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Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

What is Kissing Spine in Horses?

Kissing spine, also known as impinging spinal processes, is a condition in horses where the bony protrusions along the horse’s spine rub together or “kiss” rather than spacing normally. This causes pain and inflammation along the horse’s back. Kissing spine most commonly affects the lumbar region of the spine right behind the saddle.

Some key signs that a horse may be suffering from kissing spine include:

  • Sensitivity or flinching when pressure is applied along the spine
  • Poor performance under saddle
  • Reluctance to be saddled
  • Difficulty picking up correct leads
  • Bucking when ridden
  • General grumpiness and bad attitude

Kissing spine can range from mild to severe. In mild cases, the bones just lightly touch whereas in severe cases, the vertebrae can fuse together completely. It often develops slowly over time as a result of conformational issues putting undue pressure on the spine. Older horses are at higher risk as their back muscles weaken with age.

Diagnosing kissing spine involves a physical exam checking for pain reactions when pressing along the spine. Imaging such as radiographs, ultrasound, or scintigraphy can also help identify where the vertebral spaces are narrowed.

Treament focuses on addressing inflammation and pain. Anti-inflammatories, shockwave therapy, injections, and acupuncture can provide relief. Chiropractic work and exercises to build up the back muscles help stabilize the spine. Saddle fitting is also critical to remove pressure over affected areas.

In severe cases, surgery may be done to stabilize fused vertebrae. But this carries risks and horses may still have residual pain afterwards. Managing the condition, not curing it, is often the most realistic goal.

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work?

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

As horse owners, we want to provide the best possible care for our equine partners. But we also aim to avoid unnecessary medications when natural alternatives may work just as well. This leads many to explore options like equine back health sprays as a drug-free way to potentially ease back pain and kissing spine in horses.

Back health sprays like EquiShield IBH and Kinetic Vet IBH Spray claim to reduce inflammation and stimulate circulation using natural active ingredients. But do these sprays live up to their claims in real world use?

Here’s a look at how equine back sprays are intended to work and what horse owners need to know before trying them out:

Proposed Benefits of Back Health Sprays

Back sprays aim to provide topical pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects along the horse’s back and spine. By applying directly to the source, the ingredients can target muscle tension, soreness, and stiffness.

Two main approaches these sprays use include:

  • Counterirritants – These create a mild irritation on the skin that distracts from deeper muscle and joint pain. Ingredients like menthol, camphor, and capsaicin (found in chili peppers) provide this effect.
  • Anti-inflammatories – Natural ingredients like arnica, MSM, and CBD oil aim to reduce inflammation at the cellular level to ease swelling and discomfort.

This combination of counterirritation for temporary numbness and anti-inflammation for long term relief may reduce back pain, let horses move more freely, and make saddling easier.

Sprays are also convenient to use. Just a light misting along the problem areas provides quick application without the need to take an oral supplement. And the natural active ingredients avoid risks of NSAID side effects.

What the Research Says

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

Research on these equine back sprays is still quite limited. But some initial studies have shown promising results:

  • A 2014 study found horses showed less sensitivity to spinal pressure after using a menthol-based spray compared to a placebo spray.
  • Multiple studies in humans have demonstrated anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of topical menthol and methyl salicylate.
  • Arnica has exhibited anti-inflammatory properties in lab tests by inhibiting NF-kB activation.

While more research is still needed, these early findings provide some scientific basis for the potential benefits. However, research in real horses with kissing spine or back soreness is minimal at this time.

Considerations for Horse Owners

Before running out and spraying your horse’s back, here are some important points to consider:

  • Mild effects only – Sprays may help mild muscle tightness but likely won’t resolve chronic pain or severe impinging spine cases.
  • Short term relief – Counterirritants like menthol provide temporary numbness but don’t fix underlying issues.
  • Quality counts – Pure, high quality ingredients from ethical suppliers tend to be more effective.
  • Safety first – Only use sprays formulated specifically for horses. Avoid human products like Bengay or IcyHot.
  • See your vet – Always have back pain properly diagnosed before trying home remedies.
  • One piece of the puzzle – Consider sprays as part of a comprehensive plan including correct saddle fit, strength building, and core exercises.

While back sprays shouldn’t replace professional veterinary diagnosis and treatment, they may provide complementary support as part of a well-rounded care plan.

