Comfortable movement and suppleness is necessary for a winning performance whichever equine discipline you enjoy. Training for power, stamina and coordination will only become free and graceful movement if your horse has comfortable movement and suppleness. Aloeride helps achieve comfortable movement and suppleness and we’d love to explain how that works. Whatever your equine discipline, here are 5 make or break points for movement and suppleness.
The Biochemical Soup
The ground substance of the various tissues and organs in your horse is known as connective tissue which on cellular level is called interstitial tissue. The space in between this tissue is called the interstitium which is filled with interstitial fluid.
This is the all important biochemical soup that pretty much every tissue in your horse depends on. Its composition is affected by toxic burden, detoxification capacity*, blood sugar regulation*, hormones*, and the pH of this fluid isn’t constant (*these are nutrient-dependent factors). If the ‘soup’ goes wrong, your horse goes wrong. Nutritionists talk about alkaline-ash forming food/feed and acid-ash forming food/feed… feed changes the acid-alkaline level of ‘the soup’ and this has implications for movement & suppleness: a horse on a high protein diet is more likely to be prone to tissue stiffness, is likely to have less tolerance for lactic acid loading. A more acidic interstitium renders connective less flexible and thus it becomes more prone to strain and subsequent (micro)inflammation. These are precisely the issues you are trying to find a solution for! Muscle stretches as shown in the header picture, or deep massage, or any type of joint mobilisation (chiropractor/osteopath/physiotherapist) works best and indeed lasts longer when the interstitial tissue is neutral-alkaline. You understand this correctly: paying less attention to the ‘soup’ translates into more appointments with whoever does your horse’ body work. Between its support for digestive health and a unique, very broad nutrient spectrum, Aloeride contributes to a healthier ‘biochemical soup’.
A natural supplement that helps your horse be supple!
After 23 days on Aloeride the difference was obvious. His behaviour, performance, and settled attitude is fantastic. The changes I have noticed are:
• He no longer fidgets or is unsettled, constantly moving about when tied up.
• He no longer feels like he’s about to explode/shoots off as soon as you mount
• He doesn’t bolt his food (he still eats fairly quickly but not with as much tension)
• He is much more relaxed when travelling and at competition
• He is more accepting of the leg and willing to flex in his neck and body
• His neck/neck muscles in particular are much softer, which has improved his flatwork
• His jump is positive and athletic
• He no longer feels like he’s behind the leg or ‘backing up’ he is forwards and free moving
• He is off all other supplements except his magnesium calmer now. How’s that?!
Chloe Ammonds-Nutt (Wiltshire )
An uncomfortable horse underperforms. Duh! Direct trauma and neuralgia aside, the two commonest reasons for tissue discomfort are (micro)inflammations and lactic acid burden. If you need comfortable movement and suppleness in horses, you must be on top of both these issues. Lactic acid is produced during anaerobic energy production (oxygen deprived), so a better supply of oxygen to tissue will reduce the burden. Lactic acid is water soluble, so keeping your horse hydrated is vital for detox. The speed at which lactic acid is broken down depends on available intramuscular carnosine which in turn is limited by the amount of available β-alanine. This originates from dietary peptides such as carnosine or anserine and vitamin B5 in feed, in Aloeride and made by bacterial flora in your horse’s intestines (Aloeride supports this). Ingestion of only carnosine results in only 40% becoming available as β-alanine; another reminder that Nature doesn’t work in single nutrients, it always works in a synergistic spectrum. Note also that discomfort caused by lactic acid is a defence mechanism to stop overworking and damaging; lactic acid tolerance can be improved greatly by anaerobic threshold training.
Besides help for lactic acid breakdown, Aloeride provides a unique spectrum of molecules that help to maintain normal tissue temperature. Localised raises in temperature cause reactive muscle contraction and this without fail reduces agility of movement (because a contracted muscle doesn’t stretch). Helping this is one of the reasons why Aloeride did so well in Tried & Tested with both the Veteran Horse Society and Blue Cross.
Soft Tissue Mobility
The active range of movement that a leg or the body of your horse has, can be greatly improved by passive stretches and joint mobilisations. Transverse frictions are best to mobilise cross-linkages of fibrous strands in muscle tissue. Applied pressure on myofascial points may relieve muscle tension but rarely does so for long if the trigger isn’t removed, reactive spasm is never caused by a fascia. Long massage strokes can improve circulation but then so do horse walkers and equine hydrotherapy. Ideally all this is followed by full limb and neck stretches such as depicted in the header image and a review of training in recurring issues is advisable. My point is that chiro, osteo, physio, bowen or equine massage people are called in because your horse is blocked, constricted, stiff, tense or goes short or worse still is lame. Beyond their physical ministrations, well-informed professionals recommend Aloeride because it broadens the help they bring.
Our advice to Chloe and to you is that adding Magnesium only ever works in horses that are Magnesium depleted and this is unlikely to happen in Aloeride nutrient loaded horses. I wrote about calmers and, in respect of movement and suppleness, these aim at the contractile fibres of muscle. If there’s reactive spasm, then calmers are unlikely to be effective on contractions without sorting the (micro)inflammation first. Passive stretches, as shown in the header image aim at the connective tissue inside the muscle (white in image), not at the contractile fibres (red in image). The massage technique of transverse friction mobilises connective tissue but does so very localised, it also improves local blood flow depending on how it is done.
One of our sponsored riders was fastidious about veterinary checks for her horse. Fairly quickly after it has started on Aloeride -already on an excellent feed-, its lean body mass improved (topline as well as muscle definition everywhere else). Her vet measured the total weight to have gone up by 60kgs in 2½-3 months whilst girth remained unaltered. In Dresssage for instance this can improve the back and hindlimb strength for better collection (Impulsion), in Eventing the stronger horse runs faster and jumps better, in Endurance stronger muscles cope better. Another practical advantage is that a muscularly strong horse has less chance of joint strains (muscle providing stability to a joint). However, improved lean muscle mass means little without it being trained and co-ordinated. The thing to appreciate is that you would train (and compete) from a greater abundance. More trained muscle literally puts your horse in a position of controlable strength. Kindly note that with Aloeride you cannot put on more muscle than what your horse is genetically predisposed to, Aloeride optimises naturally condition if there is an intake/uptake issue.
Once your horse is comfortable and agile, coordination is a matter of training. Practice makes perfect and do make sure there is fun in it for your horse, you’ll achieve more by dominant persuasion than by force.