Tuesdays With Tony and FES Awareness
The weather outside is perfect. I love nothing more than to lie in the middle of the driveway, soaking up the sun, and watching the humans drive around me. Good times. I have noticed that my favorite weather coincides with more work for the horses we see here. It seems the humans like being outside more when it doesn’t feel like some horrible gym sauna that got the worst Yelp reviews ever. This means it’s time to get those equine athletes fit and ready to go. Best way to get your horse feeling great: FES
Want even more information? Read this article about an Olympic Event Horse
FES. What the heck is that you ask? This cat says it’s pure amazingness. FES stands for Functional Electrical Stimulation. This magic machine sends electrical pulses into your muscle causing it to contract and relax. But the feeling!! FES feels like one of those massaging chairs turned on inside your muscle. As the power goes up, the feeling goes deeper and the muscles contract harder. When the session is done I am left purring, making biscuits, and maybe, just maybe, drooling a bit on my pillow. Any muscle soreness I had, is gone. That pesky left hip pain is a thing of the past. The best part is the next day: I can leap from the counter to the top of the dryer and on to my favorite spot on the cabinet with ease.
What does all that mean for horses? Well like me, most horses have done something less than smart in their lifetime. I said something mean to Teannie once and she broke my leg. This left me weaker on my left side. I was supposed to do special exercises to strengthen the leg, but I didn’t and it left me a little uneven behind. We all know our horses can do the same thing. Ok maybe not break a leg, but get a small injury or strain and end up a little crooked. This FES thing fixes all of that.
Does your horse regularly put their hip or back or ribs or neck or poll out? You can fix the bones repeatedly but until the muscles will hold them there they won’t stay. The FES retrains the muscles on a cellular level. It tells them they need to stop spasming and go back to normal. Once the muscles are back to pulling evenly on the bones: VOILA!! They stay where they are supposed to.
I have been listening to Dr. Lacher talk about lameness a lot recently. Veterinarians, human doctors, and researchers are shifting their ideas about how injuries work. There has long been a focus on finding the arthritis and treating it. But there’s a better way. Arthritis is the end of the process not the beginning. The problem starts when there is a small injury causing the horse to travel crooked which loads the joints unevenly which strains the supporting structures causing them to lay down extra bone to shore up the connections. That extra bone is arthritis. Injecting the joint treats the final stages but doesn’t address the problem that got it there. FES is one powerful tool Dr. Lacher uses to treat the crookedness that eventually leads to arthritis.
Get rid of sore muscles, get more sit, more power, and more straightness. Sign up for FES sessions today!