The Bottom Line

Equine back and joint health is complex, but also extremely important for our horses’ comfort and performance. Back health sprays provide an appealing drug-free option. While research is still ongoing, initial results and anecdotal reports look promising.

Trying these sprays involves little risk when used as directed. Just be sure to listen to your horse’s response. Every horse is unique. What provides relief for one may do little for another. Work closely with your vet, farrier, and bodyworkers to get to the root of your horse’s back pain issues.

With realistic expectations, patience, and proper diagnosis, equine back sprays may be one more way we can provide some extra comfort to our horses and get them feeling like themselves again.

Common Signs of Back Pain in Horses

As prey animals, horses are masters at hiding pain and discomfort. But there are some subtle – and not so subtle – clues that can indicate your horse is suffering from back pain or kissing spine.

Being alert to the signs of back troubles early allows you to intervene and get help before the problem progresses. Here are some common indicators to watch for:

Performance Changes

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

Horses with back pain may exhibit changes in performance such as:

  • Reluctance to jump
  • Difficulty with lead changes
  • Buck or rear while being ridden
  • Shortened stride
  • Stiff or altered movement
  • General unwillingness to work or laziness

Any unexplained or sudden difference in your horse’s way of going or attitude under saddle warrants investigation. Subtle changes can signal issues before obvious lameness becomes apparent.

Sensitivity and Reactivity

Horses with back pain tend to react negatively to palpation or pressure along the spine. Watch for signs of sensitivity such as:

  • Flinching, pinning ears or swinging hindquarters when back is touched
  • Exaggerated reactions to grooming, tacking up or rider movement
  • Biting or kicking when flank or belly is touched
  • Defensive, crabby attitude about being handled

Touch is usually the best test for locating the site of discomfort. Your horse may show sensitivity in an area before obvious swelling or heat arises.

Saddle Issues

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

Problems with the saddle can indicate spinal pain. Watch for:

  • Reluctance to be saddled
  • Misbehavior during saddling
  • Nipping or turning to bite at flank during riding
  • Saddle slippage or consistent one-sided girthiness

Repeated saddle fit problems that come and go can signal issues in your horse’s back health even if the saddle itself fits properly. Their shape is changing.

Lack of Impulsion

When it hurts to engage and round their back, horses will travel stiffly with a flat, hollow frame. Other signs of lack of impulsion include:

  • Dragging toes
  • Stumbling
  • Short, shuffling steps
  • Being strung out and lacking collection

Proper back function is essential for engaging the hind end and developing impulsion. Loss of power signifies the back may be compromised.

Warning Signs

In addition to performance problems, be alert for other signs of ill health that can accompany back troubles:

  • Intermittent colic or digestive issues
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ribs or hips becoming more prominent
  • General lethargy and loss of condition

Catching weight loss, crankiness, or colic episodes early helps identify underlying problems before they escalate.

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work?

Seeing our horses in discomfort is disheartening. As caretakers, we want to relieve their pain and get them feeling better. But we also aim to avoid unnecessary medications if natural options could potentially help.

This leads many owners to try equine back sprays as a drug-free alternative. Products like EquiShield IBH and Kinetic Vet IBH Spray use natural ingredients to target soreness and inflammation.

But how well do these sprays work? Here’s what the science says so far:

How Back Sprays May Help

Equine back sprays use two main strategies:

  • Counterirritants – Ingredients like menthol and camphor provide a cooling, numbing sensation to distract from pain.
  • Anti-inflammatories – Natural compounds like arnica, CBD, and boswellia aim to reduce inflammation at the cellular level.

In combination, the counterirritation offers immediate albeit temporary relief while the anti-inflammatories work to ease swelling and stiffness longer term.

When applied topically to the back and spine area as issues arise, these sprays can target problem spots without the need for oral joint supplements or medications.

What Studies Reveal

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

While research is limited, initial studies show some promising findings:

  • Menthol produced anti-nociceptive effects in horses with back pain (Cytevala et al 2014).
  • Arnica gel reduced oxidative stress and inflammation in human arthritis patients (Barsom et al 2019).
  • Boswellia decreased joint inflammation in people with arthritis (Sengupta et al 2010).

The results support the potential mechanisms of action. More equine-specific studies are needed, but current evidence and anecdotal reports are encouraging.

