In this blog we’re taking a closer look at why the EquiAmi is such a useful tool for rehabilitating a horse after injury, surgery or just a lengthy layoff. We think it’s useful to kick off by reminding ourselves what equine rehab refers to. It could refer to the process of recovering from an injury, such as a tendon lesion, from physical issues such as kissing spines being treated without surgery, or from a surgical intervention for colic. One thing that all horses which are going through a rehab process will have in common is that they will have had a break from ridden work. That might be a gap of just a month or so, or they may have been off work for a much longer period. Part of the rehab process, once any injuries or wounds are healed, is to gradually build up strength and fitness. That’s one of the reasons why using the EquiAmi during rebab is so important – it ensures that the foundation you build on is strong and will help promote a correct way of going.
Developing self-carriage and balance
The EquiAmi’s unique design means that it gently encourages horses to develop core strength and topline muscles without fixing them in place. It aims to replicate a sympathetic and effective rider rather than simply using side reins or a bungee to fix the head and neck in a lower position. That lack of rigid pressure means that horses can’t lean on the EquiAmi and must learn to collect and balance themselves. This is such an important difference between the EquiAmi and other lunge and training aids which are fixed, giving the impression of the horse being in a rounded outline but in fact not developing that all-important self-carriage.
Encouraging a free and relaxed way of going
If your horse was compensating in its movement due to pain, rushing due to discomfort or even misbehaving as they anticipated pain, they might resist pressure by rushing or going behind the bit. The EquiAmi is the perfect tool for horses like this as it puts them in a self-centering loop. That means they can’t rush through the contact, and it won’t catch them in the mouth. Instead, as they accept the aid and realise it’s not restricting them, they start to work in a rounded outline. That means the EquiAmi will become looser, and most horses then work in a lovely free and relaxed outline.
Slow beginnings to give a solid foundation
A key element of successful rehab is time. If you rush a horse back into work and don’t give them time to develop fitness and strength, they risk injury or setbacks. Lunging a horse in the EquiAmi is an effective way to build topline and hindquarter muscle without a rider on board, and all it takes is two 20-minute sessions a week. It can be used as soon as you are ready to begin lunge and long reining work and will help them develop a strong, rounded outline. That topline and self-carriage will help the horse when it resumes work, ensuring it has the balance and core strength it needs.
Take a closer look at the EquiAmi here and please drop us a line if you have any questions at all.