Alternative Therapies: Readers Weigh In

More than 630 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "What alternative therapeutic options have you used on your horse?"

results of poll on alternative treatments

Results were as follows: 

  • Chiropractic work 73.19% (464)
  • Massage therapy 61.04% (387)
  • Acupuncture 41.32% (262)
  • Neutraceuticals 35.49% (225)
  • Magnetic therapy 25.87% (164)
  • Other therapies 24.29% (154)

Readers shared what therapies they use on their horses in the comments below.

Results of weekly polls from TheHorse.com are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter. Published every week, this e-newsletter offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters using the form above or on our e-newsletter page.  

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  • Herbal remedies passed down through my grandfather - died1901
  • T3 device
  • TTEAM for mental and physical health
  • Game Ready Machine
  • hydrotherapy
  • Herbal therapy - Raspberry Leaf, bought in bulk, for moody mares.
  • Have also used Reiki, energy work. Great stuff, alternative options.
  • The Equine Touch
  • acupressure, tens machine,(electronic stimulus of acupuncture point,aromatherapy, reike
  • ProBios for a healthy gut.
  • aroma therapy works great too
  • leased an older horse, thought it would help, didn't really need it and was out $80 lol
  • Product called Echo -23 . You apply like aq poultice and cover with cloth let dry and wash off .
  • Horse limping and other remidies not effective
  • Combination of modalities above gave great results
  • cold therapy, liniments, support wraps, cold hosing.
  • homeopathic remedies
  • tender care therapy=LOVE=caress him while whispering sweet things in his ear
  • My horse fell in a washrack while tied and threw his back out-chiropractic really helped.
  • triggerpoint therapy-combined w/massage,ice therapy, hot/cold therapy
  • reiki
  • My horse absolutely loves having his chiropractic treatment! The results are instant!
  • Like vet medicine, these therapies are only as good as the practitioners. So don't blame the theapy.
  • homeopathy, herbs
  • shock wave therapy, homeopathic meds
  • Heavy doses of silica/collagen cured soft tissue damage in deep digital flexor area for my jumper
  • homeopaths
  • Can't confirm the effect of massage therapy, but my stallion loved the experience!
  • I routinely give my mare a good massage with longer sessions during her cycle. Works wonders!
  • I have used herbal and homeopathics with success
  • Horses can't fake it - chiropractic therapy works!
  • Massage not only works physically, but they really do relax mentally, which will help physically
  • Reiki used on horses is wonderful. My horse is VERY receptive.
  • homeopathy
  • I would use an alternative if there was any reliable scientific evidence that something really was o
  • None
  • Equine Body Work
  • No alternative therapies
  • laser treatment for ligament injury
  • Game Ready dry cold compression
  • herbs
  • works great to manage pain after founder
  • therascope
  • My horse gets a reg massage and I use Arnica wraps under his polos for soothing & tightening.
  • Massage has done the most good. Other therepies have had mixed results.
  • I work in racehorse rehab with the help of therapy many can go onto racing or showing
  • Far infrared heating pads to speed healing
  • Fantastic results!
  • Scenar biofeedback therapy, homeopathic remedies, myofascia release, integrative manual therapy
  • I use herbal wormers with excellent results ( stool tests negative) no side effects & no toxic build
  • None really, but we do use totally awesome theraputic horseshoeing. Othes stuff seems like a gimmick
  • physiotherapy
  • Acupressure Kinesiology
  • none
  • I must be a bad horse owner, never used any of these. Just corn oil on feed for a hard keeper.
  • Checking with psychics.
  • Stretching!!!!
  • bach flower remedies
  • My horse bucked big time when asked to canter.After chiropractic treatment, no bucking.A blessing.
  • Shockwave therapy. My SI injury horse is now sound because of these alternatives. No injections.
  • Ortho-Bionomy (Equine Positional Release)
  • We used a very disciplined program including massage daily to rehab a signif tendon/sheath injury
  • It works for me so why not my horse?!
  • I am a qualified neuromuscular therapist so treat my own horses
  • Electro therapy
  • HOMEOPATHIC
  • Reike
  • natural herbs from Hilton reiki treatments and crainial sacral work
  • homeopathic medicines
  • Accupressure, maggots for foot abscesses, herbs, aroma therapy, lazer treatment, homotherapy
  • Energy Healing, Biofeedback testing, flower essences (for behavior), SCENAR therapy, colour light
  • shock wave; did not work, made her more sore
  • They work. I wouldn't use them if I didn't see results.
  • Bio-somatics, I am learning how to release tension in my horse. It is helping to improve his posture
  • Reiki
  • Bunk.
  • actually, no therapies
  • herbal, chinese medicine
  • pulsed electromagnetic field therapy
  • homeopathy, aromatherapy, herbs
  • homeopathy
  • Bio-scan (light)
  • Massage therapy has been great or my horses
  • acupressure
  • accupressure
  • physical therapy, stretching, flax seed, Betamune, carrots as rewards
  • Shiatsu - it is based on Chinese medicine and uses acupressure points with stretches and rotations.
  • My chiropractor also uses a laser, great results
  • ultrasound therapy
  • Red Light
  • they are appropriate but don't work on all problems.
  • I find it really helpful
  • aromatherapy and kinesiology
  • accuscope