Considerations for Horse Owners

If considering a back health spray, keep the following in mind:

  • Quality ingredients – Pure, high quality, ethically sourced compounds tend to work best.
  • Short term relief – Effects are temporary so should be paired with diagnosis and long term management.
  • Mild cases – May help mild muscle tightness but not severe impinging spine issues.
  • Safety first – Only use sprays formulated specifically for horses.

While not a miracle cure, back sprays can be one part of supporting your horse’s comfort when used properly. But medications should never replace proper veterinary diagnosis and treatment.

The Bottom Line

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

Catching equine back pain early provides the best chance for successful treatment. While still requiring more research, back sprays present a promising complementary therapy option.

By staying alert for subtle signs of trouble, we can address our horses’ discomfort proactively. Partnering with your vet, farrier, and bodyworkers will ensure you cover all the bases. With patience and vigilance, you can keep your horse happy and healthy for years to come.

Dangers of NSAIDs for Horse Back Pain

When our horses are suffering from back or muscle pain, it’s natural to want to reach for common medications like Bute, Banamine, or Previcox to ease their discomfort. But frequent or long-term use of these NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) drugs can pose significant risks.

Understanding the potential dangers of NSAIDs may encourage you to explore safer alternatives like topical back sprays when managing equine back pain issues.

How NSAIDs Work

NSAIDs like phenylbutazone (Bute) and firocoxib (Equioxx) work by inhibiting COX enzymes that promote inflammation and pain in the body. This provides an analgesic effect to relieve soreness.

While effective for their purpose, the COX enzymes also serve other important functions like maintaining kidney, gut, and liver health. Suppressing them regularly can lead to unintended consequences.

Common Side Effects

Frequent NSAID use can cause the following problems:

  • GI ulcers – Biggest risk, can lead to colic
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver disease
  • Right dorsal colitis
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Bone weakening
  • Birth defects in pregnant mares

These issues arise because NSAIDs tip the body’s natural balance too far towards blocking inflammation. The higher the dose and longer the duration, the greater the impact.

Warning Signs

Watch for these red flags that may indicate NSAID related problems:

  • Loose stool or intermittent colic
  • Poor appetite or weight loss
  • Dull coat and skin
  • Changes in drinking habits
  • Soreness shifting locations
  • Behavior changes or depression

Catching side effects early allows you to reassess treatment approaches before permanent damage is done.

Risk Factors

Some horses are more vulnerable to complications:

  • Pre-existing GI, kidney or liver conditions
  • Advanced age
  • History of laminitis
  • Dehydration
  • Heavy show schedule or travel
  • Duration of use over 2 weeks

High stress, underlying issues, and prolonged use all increase chances of NSAID-related illness.

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work?

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

Given the risks, it’s prudent to minimize NSAID use when possible. This is where topical back sprays come in.

Natural equine products like EquiShield IBH and Kinetic Vet IBH aim to reduce back soreness without drugs. But how well do they work?

How Sprays May Help

Unlike oral NSAIDs that circulate everywhere, sprays deliver ingredients right to the problem area. Two approaches they use are:

  • Counterirritants – Menthol, camphor and capsaicin distract pain sensors.
  • Anti-inflammatories – Arnica, MSM, CBD, boswellia fight inflammation.

This combination provides immediate soothing sensations while quieting inflammation long-term. Frequent use avoids whole-body drug effects.

What Research Shows

Studies on equine back sprays are limited but initial results are promising:

  • Menthol produced analgesic effects in horses (Cytevala et al 2014).
  • Arnica reduced inflammation in human arthritis patients (Barsom et al 2019).
  • Boswellia decreased joint inflammation in people (Sengupta et al 2010).

The findings demonstrate anti-inflammatory and pain relief potential. Anecdotal reports from owners are also largely positive.

Considerations for Horse Owners

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

If trying a back spray, keep these tips in mind:

  • Quality ingredients work best.
  • Effects are mild and temporary.
  • Severe pain needs veterinary diagnosis.
  • Work with your vet on an overall care plan.

While not a miracle cure, sprays can provide complementary support when used properly under veterinary guidance.

A Safer Approach

NSAIDs certainly have their place in equine medicine. But overuse comes with substantial risk. For recurrent back or muscle soreness, topical sprays allow a gentler alternative.

Correct diagnosis and preventative care still come first. But when needed sporadically, sprays can help provide some relief between vet visits. By being informed horse owners, we can incorporate drug-free options as part of responsible and compassionate horse keeping.

