Equi-Tape is “Kinesio Tape” for horses. It is specially designed for sticking to horse hair, and withstanding the wear and tear from our four-legged friends. The slogan of the brand is “train harder, recover quicker”, and countless times this has proven true. There are specific taping patterns that have different purposes, from assisting a muscle to increasing circulation over areas of swelling. We can break its uses down into two main categories: athletic and therapeutic.
These taping patterns are meant to allow the muscles to better do their jobs. An understanding of anatomy is important with these patterns, as it depends on what result you want that relates to where you tape. Do you want the muscle to contract or release? Does the muscle need more help in lengthening or shortening? Circulation is also increased to the area, allowing the tissue to be bathed in nutrient-rich blood. This action allows the muscle to get rid of the “bad” and bring in the “good”, which promotes healthy tissue. When the tissue is healthy, it is best able to perform its job.
These patterns of tape are meant to increase the speed of healing damaged or swollen tissue. How the tape is cut and placed has a major impact on circulation and healing. A typical pattern is comprised of many thin strips of tape. This increases the amount of surface area of skin that is lifted to allow for the dissipation of congestion, as well as creating “channels” through which the material can “flow”. As with the athletic function, circulation helps to speed the rate of healing. By bathing the area in fresh, nutrient-rich blood, healing can occur.
Why Does it Work?
When you apply Equi-Tape to the horse’s skin, think about all the anatomical parts being impacted. The hair, skin, fascia, muscles, blood system, lymphatic system, nervous system, and the materials that comprise the cellular matrixes around these systems. These seemingly separate systems in fact all intertwine together, making it so that one piece of tape can affect many layers of the body. A simple cross-section of skin and underlying tissue will reveal how all of these systems interact intimately, especially in the various areas of the body.
When is the tape used?
- During training to help the muscles work better to reach their potential
- During the rehabilitation process of an injured horse
- Any time to support an area of the body
Some taping patterns are able to be left on for days, and some are only meant for a few hours. It’s very important to understand the result you want, and have the tape on accordingly.
How to Become Involved
You can use Equi-Tape on a couple of levels. The first is simply purchasing the
tape from a retailer; you do not need to be a veterinarian or equine professional to purchase the tape. The second way is to take the certification course offered by Equi-Tape. The course is a weekend class that is offered around the world as well as throughout the year. The benefit to taking the course is that you gain a much fuller understanding of how to use the tape properly, as there are key elements for using it. For more information on Equi-Tape, classes, and more visit www.equi-tape.com.
Written by Callie Rulli of Skylark Animal Bodywork, LLC
Equi-Tape is never a substitute for veterinary care!