Poll tension is an all too common management issue in horses -particularly performance horses. The origins of tension are many and varied and are beyond the scope of this article. However common symptoms of poll tension are:
- The horse riding heavier on one rein than the other.
- Overly sensitive to touch around the ears or palpation about the poll.
- Difficulty in bridling.
- Resists bending in one direction.
- Stopping at jumps.
- Has a reluctance to step through from behind.
Poll tension may often be a result of an imbalance elsewhere in the horse. If you think of your horse’s motion as a wave that originates in the hind end and flows through the body and neck, you can see that the poll is the point at which the wave ends. Interruption at any point along the movement chain will ultimately have an effect on the poll. Because your horse’s body works as a unit that strives for balance, tight poll muscles can also be a secondary issue, a warning flag for a problem that originates somewhere else. Although the poll area is relatively small compared to the overall structure of the horse, it is of pivotal importance to his freedom and ease of movement.
How can the Equine Red Light Therapy Poll Cap help?
The Poll Cap can be a valuable aid in the management of poll tension due to the strategic placement of the red and infrared LEDS over acupuncture points, trigger points and common areas of tension throughout the head. Light Therapy is known for its rapid ability to open up circulation, reduce inflammation, increase collagen and ATP production, and release endorphins. All of which offer significant healing benefits for poll tension.
Recommended application time: A session of 15 to 20 minutes will provide a good therapeutic dose of light energy. No harm can be done if the cap is left on for longer periods of time as the body will only absorb what it needs in any one session. Daily use is recommended when there is a pre-existing issue in the Poll. Otherwise use on an “as needed” basis. Pre exercise is best or after the horse has cooled down from a work out. Indeed is has been well acclaimed as an effective pre- and post-performance aid for racing and competition horses.
Olympian Dressage Rider Hayley Beresford writes…
“The biggest improvement with the dressage horses is when you use the lights over the poll. This area gets a real hiding in our discipline and especially with my best mare. She has had bursitis there since she was a baby, and now no swelling ever......! And the young horse I have coming through this year, Horacio - was a chronic grinder and now it's almost gone.”