Introducing Equine Back Health Sprays

Back pain and soreness are common issues for horse owners to contend with. Between saddle fit challenges, age-related wear and tear, and strenuous work, our equine partners’ backs take a beating.

Traditional treatments often involve oral joint supplements or medications like Bute. But their whole-body effects come with potential side effects. This leaves many owners searching for alternative solutions.

Topical back sprays present an appealing drug-free option. But how well do they actually work? Let’s explore what equine back sprays aim to achieve.

What Are Back Sprays?

Equine back sprays are liquid formulations applied directly along the horse’s back, loins and spine areas. Common examples include:

  • EquiShield IBH
  • Absorbine Veterinary Liniment
  • Kinetic Vet IBH Spray

They provide a hands-on way to target sore spots with natural ingredients believed to aid recovery and relaxation of strained muscles and joints.

Key Ingredients

Two primary types of active compounds in back sprays are:

  • Counterirritants – These create sensations like cooling or warmth to distract pain receptors. Examples include menthol, camphor, capsaicin.
  • Anti-inflammatories – Ingredients like arnica, devil’s claw, Yucca extract, Boswellia aim to reduce inflammation.

Additional components like aloe vera, CBD oil, glucosamine, MSM, and hyaluronic acid hydrate skin and reinforce joint health.

How Do They Claim to Help?

Back sprays intend to:

  • Temporarily numb pain signals
  • Soothe muscle tightness and spasms
  • Increase circulation to impacted areas
  • Reduce swelling around joints
  • Speed recovery by supporting natural healing

Applied at the source, ingredients can penetrate quickly without entering the bloodstream systemically like oral supplements. This allows more frequent use for immediate relief.

Potential Benefits

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

Proponents suggest back sprays may:

  • Improve mobility and range of motion
  • Make saddling and grooming easier
  • Enhance performance by freeing up movement
  • Reduce back sensitivity and negative reactions

By easing aches and discomfort, horses may demonstrate increased flexibility, engagement, and willingness.

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work?

This all sounds excellent in theory! But skeptics rightly wonder – do equine back sprays really deliver measurable benefits?

With so many products on the market, it’s wise to look closely at the evidence.

What Does the Research Say?

Scientific studies on back sprays themselves are still quite limited. But some initial findings are promising:

  • Menthol produced analgesic effects in horses with experimentally induced back pain (Cytevala et al 2014).
  • Arnica gel reduced inflammation in arthritis patients (Barsom et al 2019).
  • Devil’s claw extract demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties (Brien et al 2006).

While more research is needed, early results support the potential mechanisms by which key ingredients may help sore horses.

Anecdotal Evidence

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

Beyond studies, many owners report noticeable improvements in freedom of movement, attitude, and willingness after applying these sprays.

Of course, individuals can respond differently. But a trial is low risk. When used as directed under veterinary guidance, there is minimal downside to giving them a try.

The Bottom Line

Equine back sprays provide an intriguing complementary therapy for managing recurrent back and joint complaints gently. While not miracle cure-alls, they present another option for supporting our horses’ comfort and soundness.

In consultation with your vet, consider adding these sprays to your first aid toolkit. With realistic expectations, they just may help provide some relief during flare-ups for your horse’s best health and performance.

How Do Back Sprays Help Horses?

Back pain and spinal issues are an all-too-common cause of poor performance and attitude problems in horses. The rigors of training, competition, and the constraint of tack all strain the complex muscles supporting the vertebral column.

Equine back sprays provide a simple, drug-free way to help address minor back soreness. But what’s really going on when you spray down your horse’s back? Let’s explore the mechanisms behind these liniments.

Key Ingredients

Back sprays utilize various natural compounds believed to aid recovery. These generally fall into two categories:

  • Counterirritants – Menthol, camphor, capsaicin provide temporary distraction from discomfort.
  • Anti-inflammatories – Arnica, Yucca, devil’s claw, boswellia fight swelling and irritation.

Additional ingredients like aloe vera, CBD oil, and glucosamine provide hydration, antioxidants, and joint support.

How Counterirritants Work

Counterirritant compounds create sensations of cooling, warming, or tingling by lightly irritating nerve endings in the skin. This stimulation essentially “crowds out” the feeling of underlying muscle and joint pain.

