RESEARCH

The Equiband® system is the only resistance band system that has been researched, and results of which have been published in peer-reviewed manuscripts.

The Equiband® System improves stability of the spine during walking and trotting

Findings from studies show that Equiband® has a positive effect on spinal stability in motion (back and pelvis), which is key for optimal athletic performance.

Dynamic stability is the stability of the spine during movement. Two studies have been performed to measure the effect of the Equiband® System on stability of the spine in horses, during walking and trotting exercises. Dynamic stability of the vertebral column is important to reduce risk of pain or injury from hollowing or instability of the back during exercise.

The first study was performed by veterinary scientists at the Royal Veterinary College in the UK. Seven horses that were free from lameness and involved in training and competition at various levels, were recruited for a 4-week exercise program.

The exercise program consisted of fitting the Equiband® System with the abdominal and hindquarter bands at 30% of the maximum tension. All Equiband® exercise was performed at the beginning of the horse’s normal workout session for the indicated time, and exercises emphasized transitions between gaits.

  • Week 1: In-hand work with the Equiband® for 5 minutes per day/ 5 days per week prior to the horse’s normal exercise routine
  • Week 2: In-hand and ridden work with the Equiband® for 10 minutes per day/5 days per week at the beginning of the horse’s normal exercise routine
  • Week 3: In-hand and ridden work with the Equiband® for 20 minutes per day/4 days per week at the beginning of the horse’s normal exercise routine
  • Week 4: In-hand and ridden work with the Equiband® for 30 minutes per day/3 days per week

Three-dimensional spinal motion was recorded at the beginning of the study (baseline), and following the 4-week program (final). The measurements were collected with and without the Equiband®, with the horse trotting in-hand and on the lunge. The researchers found that with use of the Equiband®, horses had reduced spinal movements in the wither and mid-thoracic/lumbar regions (the area under and just behind where the saddle would sit). Following the 4-week exercise program, rotational movement in the withers and thoracic region decreased, while dorsoventral (up and down) movement of the thoracic spine increased.

The results of this study indicate that the Equiband® system reduces movement of the spine during trotting exercises, indicating an increase in dynamic stability.

Citation: Pfau, et al. 2017. Effect of a 4-week elastic resistance band training regimen on back kinematics in horses trotting in-hand and on the lunge. Equine Veterinary Journal

A second study performed by veterinary physiotherapists in Sweden found that use of the hindquarter Equiband® stabilized the thoracic and lumbar areas of the spine during in-hand walking and trotting exercises. Improved stability of the thoracolumbar region is thought to improve working posture and promote core stability.

Citation: Stenfeldt, Ericson, and Jacobson. 2016. The effect of an elastic resistance band around the hindquarters on equine dorsoventral back kinematics. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica

The Equiband® System improves stability of the spine during walking and trotting

Findings from studies show that Equiband® has a positive effect on spinal stability in motion (back and pelvis), which is key for optimal athletic performance.

Dynamic stability is the stability of the spine during movement. Two studies have been performed to measure the effect of the Equiband® System on stability of the spine in horses, during walking and trotting exercises. Dynamic stability of the vertebral column is important to reduce risk of pain or injury from hollowing or instability of the back during exercise.

The first study was performed by veterinary scientists at the Royal Veterinary College in the UK. Seven horses that were free from lameness and involved in training and competition at various levels, were recruited for a 4-week exercise program.

The exercise program consisted of fitting the Equiband® System with the abdominal and hindquarter bands at 30% of the maximum tension. All Equiband® exercise was performed at the beginning of the horse’s normal workout session for the indicated time, and exercises emphasized transitions between gaits.

  • Week 1: In-hand work with the Equiband® for 5 minutes per day/ 5 days per week prior to the horse’s normal exercise routine
  • Week 2: In-hand and ridden work with the Equiband® for 10 minutes per day/5 days per week at the beginning of the horse’s normal exercise routine
  • Week 3: In-hand and ridden work with the Equiband® for 20 minutes per day/4 days per week at the beginning of the horse’s normal exercise routine
  • Week 4: In-hand and ridden work with the Equiband® for 30 minutes per day/3 days per week

Three-dimensional spinal motion was recorded at the beginning of the study (baseline), and following the 4-week program (final). The measurements were collected with and without the Equiband®, with the horse trotting in-hand and on the lunge. The researchers found that with use of the Equiband®, horses had reduced spinal movements in the wither and mid-thoracic/lumbar regions (the area under and just behind where the saddle would sit). Following the 4-week exercise program, rotational movement in the withers and thoracic region decreased, while dorsoventral (up and down) movement of the thoracic spine increased.

