Equi-Tape is elastic kinesiology tape designed for horses, while the trademarked Equi-Taping Methodology is the education that built the foundation for the therapeutic modality now referred to as equine kinesiology taping.
Created by Dr. Beverly Gordon, a physiotherapist, chiropractor, and biomechanics specialist for both humans and horses, the product is the first kinesiology tape designed specifically for horses. She wanted to achieve the benefits she saw in her work with elastic kinesiology tape on human athletes into her practice with equine athletes in Wellington, Florida.
Her goal was to help horses heal, maintain soundness, and improve performance with an affordable, non-invasive, and highly effective therapeutic modality. Her passion is to truly understand the horse, prioritize its well being, and help maximize its potential. Dr. Gordon’s pioneering work has sparked an international following of equestrians that are committed to effective alternative therapies and holistic horse care.
The Equi-Taping Methodology was the first accredited education for equine kinesiology tape in the world and was once only available to a small group of healthcare professionals. Now, the company Equi-Tape Inc. is dedicated to empowering equestrians of all skill levels and disciplines to incorporate the modality into their care programs.
The company’s motto—“Train Harder, Recover Quicker”—pays homage to its original purpose of supporting equine athletes. But the modality also sees tremendous results in rehabilitation programs and has practical uses for daily barn life. Since the advent of Equi-Tape more than a decade ago, the company has since become the world’s leading online education source for equine elastic kinesiology taping and continues to innovate advancements in the modality and in education.
“We are a horse-first company; everything we teach is developed by equestrians for equestrians to deliver the best care possible for the horses we love. Horses give us their all, we should give them our best,” President Rebecca Haddock says.
So, how does it work? Equi-Tape interacts with the complex anatomy of a horse’s skin and fascia to achieve a variety of physiological benefits. When Equi-Tape is applied using different techniques and amounts of stretch, the tape can cause three main phenomena to occur—influence of soft tissues, stimulation of nerves and receptors, and support of musculoskeletal structures.
Elastic kinesiology tape is decompressive in nature. The stretch and recoil in the tape can gently manipulate soft tissue to create space for fluid movement and communicate with nerves and receptors in the skin and fascia through the hair root plexus. The skin is a neurosensory organ that senses pressure, light, temperature, and helps interpret surrounding conditions. A horse’s skin has far more nerves than human skin. Horses are a prey animal, and they almost completely rely on sensors in their skin to survive in the wild and communicate with their herd. Nerves and receptors in the skin and fascia, the connective tissue below the skin and throughout the body, serve as messengers that carry information from internal or external stimuli back and forth to the brain.
Think of the horse’s skin and fascia as a communications network that is constantly interfacing with the brain, giving the horse information about how he is doing in relation to the world around him. Every detail of Equi-Tape’s construction and the scientific principles taught in the Methodology acknowledges the complexity of a horse’s skin and how it influences different physiological systems and biomechanics functions.
Some physiological benefits of an Equi-Tape application include increase circulation and lymph flow, decrease swelling and inflammation, reduce pain and fatigue, assist muscle function, and relax tense or overworked muscles.
Apart from these benefits, it also supports joints, tendons and ligaments, influences proprioception and correct biomechanics, stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, promotes correct biomechanical movement, prevents injuries, speeds the healing process, improves range of motion, and affirm the body’s natural healing mechanisms.
The company believes that the knowledge of the modality should be accessible to all equestrians because of its effectiveness, convenience, and affordability. There is no other therapeutic modality on the market that is as versatile as Equi-Tape. Common uses include bandaging a wound, reducing back pain, helping an abscess heal, relaxing the poll, supporting joints during a workout, or helping a horse stay calm on a trailer ride.
The product is also often used to help horses recover from injuries faster because it helps improve blood and lymph flow, supports correct biomechanical function, and reduces pain. It is mostly used on performance horses to reduce injuries in the lower legs, optimize muscle function, and recover quicker after a long work week.
“As a healthcare practitioner, I am continually amazed at the results I see with Equi-Tape, especially when a horse experiences pain relief. A horse can go from tense and defensive to relaxed, yawning, and affectionate in a matter of minutes,” Equi-Tape Communications Director Calandra O’Hanlan shares. “I have seen some remarkable recoveries when Equi-Tape is included in a rehabilitation protocol. I love how this is a modality I can teach to my clients so they can help horses feel their best. As a rider, I will not work with a horse unless I can tape him first because you can feel the difference in a horse’s attitude and movement. Every equestrian should learn this modality and every first aid and tack kit should have a roll of Equi-Tape!”
Their horse-first philosophy and their focus on providing education options for equestrians of all skill levels and disciplines is what sets the brand apart. Whether you are a first time horse owner, trainer, or experienced healthcare professional, Equi-Tape has an online education option just for you. They offer an introductory course, a certification course, anatomy specific modules, and a video series called Practical Solutions. Anyone can learn how to use this non-invasive therapeutic modality to improve their training, rehabilitation, and horse care programs.
Equi-Tape Inc. believes that if you are ready to begin learning, then start with the company that started it all. Dr. Gordon gave the world the foundation to experience this amazing modality and the company is continuing her legacy of innovation and excellence in education and horse care. They are certainly living up to its current mission—to empower equestrians, revolutionize care, and change horses’ lives.
Learn more about Equi-Tape at www.Equi-Tape.com.