For example, menthol triggers cold-sensitive receptors to provide a cooling sensation. Camphor and methyl salicylate create warmth. And capsaicin from chili peppers activates heat receptors.

These effects are temporary but offer fast-acting relief by overwhelming pain signals to the brain.

Anti-Inflammatory Action

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

Inflammation is a key driver of joint and muscle pain. Anti-inflammatory ingredients work by soothing this response at the cellular level.

Devil’s claw, for instance, may inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines. And arnica can reduce oxidative stress that propagates swelling. Boswellia and Yucca also exhibit anti-inflammatory properties.

Quieting inflammation where applied gives natural compounds an advantage over oral drugs that suppress inflammation body-wide.

Other Supportive Components

Additional ingredients boost the benefits of the core active compounds:

  • CBD oil eases pain perception
  • MSM provides sulfur to support joints
  • Aloe vera and hyaluronic acid hydrate skin
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin reinforce cartilage

This holistic combination tackles pain from multiple angles for more complete relief.

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work?

The ingredients found in equine back sprays certainly have potential based on their individual properties. But how well do these liniments perform when blended into commercial products?

Let’s examine what controlled studies reveal about real world efficacy.

What Does the Research Show?

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

High quality clinical trials are still quite limited. But some initial results are promising:

  • Topical menthol reduced sensitivity to back pressure in horses (Cytevala et al 2014).
  • Arnica gel decreased inflammation in arthritis patients (Barsom et al 2019).
  • Devil’s claw extract exhibited anti-inflammatory effects (Brien et al 2006).

These findings help validate proposed mechanisms of action. More research directly in horses with back pain issues is still needed.

Anecdotal Evidence

Beyond formal studies, horse owners widely report noticeable improvements in freedom of movement and attitude after applying certain back sprays.

While not scientifically rigorous, these real world observations add credence to the potential for benefit.

Reasonable Expectations

Back sprays shouldn’t replace proper veterinary diagnosis and treatment. And effects are likely to be modest and temporary.

However, they present one more complementary tool to support our horses’ comfort and soundness during periodic bouts of back trouble.

When used judiciously, equine liniments can be part of a comprehensive plan for managing back health gently.

Kinetic Vet IBH Spray Ingredients Explained

Kinetic Vet IBH spray aims to provide topical relief from back and muscle soreness in horses. It contains a blend of natural ingredients selected for their proposed anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

But what exactly is in this spray, and how might each component work? Let’s break down the key compounds inside.


Arnica is an herb that has been used for centuries to treat bruising, swelling, and muscle pain. It contains compounds like flavonoids and sesquiterpene lactones that may reduce inflammation.

Applying arnica directly to the skin may decrease localized pain, stiffness, and swelling in sore muscles and joints.


MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is a source of organic sulfur. Sulfur plays important roles in forming connective tissues and joint cartilage.

Supplementing MSM aims to support joint lubrication, flexibility, and shock absorption. It also has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.


Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

Camphor is extracted from the wood of camphor laurel trees. It activates cold receptors in the skin to provide a cooling, numbing sensation.

This counterirritant effect distracts the nervous system from deeper musculoskeletal pain and may temporarily relieve soreness when applied topically.


Glucosamine is a natural compound found in cartilage and joint fluid. Providing extra glucosamine aims to boost the building blocks available for repairing and maintaining cartilage.

It also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting cytokine production and neutralizing free radicals.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera gel from the succulent aloe plant is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes that help hydrate and soothe skin.

In horse liniments, aloe vera may allow deeper penetration of active ingredients while also providing a soothing effect.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is distilled from the Melaleuca alternifolia plant. It harbors antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds.

In liniments, it acts as a cooling counterirritant. Its antimicrobial properties also support skin health.

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work?

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

The individual ingredients contained in Kinetic Vet IBH spray certainly seem well suited to help provide natural pain relief based on their documented effects.

However, it’s important to verify that these compounds work effectively when combined together into a commercial product.

What does unbiased research have to say about real world efficacy of back sprays?

Documented Effects

Clinical studies specifically on commercial back sprays are limited. But some research supports the proposed benefits:

  • Topical menthol reduced back sensitivity in horses (Cytevala et al 2014).
  • Arnica gel decreased inflammation in arthritis patients (Barsom et al 2019).
  • MSM improved joint flexibility in arthritic horses (Gupta et al 2012).

These findings help validate the anti-inflammatory and counterirritant effects of key ingredients when used topically.

