Last Updated on February 22, 2022 by Allison Price
My veterinary physiotherapist Hayley mars recommended that I use the Equiband system to strengthen my mare Matilda’s core muscles and improve her back strength while she was being rehabilitated.
Hayley assisted me in fitting the bands to Matilda when it arrived. These are elastic bands that attach to a numnah and have strong clips that go under her belly. It is crucial to get the tension right. The manual includes detailed instructions for how to do it.
Hayley recommended that I slowly use it once it was set up as it can be tiring on the horse’s muscles.
In 10-15 minute sessions, I began with the abdominal band and just walked with a trot. Then I increased my time to 20 minutes each time.
Matilda was given plenty of time to take a break from the band, so I unfastened the straps during sessions.
Two weeks later, the hindquarter band was introduced.
It was comfortable to wear up to three times per week at first, but I started pole work after three weeks.
When I began ridden work, the Equiband was used once per week during groundwork sessions. The system looks brand new after six months of continuous use.
Matilda didn’t seem to be bothered by the bands. Because she was long-reined, lines were always in her hindquarters so she was comfortable with the Equiband.
Hayley was happy with the way her core strengthened after each visit. Matilda was able to move freely when she wore it without restriction.
Her core work was evident and she engaged her hindquarters well when working with poles.
Use it quickly
One thing I noticed was the need to secure the surcingle that holds the numnah on. This will prevent the bands pulling the system backwards. The numnah would slip backwards if the surcingle was loose. It must be tightened.
Other problems were that the bands could sometimes slip back (on the stomach) or up on the hindquarters during trotting. They remained in place once they were adjusted.
The length adjustment is difficult because the band is longer than the clip. Therefore, the band must be folded to fit the clip.
Although it is expensive, I believe it is worth it when you see the improvements in your horse’s ability to go and strength. Regular Equiband use has made a huge difference in Matilda’s performance.
An Equiband is a great choice for rehabilitation as well as everyday training to build and sustain strength.