The Science behind the Equine Spa

Cryotherapy for humans, or hydrotherapy, is a great way to reduce stressed, inflamed or weak muscles. This process also works great for horses. The healing similarities between both mammals is remarkable. Many variables affect the proficiency of healing involved with the spas. Variables include temperature, salt concentration, aeration, depth, biological controls and dissolved oxygen.

Temperature is critical to the healing of equine ailments. Water must be constantly chilled between the temperatures of 35°F and 37°F. The chilled solution relieves pain and hinders enzyme degeneration of tissues post injury. Degeneration of cells occurs during abnormal structural changes and decreased functions inside the cells. The cooled temperature allows for three actions to occur. The first reaction occurs when less oxygen is needed for the cell to function. This stops the metabolic process. The second reaction occurs when blood vessel walls is are decreased. The blood vessel walls to reduce the amount of fluid (swelling) to the injured area. The third benefit of the cold liquid is that it allows for numbing of the inflamed area. This allows for a topical analgesic.  Cold temperatures are critical for healing horse ailments.



The salt concentration and depth of the water should also be considered as beneficial variables to healing horses. The higher the salinity found in the water, the greater the drawing effects.  Instead of coagulating at one end or the other, the dispersals of fluids around the injuries are better and uniformly accumulated around the injury. Depth of water helps reduce external pressure on the tissue, due to the internal displacement of fluids.


Biological control, including filtration, chlorination, and aeration reduces the chance for microorganisms to further cause damage to already prominent weaknesses. The aeration allows for the massaging of water around an inflicted area or the whole horse.  As the gradient of temperature changes in the water, the more oxygen the water can carry. The oxygen allows for cells to increase their cellular process to intensify repairs on damaged cells. Filtration and chlorination are used to make sure microorganisms cannot cause further damage to an inflicted area. Cold water equine spas are beneficial to a horse’s recovery.