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The Equiband® System

Your Equiband® system can be used during ridden or groundwork exercises. It comes complete with one saddle pad, two pre-threaded sets of Equiband® (two shorter abdominal bands and two longer hindquarter bands), as well as a tape measure and user guide. For safety, it is essential to follow the guide on how to fit and use the Equiband® system. Click here for fitting instructions.

The Equiband® is made of latex-free rubber, specifically designed for use on horses. The Equiband® system uses either one or both bands on the horse.

Abdominal Band (AB):
The shorter band attaches the left side of the saddle pad to the right, passing under the abdomen. The band sits well behind the rider’s leg. Its function is to stimulate the abdominal musculature during locomotion. The abdominal musculature supports the horse’s back. The position of this band is especially indicated for horses that have recovered from a colic surgery, have poor (inverted) posture and in clinical cases such as diagnosed conditions of the back including ‘kissing spines’.

Hindquarter Band (HQ):
The second and longer Equiband® attaches at an oblique angle from the left side of the saddle pad to the right, passing under the tail behind the horse’s hindquarters. It will settle in the point of least resistance, above the hock and just below the level of the stifle. Its function is to make the horse aware of the position of his hind limbs in locomotion and to enhance proprioception. The position of this band is especially indicated for horses with asymmetrical hind limb movement, poor engagement and poor development of major muscle groups such as biceps femoris (which is associated with movement) as well as horses recovering from diagnosed musculoskeletal or neurological conditions (such as EPM).

Saddle Pad:
The saddle pad is available in multiple sizes to achieve optimal muscle activation for all breeds of horses and ponies. It is ergonomically shaped to prevent any restriction in the wither or lower back regions. The clips that attach Equiband® to the saddle pad are designed for durability and safety. The saddle pad is designed for use with jumping, dressage and western saddles, as well as surcingles.

 

How it Works: The Importance of Core Strength

Core muscles mobilize and stabilize the horse’s back. Core strength helps to prevent the development of back pain and injuries. The Equiband® system has been developed specifically to stimulate receptors in the horse’s skin and hair follicles. In response to this stimulation, the abdominal, sublumbar and deep neck and back muscles are activated. These muscles raise and round the back and engage the hindquarters. Regular use of the Equiband® system strengthens this core musculature, making it easier for the horse to work in a round outline and reducing the risk of pain and injury due to hollowing or instability of the joints in the neck and the back. For more information on peer-reviewed trials using the Equiband® system, click here.

The Core and More

The Equiband® system can be used on horses of any age or discipline, providing they are free of any undiagnosed lameness or neurological disorder. The Equiband® system is not a substitute for veterinary care and when in doubt veterinary advice must be sought prior to using the Equiband® system.

 

The Equiband® system is indicated as ideal for:

Young Horses
during training in-hand and on the lunge to strengthen the core muscles in preparation for ridden work, and when introducing work under saddle. Use the Equiband® system when the horse is being trained in hand, on the lunge or with long lines/reins before the horse is mounted. The goal is to strengthen the core muscles in preparation for ridden work and thus avoid potential injury due to weakness and hollowing in early exercise under saddle. The Equiband® system should continue to be used once ridden work is introduced but the frequency may be reduced to a couple of times a week once the horse is strong enough to carry himself and his rider in a consistently round outline.
Aged Horses
to maintain spinal mobility and strength. Horses with diagnosed arthritic issues must be warmed up prior to application of the Equiband® system.
Retraining
after a period of inactivity prior to restarting ridden exercise. Any horse that is being brought back into work after a period of inactivity will benefit from a month of training with the Equiband® system to strengthen the core musculature, prior to recommencing ridden exercise. This is especially indicated in brood mares and horses that are obese in which the abdominal musculature is not being used optimally.
Rehabilitation
horses that have been rested following an injury or colic surgery will benefit from core training exercises from the ground during the period of inactivity, followed by a month of training with the Equiband® system.
Athletic Performance
enhancement through optimal core muscle facilitation. Expert riders have the skills to round their horses’ backs but not every rider is able to produce this desired frame. The Equiband® system teaches the horse to round up through flexing the spine, and allows the rider to develop a feel for this ideal frame. The goal is for the rider to learn how to activate the core musculature. As the rider’s skills improve, the Equiband® system can be used less frequently.

IMPORTANT!

The Equiband system® is not a training tool or gimmick! The concept of its use for core strengthening and movement retraining in the horse is based on scientifically-researched and validated techniques used in human conditioning and rehabilitation, and on results from peer-reviewed published studies of use of the Equiband system® for equine core strengthening and movement retraining. These studies include the use of resistance bands in core muscle activation, along with individually-designed exercise programs by veterinarians and professional therapists. Click here for more details on these studies.

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