Muscle Soreness in Horses: Causes, Symptom, and Treatment (2023)

Muscle soreness is a common problem in horses that can affect any horse regardless of breed, age, and nature of work. Muscles play an essential role in horses as their body comprises 45 to 55 % muscles, so it is very alarming if your equines are facing any kind of muscle soreness.

Due to muscle soreness, it is challenging for a horse to move comfortably as it results in muscle tightness or a dull ache. Accumulation of lactic acid in horses’ muscles is the main cause of soreness that can lead to stiffness, tenderness, and pain.
Symptoms of Muscle Soreness:

It is not difficult to identify muscle soreness, so you can easily judge if the following symptoms are in your equine.

  • Swelling:

There are many reasons behind swelling in horses’ muscles, but if it is visible more around the legs and joints, it is a sign of muscle soreness. This condition is more painful for horses if the affected area is pressed or touched.

  • Lameness:

One of the most common symptoms of muscle soreness in horses is lameness, which can range from mild to severe, so it will be pretty tricky for your equine to walk and run. Inflammation of muscles, ligaments, and tendons significantly contributes to lameness in horses.

  • Stiffness:

If your horse is reluctant to move and its performance decreases significantly, it is a sign of muscle stiffness. Muscle soreness is the reason behind the stiffness, and it can be easily noticeable in the morning and after exercise.

  • Cramping:

Cramping is caused by muscle soreness as it leads to a buildup of lactic acid in the equine body. Lactic acid results in contraction and muscle spasms that lead to cramping.

  • Heat:

A horse experiencing heat in any specific muscle can be affected by muscle soreness, leading to increased blood flow and inflammation.

  • Reluctant to Move or Do Exercise:

If your horse shows reluctance in movement or doing exercise, it may be another symptom of muscle soreness. The horse cannot move normally and not be interested in exercising due to muscle pain.

Causes of Muscle Sore in Equine:
  • Poor Nutrition:

Nutrition is a critical factor in keeping a horse healthy and active. So if your equine is not getting the necessary quantity of vitamins, minerals, and protein in its diet, then it will lead to soreness in muscles.

  • Injury:

Any injury or trauma to the equine muscles can result in muscle soreness, so always be aware of minor injuries for early treatment.

  • Overtraining:

Excessive exercise is dangerous for horses without proper warm-up and cool-down as it multiplies the chances of muscle soreness.

  • Unfavorable Terrain:

If your horse is running or walking on slippery or uneven terrain for a long time, its muscles must work harder than usual. This hard work of muscles will result in soreness, so always try to provide favorable terrain to your equine.

  • Illness:

Illness or diseases are a significant source of causing secondary muscle damage, so keep a regular checkup on the physical appearance of your equine. Besides, a viral or bacterial infection is also responsible for inflammation and soreness in horses’ muscles.

  • Dehydration:

Cramping and soreness in muscles are mainly caused by dehydration because a horse’s body requires an abundant and accessible water supply.

  • Age:

Due to age-related muscle loss and weakness, there are more chances of having sore muscles in aged horses.

  • Environmental Issues:

Horses require a favorable environment to stay healthy and active, so extreme weather conditions, such as cold and wet, can result in soreness of muscles.

How to Relieve Muscle Soreness in Horses?

It is the responsibility of horse owners to take extra care of them to keep them healthy. But if you are experiencing muscle soreness in your equine, you should go for the following options.

1. Balanced Diet:

Diet has a significant impact on the overall health level of the equine. So always provide good quality hay and add natural supplements to their diet to get the necessary minerals, vitamins, and protein. You can use the following natural supplements to relieve muscle soreness in horses.

2. Equinety Horse XL:

Equinety Horse XL is one of the best and most recommended products for horse owners that can improve muscle support for strength and recovery. If your equine is facing any kind of muscle soreness, then you should add this fantastic product to its diet.

This product contains 100% natural amino acids that can promote cell repair so that it will reduce muscle soreness quickly. Its natural and high-quality ingredients will also give your equine a more substantial coat and healthier bones. This product does not contain artificial fillers, starches, soy, or sugar, so it is entirely safe for your horse.

3. Equinety Ultimate OEC:

Equinety Ultimate OEC is another fantastic product containing vitamin E, Flaxseed based omega 3, and colloidal silver. It will reduce inflammation in the body of the horse caused due to muscle soreness. Gastric ulcers and bacterial infections are among the leading causes of muscle soreness, so this product will help give the repaired cells and remove soreness from muscles.

4. Warm-up and Cool-Down:

Proper warm-up before exercise is necessary to relieve soreness in horses’ muscles. Similarly, give the equine’s body proper time to cool down after exercise.

5. Massage:

Massage therapy is another best way of relieving soreness in the equine muscles. It will help properly circulate blood in the body and reduce soreness.

Proper Treatment for Muscle Soreness in Horses:

A combination of rest, ice therapy, heat therapy, and massage is the proper treatment for muscle soreness in horses. It is a quick remedy to overcome this condition, but adding a natural supplement is an essential step to pay attention to.

You can combine Equinety Horse XL and Equintey Ultimate OEC to make a potent supplement for your equine. This natural supplement is ideal for treating any kind of muscle soreness in the equine and will also boost its health level.

Exercises for Horses with Sore Backs:

Many exercises can be beneficial for horses with sore backs. Back rounding is a suitable exercise to reduce soreness as it helps to keep the muscles at the back of the horse flexible and robust.

We recommend walk and trot circle exercises as they will provide maximum support to the back muscles. Lateral flexion exercise will assist the neck and back of a horse to make it flexible and reduce swelling due to soreness.
Preventions to Avoid Future Equine Soreness:

With the help of these preventions, you can avoid future soreness in the muscles of your equine, so you should keep the following points in mind.

  • Good Diet:

Diet is the best way to prevent any future equine soreness. It will help the horse’s muscles stay strong and healthy.

  • Use of Supplements:

Natural supplements contain sufficient minerals, vitamins, and protein in them that can help equine reduce the chances of soreness in muscles.

  • Regular Veterinary Checkups:

We also recommend regular veterinary checkups of your horse to identify potential risks early.

  • Proper Rest:

Excessive exercise, overload, and hectic schedules are too much dangerous for the health of horses, so provide proper rest time to them so that their muscles can remain strong.

  • Proper Track:

Use those even tracks, and horses’ muscles don’t have to work hard as it will reduce the chances of soreness significantly.

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