The results of this study indicate that the Equiband® system reduces movement of the spine during trotting exercises, indicating an increase in dynamic stability.

Citation: Pfau, et al. 2017. Effect of a 4-week elastic resistance band training regimen on back kinematics in horses trotting in-hand and on the lunge. Equine Veterinary Journal

A second study performed by veterinary physiotherapists in Sweden found that use of the hindquarter Equiband® stabilized the thoracic and lumbar areas of the spine during in-hand walking and trotting exercises. Improved stability of the thoracolumbar region is thought to improve working posture and promote core stability.

Citation: Stenfeldt, Ericson, and Jacobson. 2016. The effect of an elastic resistance band around the hindquarters on equine dorsoventral back kinematics. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica

Rehabilitation exercises featuring the Equiband® System strengthen spinal muscles and improve posture in horses

Core strengthening exercises (including handwalking with the Equiband® System) have been shown to strengthen spinal muscles and improve postural stability. This is critical for rehabilitating horses returning back to work and to prevent future injury.

A study performed by veterinary scientists at Colorado State University investigated the effects of a 3-month rehabilitation regimen in lame horses. The regimen included handwalking with the Equiband® System, standing on balance pads, and dynamic mobilization exercises.

The multifidi muscles along the vertebrae of the spine are important for postural stability in horses. It is thought that following periods of inactivity (such as stall rest due to lameness), these muscles can atrophy which leads to reduced stability of the spine and increased postural sway.

This team found that a rehabilitation program strengthened the multifidus muscle along the spine (increase its size) and resulted in increased postural stability (decrease in postural sway) in 12 horses recovering from lameness.

These important finding support core strengthening exercises (including handwalking with the Equiband® System) can strengthen important spinal muscles, improve postural stability. These outcomes are important for returning rehabilitating horses to full exercise and avoiding future injuries.

Citation: Ellis & King. 2020. Relationship between postural stability and paraspinal muscle adaptation in lame horses undergoing rehabilitation. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science

Rehabilitation program featuring the Equiband® System assists with recovery from neurologic dysfunction

Individualized rehabilitation programs (including the Equiband® System) can help horses to recover from neurologic dysfunction.

Following an outbreak of the neurologic disease, equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM), veterinary scientists in Sweden sought to determine the benefit of individualized rehabilitation programs for horse recovering from the disease.

Four horses with severe EHM were hospitalized during the acute phase and recovered. Three months following the outbreak, the horses began a rehabilitation program to return to previous fitness levels.

The rehabilitation programs focused on improving coordination, proprioception, core stability and balance, strength, and conditioning. The methods used included pole work, dynamic stabilization exercises, balance pads, exercise and conditioning, and work with the Equiband® System.

All horses included in the study returned to normal levels of attitude and fitness as determined by their owners by 6-8 months following the outbreak. Within 8-11 months all horses had returned to previous level of activity.

Citation: Ericson & Lassa. 2020. The effects of a 1-year individually adapted rehabilitation programme in horses with neurological dysfunction caused by EHV-1/EHM. Equine Veterinary Journal.

Equiband® resistance bands increase activation of core muscles at the trot

A peer-reviewed study used EMG sensors to show that abdominal and hindquarter Equibands® increase activation of the rectus abdominus muscle in horses at the trot. This confirms that the Equiband® System is a useful addition to athletic training and rehabilitation programs requiring strengthening of core muscles.

Veterinary scientists at the University of Tennessee sought to investigate the effects of the Equiband® System, as well as ground pole exercise on the muscle activation of the rectus abdominus and longissimus dorsi – two muscles critical for core activation and postural stability.

Six horses were fitted with surface electromyography (EMG) sensors, a modified saddle pad to accommodate the sensors, and abdominal and hindquarter Equibands®. The Equibands® were fitted at 25% stretch (bands adjusted to 75% of the distance between the attachment buckles on the saddle pad)

The horses were hand walked and trotted in a straight line under the following conditions:

  1. Without Equibands®
  2. Without Equibands®, over ground poles
  3. With Equibands®
  4. With Equibands®, over ground poles

As expected, both techniques (ground poles and/or Equibands®) increased muscle activation as measured with the EMG sensors. Specifically, the use of the abdominal and hindquarter Equibands at 25% stretch at the trot resulted in a significant increase in muscle activity of the rectus abdominus muscle. This muscle is critical for maintaining core activation, balance, and posture. These results indicate that the Equiband® System is a useful tool for athletic training and rehabilitation programs requiring strengthening of the core musculature.

Citation: Shaw, et al. 2021. The Effect of Ground Poles and Elastic Resistance Bands on Longissimus Dorsi and Rectus Abdominus Muscle Activity During Equine Walk and Trot. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science.