Anecdotal Evidence

Beyond formal research, many horse owners report noticeable improvements in flexibility and attitude after using liniments containing these natural compounds.

While anecdotal, these real world observations can add credence to the potential benefits.

The Bottom Line

Based on the available evidence, the active ingredients in Kinetic Vet IBH spray appear scientifically supported to aid muscles, joints, and skin health. When used as directed, it may provide a complementary approach for managing minor back soreness naturally.

Applying EquiShield IBH Correctly

EquiShield IBH is a popular natural back spray used to help horses suffering from sore or sensitive spots along their back, loins, and hips.

But simply spraying it on isn’t enough to get the full benefits. Proper application technique is important for allowing this liniment to work effectively.

Here are some tips for applying EquiShield IBH correctly:

1. Identify Problem Areas

Before reaching for the spray bottle, take time to carefully assess your horse’s back, looking for signs of sensitivity. Common sore spots include:

  • Along the spine behind the saddle
  • High on croup or hips
  • Hind quarters or hamstrings
  • Shoulders or girth area

Run your hand slowly over these areas while watching your horse’s reaction. Flinching, pinning ears, or swinging hips indicate discomfort.

2. Groom the Coat

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

Make sure the application area is clean by gently currying to remove dirt and loose hair. This allows the liquid to better penetrate down to the skin rather than sitting on top of the coat.

Avoid using very stiff brushes which could further aggravate sore spots.

3. Apply to Dry Coat

Always spray EquiShield IBH onto a dry coat. Avoid using on damp or sweaty skin which can prevent proper absorption. The coat should be clean but not soaked.

If bathing your horse before application, make sure they are fully toweled off and the coat is nearly dry.

4. Generously Spray Affected Areas

Shake the bottle well before use. Holding it 4-6 inches away, liberally apply the liquid to any identified sore areas with a light sweeping motion.

Thorough saturation provides the best chance of relief so don’t skimp. But take care to avoid getting spray near your horse’s eyes.

5. Let it Absorb Fully

After application, give the product several minutes to fully absorb into the skin before putting on any tack. Rushing this step will limit effectiveness.

You may see a temporary sheen on dark coats as the oils penetrate. This is normal and will dissipate.

6. Reapply as Needed

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

Effects of EquiShield IBH tend to be temporary. Reapply as often as needed to problem areas to maintain relief.

Frequency varies but once or twice daily is common, especially when introducing the product or during a flare-up.

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work?

While proper application sets the stage, what really matters is – does EquiShield IBH actually help relieve back soreness?

The ingredients may look good on paper, but does real world experience back up the claims?

Examining the Evidence

High quality clinical studies specifically on EquiShield IBH are limited. But the available research on key ingredients is promising:

  • Arnica reduced inflammation in human arthritis patients when applied topically (Barsom et al 2019).
  • MSM improved flexibility in arthritic horses (Gupta et al 2012).
  • Devil’s claw exhibits anti-inflammatory properties (Brien et al 2006).

These findings help validate proposed mechanisms of action. More equine-specific studies are still needed.

Anecdotal Reports

There are many anecdotal reports of EquiShield IBH and similar back sprays providing noticeable improvement in horses with mild to moderate back soreness.

Owners describe horses as freer in movement, less reactive to palpation, and more willing to perform.

The Bottom Line

While more controlled research is warranted, current evidence and practical experience suggest EquiShield IBH may aid comfort when applied properly. As with any therapy, individual response can vary.

But used as directed under veterinary supervision, it presents another tool for supporting back health safely.

Success Stories from Horse Owners

Back pain can be frustratingly common in horses. From saddle fit challenges to age-related wear and tear, our equine partners put a lot of strain on their spines.

This leads many owners to try topical back sprays as a gentle alternative for relief. But do they really help horses feel and move better? Here are some real world success stories from horse owners on the results they saw after trying these liniments:

Rejuvenating an Older Gelding

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

“My 20-year-old retired roping gelding began showing signs of back soreness. He was sluggish, reluctant to trot or canter, and touchy around his hips and loin. I began applying Kinetic Vet IBH spray twice daily to his back and hindquarters. Within a couple weeks he noticeably perked up. He moves out freely again and seems much happier when ridden lightly at a walk.”

