Poll Recap: Equine Acupuncture

Poll Recap: Equine Acupuncture

Nearly half of the 475 respondents said they have had acupuncture performed on their horses.

Photo: Alexandra Beckstett, The Horse Managing Editor

Have you had acupuncture done for your horse? We posed this question to our readers in last week's online poll. Nearly 500 people responded, and we’ve tallied the results!

The 475 respondents were split nearly down the middle—233 (49%) said they have had acupuncture performed on their horses, while the remaining 242 respondents (51%) said they have not.

Additionally, more than 95 people commented about their experiences with equine acupuncture:

Many respondents shared the positive experiences they’ve had with equine acupuncture:

  • “I have a horse recovering from EPM. It has really seemed to relive a lot of tension for him.”
  • “I decided to have acupuncture on myself after I saw the great results with my horse.”
  • “I had acupuncture done on a tendon injury on my Arab. It helped take down the swelling.”
  • “I use acupuncture regularly for problems.”
  • “My horse fell and wouldn’t pick up a lead. One treatment fixed this.”
  • “The horse stood quietly and seemed better afterward. We were treating internal cold.”
  • “Horse visibly relaxed during treatment for tight top line muscles. It helped.”
  • “Good! My vet used some acupuncture to relieve my mares cinchy attitude. Worked for a while.”
  • “Once the needles were in, my horse loved it. Totally relaxed him.”
  • “My mare loved it. She had the electroacupuncture, always felt better afterwards”
  • “It helped tremendously!”
  • “It made a noticeable difference in her recovery from serious injury.”
  • “Greatly improved my aged OTTB’s comfort and mobility after a long racing career.”
  • “Yes, it is very beneficial, and we routinely use for multiple horses.”
  • “It's amazing how relaxed it makes them, used it many times.”
  • “My horse enjoyed his treatment and I noticed benefits in him after.”
  • “Very rewarding, especially to improve mobility in the geriatric horses.”
  • “My horse visibly relaxes and seems very content during the treatments. I believe it has positive effect.”
  • “It has helped greatly for an apparent neurologic issue and retirees with long-term tightness/pain.”
  • “It helped to relax my mare, followed by chiropractic. She then was more flexible in the neck and poll.”
  • “Acupuncture kept my horse comfortable until he passed on at 30. I believe in it wholeheartedly.”
  • “It has been very help in improving quality of movement.”
  • “After seeing the results of three treatments, this is now a regular part of my mare's care.”
  • “Each time it has been very beneficial, and all of my horses have loved it!”

While a few people had some negative experiences with acupuncture:

  • “It didn’t work. Waste of money.”
  • “Totally useless.”
  • “I'm not sure that I saw any real results”
  • “Some relief, but massage worked better for that situation.”

Some said they’ve had acupuncture done for their horse along with other therapies:

  • “In combination with chiropractic, worked perfectly for my horse in this case!”
  • “Done in conjunction with other energy therapies so difficult to evaluate specific results.”
  • “Done in conjunction with chiropractic, with excellent results.”
  • “Always done with chiropractic. The combination has been very helpful to my horses.”

And a few mentioned other therapies they’ve used for their horses:

  • “No, but I have had a chiropractor treat them. Very satisfied.”
  • “No acupuncture, but he has had chiropractic work.”
  • “Red-light therapy—non invasive acupuncture—works really well!”

While others left general comments:

  • “It's an important therapy when pharmaceuticals can't be used.”
  • “My horse nearly murdered the practitioner (a vet) but I think he did benefit some as well!”
  • “I thought it was hocus pocus until I saw the changes in behavior almost instantly.”
  • “I have not seen scientific evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture.”
  • “I would like to try it, I have not found someone locally.”
  • “I haven't yet, but would try it if my vet suggested it.”


You can find additional information on how equine acupuncture works, why it’s on the rise as an adjunct therapy for horses, and learn about other complementary therapies, including chiropractic care, at TheHorse.com! 

This week, we want to know: who takes care of your horses when you travel during the holidays? Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com/polls

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which 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 on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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