT stating that in her two years riding these horses, their consistency and energy throughout each ride had greatly improved. She also mentioned that their overall body condition seemed to have improved as well as their muscle tone and hooves.
Kasey observations and beliefs were backed up in the ring. As she had several top 5 finishes with this group of horses which included a first-place finish at HITS Thermal in the $50,000 HorseWare Ireland Grand Prix on Zuidhoeve.