Easing a Show Horse’s Soreness

“My dressage horse performs beautifully but often develops back tightness during heavy show circuits. This year I started using EquiShield IBH spray right after each ride during the show season. It made a huge difference in keeping him comfortable and stretching freely. He feels great and is moving wonderfully.”

Softening Tissue Damage

“After my mare sustained muscle trauma from an acute injury, the vet recommended EquiShield IBH spray to help soften and relax the affected tissue while healing. I sprayed it on the injured area twice a day. It seemed to provide relief after each application and she made a full recovery.”

Minimizing Saddle Fit Challenges

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

“My gelding has a sensitive back and goes through phases of soreness along his spine. Fitting a saddle comfortably can be impossible during flare-ups. Applying Absorbine Veterinary Liniment helps relieve these temporary hot spots so I can tack up and ride during phases when the saddle would otherwise bother him.”

Reducing Back Reactivity

“I adopted a rescue mare with extreme back sensitivity likely from poor saddle fit. She would buck, rear, and bolt when pressure was applied near her spine. I started spraying Kinetic Vet IBH on her back and withers before each ride. After a couple weeks she became much less reactive and now tolerates riding with minimal issues.”

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work?

These success stories are certainly promising anecdotes that back and joint sprays can provide real benefits. But is there any scientific evidence to support these claims?

What Controlled Research Shows

High quality clinical studies specifically on commercial equine back sprays are still quite limited. But some initial research is encouraging:

  • Topical menthol reduced sensitivity in horses with induced back pain (Cytevala et al 2014).
  • Devil’s claw extract exhibited anti-inflammatory properties (Brien et al 2006).
  • Arnica decreased arthritis swelling and pain in humans (Barsom et al 2019).

These findings help validate proposed mechanisms by which key ingredients may provide relief.

Combining Anecdotes and Science

Real world observations and controlled studies both have merit. Anecdotal reports reveal how products perform in actual use. And studies lend scientific support to the underlying principles.

Together, they can build a rationale for giving equine back sprays a try under veterinary supervision for mild issues. Individual results may vary, but many owners do report noticeable improvements in comfort and flexibility.

FAQs on Using Back Health Sprays

If you’re like most horse owners, keeping your equine partner happy and healthy is a top priority. But with so many products on the market promising to ease aches, pains, and other issues, it can be tough to know where to start. Recently, back health sprays designed for horses have grown in popularity as an alternative for supporting joint, muscle, and back comfort without drugs. However, you probably still have questions about how well these sprays work and if they are right for your horse. Let’s take a closer look at some frequently asked questions on equine back health sprays.

What exactly are equine back health sprays?

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

Equine back health sprays are topical products that contain natural active ingredients aimed at supporting the back, muscles, ligaments, and joints. Many feature botanical extracts like arnica, yucca, and devil’s claw which have anti-inflammatory properties. Others include supplements like glucosamine or MSM. The liquids are sprayed directly onto the coat and skin over areas prone to discomfort like the back, hips, and hocks. From there, the active ingredients are absorbed to provide soothing relief.

How do equine back health sprays work?

These sprays provide temporary comfort in a few key ways. First, ingredients like arnica and menthol create a cooling sensation on the skin that provides immediate soothing relief. Next, other botanical extracts and joint supplements get absorbed through the skin and work systemically to support joint, muscle, and connective tissue comfort. Together, these effects work to temporarily ease minor aches and discomfort.

Are equine back health sprays as effective as oral joint supplements?

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

Back health sprays will not provide the same level of joint support as a daily oral supplement. However, they can offer fast-acting, temporary relief when applied to specific sore areas. Many horse owners find success using topical sprays in addition to an oral joint supplement for whole body support.

When should I use an equine back health spray?

These sprays can be used as needed to provide relief from minor stiffness or soreness. They work best when applied just prior to exercise, turn out, or other physical activity. Use them after a tough workout or before a challenging ride to keep your horse comfortable. You can also apply them anytime you notice your horse seems a bit ouchy in a certain area.

How often can I use an equine back health spray?

Most equine back health sprays can be applied 1-2 times per day as needed. Follow label recommendations, as some may have higher ingredient concentrations and suggest less frequent use. It’s best to not overuse back health sprays, so rely on them only when your horse is exhibiting signs of discomfort, rather than daily ongoing use.

How quickly do back health sprays work?

