In the horse world, preventative measures against injury are pretty common. Whether you ride a performance horse and compete or you just ride for fun, we constantly look for ways to better our horses’ lives. There have been a lot of innovations in this arena (no pun intended) over the past ten to fifteen years and they just keep on coming. One of these is the TheraPlate, and it’s been lauded by many a horse person since its release.
TheraPlate uses what they call “vortex wave circulation stimulation technology”, which is essentially vibration therapy. It’s very simple to use, you just have your horse stand on it and turn it on. Fortunately it’s also quiet so it doesn’t scare the horse! It’s supposed to be used one to three times every day for ten to fifteen minutes each time. The company has even developed an app to go with it to help users address specific issues. TheraPlate has a pretty long list of uses, these being just a few:
The idea is to be able to save money on joint injections and other vet bills, but it has to be used regularly and consistently in order to show results. TheraPlate is the official therapy plate of the USEF and is widely available in many countries. It’s been used by horses like famous Thoroughbred American Pharaoh, so it could be a worthwhile investment! Although they come in two easily transportable pieces, they generally cost anywhere from $3,000-$6,000, but the company claims that it will pay for itself.
There are two independent clinical studies available on TheraPlate, both conducted by Mississippi State University. The studies were done on muscle thickness and bone measurements respectively, and they were both done with mature horses on stall rest. In both studies, the treatment group used TheraPlate for fifteen minutes twice a day for five days a week at 50%. In the bone study, it was found that there was an increase in area, circumference, and thickness after using TheraPlate. In the muscle study they found that there was increased thickness in two of the muscles along the spine and one in each front leg. Since there is definitive published research, you can be assured that what you’re getting is legitimate.
I’ve seen the TheraPlate at a few larger facilities, one of which being the enormous Kentucky Horse Park, where it is parked in a side aisle of their Breeds Barn. Besides that, almost all of the testimonials and reviews of TheraPlate are positive no matter where you look. I would say that the biggest downside is how expensive it is, which makes it pretty inaccessible to smaller public barns or private barns. One of the cool parts about TheraPlate is that it isn’t just for your horse, you can get on it too! One reviewer claimed that her back pain was noticeably less after some time on the TheraPlate. If you can afford it, it could be a great way to help out a horse with chronic issues or a high-performance horse. I haven’t yet been able to use it with my personal horse but as soon as I get the chance, I will, because it sounds like a whole lot of positive with little to no negative!
Note: I was not paid or sponsored by TheraPlate or anyone else for this post.