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GoPro - part thirteen: Tips & tricks on different therapies from the world’s best grooms

Monday, 04 January 2021
Tips & tricks


How can you best care for your horse? World of Showjumping asked several highly experienced grooms to share their tips & tricks. In this part of the series we ask the grooms about which types of therapies they prefer for their horses. 


Josie Eliasson, long-time groom for Jessica Springsteen:

“I strongly believe in therapies. The water treadmill is an amazing tool to keep the horses fit and builds a good top-line. During a minor soft tissue injury, the horses quite often have to keep still so the water treadmill is very helpful. You can prevent the horses from losing all their fitness and muscles that can create other problems as they no longer are strong enough. Strangely enough most horses seem to be fine with the water treadmill, even if they normally have trouble in the spa or on the regular treadmill. 

I also use a therapy blanket from Sports Innovation that has a massage, magnetic and heat function. The massage you can really see that all the horses enjoy, but even the magnetic function has a relaxing effect on them. The heat function is great to pre-warm the muscles before a workout. Even if some of my horses do not like it when I put the blanket on, once it is started all of them go into total relaxation. 

The vet we work with in America is very positive to therapies for horses as a substitute for medical treatment; shockwave, laser, FES (Function Electric Stimulation) and so far that seems to work very well on our horses.”

Denise Moriarty, long-time groom for Kent Farrington:


“We like to keep it pretty simple. We have a very good chiropractor, who our horses love and who regularly works on them.Then we use a Sport Innovation magnetic/massage blanket before and after competition or strenuous work. We also use a Respond System Magnetic Foot Pad before competition. I think having the horses ultra-fit is important to help with their after-competition and travel recovery.”

Heidi Mulari, long-time groom for Steve Guerdat:

“I’m a big fan of magnetic blankets. I also believe that if used many times a day for a longer period, it makes hot and nervous horses more quiet. Just a few months ago I started to use a laser and I only have good things to say. It can be used for so many things and it also seems to help. I tested it a few times with Steve too without telling him, using it before riding on a horse's back or neck. After riding, I asked how the horse was and every time I had used the laser Steve found the horse better.”

Kay Neatham, former long-time groom for Marcus Ehning:



“I believed more in moving and walking the horses as well as in physios working and feeling the horses manually. Mobility is the key!”


Lena Laub, long-time groom:

“I really love the ActivoMed blanket, it is one of the best blankets I have ever used in my life. I use it a lot both before and after riding – depending of the horse. If I have a stressed horse with me at the show, I always use it after I had the horse out the first time in the morning – it helps them relax before riding. For more relaxed horses, I use it after riding. 

I also really like to use the ice-boots – the really big rubber ones with crushed ice inside. It takes a while to get the horses to accept them, but I usually start with small packages and then build them higher and higher. All my horses are now in the ice boots on the front legs after jumping. On the hind legs I use normal ice boots.”

Sean Vard, long-time groom for Martin Fuchs:



“Recently at home, I’ve been using a lot of the products from the Veredus magnetic range. I especially find the boots to be highly effective on my horses! Otherwise we don’t use massage blankets or laser treatments.”

Aurelie Marchiando, long-time groom for Leopold van Asten:



“I love to use all the new technologies like massage blankets, especially after jumping. In my opinion this can only help the horse in the recovery. Lasers, or other therapies of the same type, is also really good. However, before you use those, you need to speak with your vet to know exactly how and where to use it.”

Morgane Tresch, long-time groom for Jeroen Dubbeldam:


“This can be very different from stable to stable. In our stable we don’t use all of these different therapies, but in the past I was. A massage blanket can help to make the horses more relaxed, warm up the muscles or make them loose after work. Aqua training can be good after tendon or ligament problems, it has a cooling effect, helps for a healthy blood circulation, as well as giving relief to the tendons and joints. If you don’t have access to an aqua trainer, you can also use the boots that help in similar ways.” 

Jenny Ducoffre, long-time groom for Jos Verlooy:



“At the shows, I usethe Bemer blanket and single piece before riding and the ActivoMedblanket after. I actually never use them at home; the SPA time and extra care my horses get is at the shows. At home we make it as simple as it can be.”

Sean Lynch, long-time groom for Daniel Deusser:

“We have several massage blankets that we use: Bemer, ActivoMed and hhp. I like to keep the ActivoMed for the shows since it has so many different programs, even for slight cramps.I feel that the horses really get a lot out of the long program after jumping. 

Here at Stephex, we have a water treadmill and a spa that we use a lot. I love the spa! I think it really helps the horses. The legs feel fantastic after they come out and I wish we could have a mobile one for the shows! I really find that the water treadmill benefits horses coming back from an injury; it helps the horses gain muscles back that they may have lost during the break.”

Nickki O’Donovan, long-time groom for Darragh Kenny:

“We use a magnetic blanket before and after jumping. These have so many programs and it really relaxes some horses. Then we use the Theraplate at home to get the circulation going. I have a small hand-held laser that I love to use on the back before jumping.

After jumping I always use ice boots. The sooner the better after jumping, to get the legs cooled. Depending on the class and horse, I'll use either Traumeel, arnica gel or clay and wrap the legs overnight. I also love Veredus magnetic boots. I let the horses stand in them for a few hours and have seen great results on legs that can be a little puffy."


Marlen Schannwell, long-time groom for Bertram Allen:



“We have a laser that works great for sore backs, tendons and helps quicker healing of injuries and wounds. Then we use the Veredus magnetic blankets and boots – they work great to stimulate the blood flow and help regeneration.”

Malin Henlöv, former long-time groom for Peder Fredricson, now working for Evelina Tovek:


“I use magnetic blankets, laser treatments and water treadmills, but with the same principle I have with everything – keep it simple and only use it if it is needed. The water treadmill we used as an alternative training at home, and then mostly with horses that need to work without a saddle. That training is always individualised.”


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