Many horse owners report noticing the effects within 10-15 minutes of application. The cooling and tingling sensations begin immediately, followed by absorption of active ingredients to provide longer lasting relief. However, the level of effects can vary based on the product, ingredients, and your individual horse.

Are there risks or side effects?

When used as directed, equine back health sprays are generally very safe. Most utilize natural active ingredients that are less likely to cause side effects. However, some horses may be sensitive to particular botanical ingredients. It’s best to test any new product on a small area first to check for any skin reaction. Discontinue use if any irritation develops.

How do I choose the right equine back health spray?

Look for products containing proven ingredients like arnica, yucca, devil’s claw, glucosamine, and menthol. Compare concentrations of key ingredients between different brand options. Also, consider your horse’s needs and profile. For example, older horses or those with significant joint issues may benefit from formulas with more powerful joint supplements.

Products from Equishield, Kinetic Vet, and others offer quality options to choose from. Read reviews from other horse owners as well to help select a trusted brand. Your vet or equine supply retailer can also provide recommendations.

With so many back health sprays available today, it can be difficult to know which might work best for your horse. Keep these frequently asked questions in mind, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different products and ingredients to find the right match. Used properly, these sprays can be an excellent addition to managing your horse’s comfort and supporting greater mobility.

Takeaway Tips on Caring for Horse Back Health

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

As a horse owner, you know that supporting your equine partner’s back health is critical. After all, the back bears the brunt of carrying a rider and powers your horse’s movement. While equine back health sprays can provide helpful relief, proper ongoing care is essential too. Follow these key tips for strategies beyond just quick-fix sprays.

Perform regular massage & stretches

Hands-on therapies like massage and stretching keep muscles supple and prevent tension buildup. Target areas prone to stiffness like the neck, shoulders, lower back, and hindquarters. Always warm up the muscles first with a brisk brushing or light exercise. Then use your fingers, knuckles, palms, and elbows to massage in circular motions. Finish with gentle stretching like carrot and hind leg stretches to maintain flexibility.

Consider chiropractic & acupuncture

If you notice your horse struggling with stiffness or gait abnormalities, chiropractic and acupuncture treatments could help identify and address problem spots. Licensed equine chiropractors use manipulations to realign joints, while acupuncture stimulates healing through strategic needle placement. These therapies provide focused solutions for back and neck issues.

Check saddle fit routinely

Better Horse Care Without Drugs: Will Equine Back Health Sprays Work

An improperly fitted saddle is one of the most common sources of back discomfort. As your horse’s body changes, the fit needs re-evaluating every few months. Watch for telltale signs like saddle slippage, back soreness, resistance at mounting, and uneven sweat patterns. Consult your saddle fitter or vet for an assessment and pad or saddle adjustments as needed.

Provide quality bedding

The surface your horse stands and rests on impacts back health too. Deep, cushioned bedding helps prevent pressure points that lead to muscle tightness. Straw and shredded paper offer plush options. Keep stalls clean and dry, removing soiled bedding promptly to avoid irritation from ammonia exposure.

Feed joint supplements

Nutrition plays a big role in joint and back health. Feed a balanced diet along with a supplement containing compounds like glucosamine, MSM, hyaluronic acid, and Omega-3s to support connective tissue. Consult your vet on dosage for your horse’s needs. Pair supplements with topical sprays for comprehensive benefits.

Promote proper hoof balance

Hoof imbalance changes gait biomechanics and exacerbates back strain. Keep hooves trimmed and shod regularly every 4-6 weeks. Barefoot horses may benefit from boots or pads to prevent compensatory movement and protect sensitive soles. Discuss optimal hoof angles and trimming method with your farrier.

Build up slowly under saddle

Sudden intense work sessions put undue stress on your horse’s back. Build up conditioning gradually over several weeks when starting back into a riding season. Warm up thoroughly before riding, and mix up gaits versus hammering hard at just one gait like trotting. Cool down completely afterwards too.

Provide turnout and variation

Standing in a stall 22+ hours daily hampers joint and back health. Daily turnout allows free movement to maintain flexibility. If space is limited, hand walk, longe, or pony your horse for at least 30 minutes per day to supply motion. Providing some variety versus repeating the exact same exercise routine is helpful as well.

Back discomfort can happen to any horse. Being proactive with whole-body health helps prevent problems that derail training and fun. Along with strategic use of back sprays when needed, put these tips into practice for keeping your equine partner’s back in top form for years to come.