  • I have my own laser and use it on my horses
  • homeopathic
  • Horse responded so well, made me a believer for horses or humans!
  • I use an herbal joint supplement for my 7 yr old with High Ringbone.
  • Homeopathy
  • great results with chiro care
  • Colloidal silver
  • Have also found herbal remedies & homeopathy helpful for some issues
  • osteopathy, aroma therapy, physiotherapy
  • If something helps me feel better, it might make him feel better too.
  • vitamins/minerals
  • Chiropractor and massage therapy.
  • lasers
  • Acupressure
  • My results have been extraordinary. It is extremely important for people to be aware of charlatans.
  • Homeopathy
  • herbs and homeopathy
  • homeopathy
  • Used on navicular horse, others checked out fine
  • holograms
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Reiki
  • reiki
  • "cold laser" which was infrared light therapy
  • essential oils and flower essences
  • 1st trim feet level. no long toes & get good heel support. This will help horse move well.
  • Bio-Scan
  • Didn't do much but drain my wallet
  • ultrasound
  • daily stretches
  • High Quality essential oils including rain drop using Young Living essential oils
  • I do Reiki on my horses and have used an animal communicator.
  • essential oils
  • crauio-sacral therapy and body balancing
  • I've used ceramic thread items to radiate the horse's body heat back to the horse (Back on Track).
  • Bowen Therapy
  • Osteopathic medicine
  • Accupressure
  • I have used photonic light therapy for arthritis with great success.
  • nutritional therapy
  • found chiro with acupunture to be most effective together, massage and magnets to help very little.
  • Infrared lightwave
  • Homeopathic Remedies
  • Equine Vet insisted it was joint problems. Was not. Chiropractor solved the back pain.
  • craniiosacral therapy, traditional chinese medicine
  • electro muscle stimulation
  • water therapy
  • Happy Horse! Beautiful hooves, coat and skin - joints are working good.
  • herbal treatments
  • Acupressure and applied kinesiology
  • acupressure
  • I was a traditional western vet medicine until I tried chiropractic on my mare and saw the differenc
  • Bowen and Equine craniosacral, homeopathy and Bach flower remedies. Energy work and communication
  • Sound Wave therapy
  • herbal remedies
  • Lazer Therapy
  • None!
  • Homeopathy. Chiro/DVM visits monthly, does acupunture/massage as needed.
  • Use only homeopathic medicines
  • My horses love to see the Chiropractor drive up.
  • what a differencen in their athletic ability!
  • Reiki
  • ANIMAL COMMUNICATOR - I KNOW! BUT, I WAS DESPERATE. MY HORSE WAS FACING A LIFE THREATENING ILLNESS.
  • Homeophathy. Massage, chiro and neutriceuticals worked best.
  • several different horses, several differente vets. Same results - nothing!!
  • Cold laser & water therapy
  • Chiropractic works wonders and needs to be more accepted.
  • Cold Hose Therapy
  • sound wave therapy
  • meridian work, herbs
  • Doesn;t anyone TALK to their horses? Gentle words/strokes all over settles my horse for work
  • cold laser treatments on a suspensory injury as well as on an eye injury. Also homeopathy.
  • physiotherapy
  • herbal supplements
  • haven't used any therapeutic options and almost no conventional care just clean water and sunshine
  • Natural hoof care
  • Craniosacral most recently - great results!
  • I am a Reiki Master
  • None
  • bioscan also, have used them all for hardworking endurance horses
  • back on track products. eastern medicines
  • Homeopathy
  • Have also used laser light therapy and reiki energy work.
  • barefoot trims!!!
  • MASSAGE, TTEAM
  • My husband scoffed but the results made a believer out of him. Tx
  • homeopathic, natruopathic, "Feldenkrais"
  • myofacial release (rolfing)
  • homeopathy
  • Accupressure, herbs, essential oils
  • During the show season, I have my chiropractor out every other month.
  • I currently became an Equine Sports Massage Therapist, so my very lucky horse gets massaged 3x/week!
  • We use are horses for therapeutic riding Chiropactic work has given our horses over 10 yrs of servi
  • Shock wave and Cold water therapy machine for injury
  • laser therapy, shockwave therapy
  • I have used chiropractic, magnetic & essential oils all with success.
  • Acupuncture worked beautifully!
  • I have also recently used homeopathic remedies
  • Tried different therapies on different horses w/varying degrees of success
  • herbal remedies
  • Energy therapy - Reiki or IET (Integrated Energy Therapy)
  • Game Ready, Therapeutic Ultrasound
  • herbal therapy
  • Reike, Gigong and homeopathic
  • Cold Laser treatment. All treatments had mixed results, some great some no effect at all.
  • Reiki and communication
  • Light
  • Herbs for ulcers.
  • Homeopathy
  • Horse wouldn't take a left lead and after a few treatments he started taking his left lead.
  • diatomaceous earth and garlic for worming which I observed also helps with fly contron
  • reiki
  • After chiro, acu,and massage, he is now headed for AquaStride for water therapy
  • osteopathy
  • none! are you people crazy!
  • my mare was always straining her muscles when she was young. massage got her comfortable again.
  • TTouch, herbal
  • Treadmill & Saltwater Spa therapy
  • None
  • Chiro and acupuncture have helped my Arabs.
  • Homeopathy is a first reached for therapy in our stable it is great to have on hand for injury
  • Chiropractic- as needed None, I have never had to use any on my mare!

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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