EX­PERT In­sight

Horse & Rider - - Let's Talk -

Dr. Re­becca A. McKee, body­worker and Rock Tape ( rock­tape.com) clin­i­cian and ed­u­ca­tor.

Tap­ing phi­los­o­phy: “The stick­i­ness and stretch­i­ness of the tape al­lows the hair to be lifted off the fas­cia, which wraps the mus­cles and con­nec­tive tis­sues in your horse’s body and helps bring more cir­cu­la­tion to that area,” McKee says. She ad­vises that the stretch in the tape is for your horse’s range of mo­tion; not for wrap­ping tightly against the skin. “With your horse, less stretch is more. That’s be­cause your horse has an ex­tra mus­cle layer known as the pan­nicu­lus, which al­lows him to feel things—like flies— and move his skin to get rid of them. It also means he’s more sen­si­tive to touch.”

How it works: “Th is equine tape is sim­i­lar to the tape swim­mers use, so it’ll stay on when you bathe and ride your horse; it’ll even stay on if your horse needs to use a wa­ter tread­mill,” she says. “Once you ap­ply the tape to your horse, you’ll want to ac­ti­vate the ad­he­sive by rub­bing the tape with your hand.” Typ­i­cally, you can leave the tape on your horse for up to five days, as long as it’s not begin­ning to peel. “After you re­move the tape, I rec­om­mend leav­ing it off for a cou­ple of days so you can eval­u­ate how he’s mov­ing,” McKee shares.

cir­cu­la­tion and pos­si­bly have the in­fec­tion spread.”

Prac­ti­tioner ad­vice: “Look for a pro­fes­sional equine prac­ti­tioner who’s been trained and cer­ti­fied to tape your horse,” Ruder ex­plains. “We train prac­ti­tion­ers such as equine vet­eri­nar­i­ans, chi­ro­prac­tors, mas­sage ther­a­pists, and acupunc­tur­ists who are look­ing to ex­pand their tool­box of of­fer­ings to cus­tomers.”

EX­PERT In­sight #3

Linda Delker, project man­ager for Ki­ne­sio­tap­ing ( ki­ne­sio­tap­ing.com).

Tap­ing phi­los­o­phy: “Tap­ing works nat­u­rally with the body,” Delker says. “By putting tape on your horse’s hair, you’re ac­tu­ally sim­u­lat­ing the hair fol­li­cle—which orig­i­nates in the sec­ond layer of skin—lift ing it up, and bring­ing blood flow to ar­eas to help with pain or stress. It’s an al­ter­na­tive if you want to sup­port your horse nat­u­rally. Tap­ing gives him sup­port and pain re­lief. It’s also a great way to bond with and care for your horse.”

How it works: While tape made for hu­mans can work on your horse, the equine tape is de­signed to work di­rectly with the horse’s hair. “The equine ver­sion of this tape is stick­ier than tape de­signed for hu­mans,” Delker says. “You can leave the tape on for days; you can even bathe your horse with it on.” How­ever, Delker rec­om­mends that if you en­counter tape that doesn’t re­move eas­ily, it’s best to let the skin and hair rest be­fore you re-tape the area to avoid any ir­ri­ta­tion. What to avoid: “Don’t use any type of oils, lin­i­ments, or fly spray be­fore you ap­ply tape, be­cause it won’t stick prop­erly,” she says. Also, don’t wrap the tape all the way around the leg. “There should al­ways be a gap be­tween the two ends of tape to avoid cut­ting off your horse’s cir­cu­la­tion.”

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