Horse Solarium – Infrared Heat Therapy (IHT) for Horses
The benefits of Infrared Heat Therapy (IHT) for horses aka Horse Solarium – the Heat My Space Guide
Research has proved that sunlight, amongst many other beneficial processes, leads to the production of Vitamin D in the body.
• Short wave infrared lamps/heaters create the same infrared light waves as the sun
• It is possible therefore to create the benefits of the sun by careful use of infrared heaters
• Careful use involves the design of a sensible heater layout
• It is important to monitor the time the horse spends under the heaters using a time lag switch
• Varying the heater power should be considered, from low to high, using a variable heat controller.
What is Vitamin D? The Sunshine Vitamin
A nutrient which allows the body to absorb calcium and phosphorus to promote bone growth – a deficiency leads to misshapen & weak bones. D maintains normal cell growth and function, maintains a healthy immune system, and prevents excessive inflammation. Horses also source Vitamin D through consumption of grass and other fresh vegetation.
How does a Vitamin D deficiency happen?
Due to a decrease in exposure to the sun, and by consumption of dried forage where Vitamin D decreases over time or is leached away by soaking hay.
A free ranging pony or horse living outside 24/7/365 without a rug is unlikey to have a Vitamin D deficiency. Although it is interesting to know that the sun that the horses do get in winter is said to be at the wrong angle North of latitude 34. The dark skin of horses makes Vitamin D more difficult to produce.
The arrival of Autumn, full time stabling and use of rugs changes everything.
In the Northern latitudes such as the UK our first problem is the decrease in daylight hours. The winter brings a succession of weather systems decreasing available sunlight.
Horses are brought in from pasture to hard standings, covered barns and stables for many reasons. Protection of grassland from damage, horses from mud and excessive weather plus the practicalities of feeding dried forage.
Racing, competition, hunting and hacking breeds are more often stabled for most of the year, and many horses are rugged throughout the winter season.
How to get Vitamin D – Infrared Heat Therapy (IHT)- Horse Solarium
One of the answers to this problem is the creation of a horse solarium, infrared heat therapy, where a horse can “ sunbathe” to get a Vitamin D boost.
Infrared heat generates a form of energy that increases metabolic activity in the cells, thereby improving blood circulation and causing ‘capillary dilation’ to occur. The IHT process increases blood flow through the body and brings oxygen and nutrients to the cells, producing Vitamin D and stimulating the immue system. This increased circulation improves muscle condition, elasticity, suppleness and performance in your horse. IHT also helps reduce the chance of injury and speeds up the recovery process in injured horses. Infrared heat therapy aka Horse Solarium therapy is effective in relieving sore or stiff muscles, which is especially common in competition horses and horses in hard work.
Benefits of Infrared Heat Therapy
• Relief from sore or tender backs
• Fast muscle recovery
• Improved skin condition
• Increased blood and oxygen supply
• Strengthened immune system
• Less muscular pain in the saddle area
• Healthy, shiny coat
• Promotion of relaxation and recovery
Which horses benefit from Infrared Heat Therapy- Horse Solarium?
IHT is suitable for all horses – from competition horses to hunters to light workers and retired old friends. The most difference is noticed in sport horses, injured or recovering horses, as well as horses who are prone to stiffness, cramps or tying up. Old or retired horses will benefit, even those not being ridden. IHT can help make them more comfortable in their later years by promoting healthy blood circulation and relieving sore or stiff muscles and joints.
How to create an Infrared Heat Therapy Area.
There are specialist purpose designed Horse Solariums available on the market which are very effective.
The Heat My Space alternative offers versatile solutions. A thoughful design fitted in a suitable space will create a multipurpose horse care zone where horses benefit from infrared while other tasks are being undertaken. Drying off, clipping, grooming, etc.
Please call us to disucss your equine needs: 01590 615715
Our infrared horse therapy solution uses the ultra low glare Tansun Monaco heater. With a wide angle gold reflector this heater produces gentle infrared heat spread over a wide area.
Individual Stable Fitting EQ1. Use in a stable with high ceiling/roof so that the heater is out of reach of horse. Instal at a height 2.4 – 3m, depending on horse size. The heater could be controlled by a time lag switch outside the stable or via the Quartzheat Ec0-Controller . The Quartzheat controller comes with a handheld remote or control via a smart phone App. This allows the horse carer to vary the heat power and control the heater from afar.
Horse solarium zone set up
Set up either the EQ2 £599, or the EQPro £999 in a simple layout with heaters facing each other approximately 3 – 4 meters apart. Fixed to a wall at a height of between 2.4 – 3 m angled at 45 degrees.
The EQ3 £899 option has 3 heaters, this layout allows for the third heater to be fitted to the wall/ceiling behind the horse
Call Heat My Space on 01590 615715 to discuss how to set up your Horse Solarium area.