Accuhorsemat® is a clever acupressure rug for use on horses. It increases blood flow, relaxes muscles and releases beneficial endorphins, so your horse relaxes and feels better.
Using the rug before riding relaxes the muscles and calms tense horses – making it easier to get to work. Using Accuhorsemat® after training helps the horse's muscles to recover more quickly and at the same time gives a pleasant feeling of relaxation.
Taut muscles mean that the horse can experience pain, overcompensate with movements that are harmful to the body, develop a shorter stride length and have impaired muscle growth. Our tests show that Accuhorsemat® makes horses calmer and relaxes the muscles, which means your horse relaxes and feels better.
Increasing blood flow is also an ancient method to promote healing. Circulation is critical to a horse’s recovery process. It brings nutrient rich oxygen to help muscles recover, removes toxins and wastes, reduces inflamation, and improves the body’s ability to heal itself.
Fascia is the connective tissue web that runs throughout your horse’s entire body, surrounding and infusing every muscle, tendon, ligament, bone, organ, blood vessel and nerve in the body (just like a human body!). Rigorous physical training programs can put stress and strain on the fascia system, causing it to be bound down and restricted. These fascial restrictions tighten over time, and the resulting tension can cause many problems like lack of flexibility, sore muscles, back pain, lead change problems, balance issues, poor collection, behavior issues, and tendon and ligament injury.
Using an acupressure blanket on a regular basis works to relax the restrictions in the fascia system. The Accuhorsemat will restore the natural glide of the fascia to facilitate smooth movement, prevent injury, and improve recovery after exercise.
1. Shoulder acupressure mats
The Accuhorsemat blanket includes a large velcro patch on the inside, in the shoulder area. The velcro area is deliberately larger than the shoulder mats so you can adjust the mats to where it works best for your horse, depending on how the blanket fits, and your horse’s needs.
2. Hindquarter acupressure mat
The hinddquarters mat is the the largest of the three acupressure mats, with the majority of the Accuhorsemat’s 11,000 pressure points found on this mat. It has no points along the middle (spine area), and covers the hindquarters on both sides of the horse.
3. Adjustable pressure and fit with the blanket
The adjustable front closure straps on the blanket make it possible to regulate the pressure on the shoulder acupressure points – pull the straps tighter to place more pressure on the mats. These straps also help insure the best fit of the blanket for your horse. The surcingles can be tightened as needed to keep the hindquarters mat firmly in place.
The acupressure mats for the hindquarters and shoulders are affixed to the blanket with velcro on the underside of the blanket. The mats and blanket can be separated easily for adjustments and cleaning.
4. Sensitive areas are avoided
The hips and some of the spine processes are sensitive to pressure and should not be stimulated by an acupressure rug. The Accuhorsemat avoids these completely.
The Thermography study shows fantastic results!
The Accuhorsemat blanket has been highly appreciated by many riders who have felt and recognized many positive effects on their horses after using Accuhorsemat. However these effects have always been merely experienced without any scientific evidence of what really happens in the horse's body when using the blanket.
So we decided to do a thermography study to see what really happens in the horse's body. In collaboration with Tomas Cernansky from Animal Infrared Imaging, Portland, OR, USA and Dr Peter Leando, Veterinarian, President of the American College of Clinical Thermography (ACCT) and Managing Director of Meditherm Inc, FL, USA, we did a thermography study with infrared imaging. And the results were striking!
The study took place in Sherwood, OR, and was divided in two days and in three steps, as seen below. The same horse; a mare, SWB (Swedish Warmblood), 16 years old, was used on both occasions. As the infrared camera is very sensitive to changes in temperature, there was great focus on keeping the right intervals during the study. The horse was in it's normal surroundings and was tied up during the study. During the time of photographing, the horse was moved once, to get the right angle of the image.
The study should be made in 3 steps:
1) Horse with the Accuhorsemat on but without acupressure mats. Measurements every 10 minutes.
2) Horse with the Accuhorsemat on and with acupressure mats. Measurements every 10 minutes.
3) Measurements 10-50 minutes after the blanket has been removed from the horse, due to the results above.
And this is how we did:
Day 1: The horse with the Accuhorsemat on but WITHOUT acupressure mats. The horse was first scanned without the blanket to get a picture of how it looked like before anything was put on. Then the blanket was put on and taken off every 10 minutes to make infrared images. This was repeated up to a usage time of 40 minutes. And thereafter for another 15 minutes. Total weartime was 55 minutes. The amount of images taken was 93.
Day 2: The same horse was used but now with the Accuhorsemat WITH acupressure mats. Exactly the same routine as the day before. The only exception was an infrared image taken 30 minutes after the blanket with acupressure mats and been removed, to see if the heat evaluation continuos, ceases or is being constant, after the blanket has been taken off. The amount of images taken was 93, same as Day 1.
The images were then sent to Dr Peter Leando, the creator of the study, for further analysis and statistical processing.
The following statements were made by Dr Peter Leando after analysis:
- Good repeatability of statistical analysis throughout all regional views. Change over time statistics show a significant difference between dermal bloodflow with and without the acupressure blanket.
- The average increase of skin temperature 15 minutes after control (blanket only) was 1,44 °C.
- The average increase of skin temperatur 15 minutes after active (acupressure mats attached to blanket) was 5,62 °C.
- The active effects of the Accuhorsemat blanket with acupressure mats increased skin bloodflow (measured by temperature) was an increase of 4,18 °C.
The results also shows that placing the acupressure mats on vital areas of the horse's body is sufficient as the effect of increased bloodflow will spread through the whole body of the horse.
We asked yet another veterinarian, who also uses the Accuhorsemat herself, Dr Cierra Dedeker, Peak Performance Equine, PLLC, OR, USA to make a statement after having studied the report:
"With the Accuhorsemat your horse will experience an increase in the delivery of oxygen to the muscles. As seen in the thermography report, there is increased uptake over critical areas of interest that better engage the hind end and the withers to allow more fluid movement and extension through the front end of the horse.
Many treatment modalities in veterinary medicine strive to increase healing by way of increasing circulation and recruiting the healing mediators that carry anti-inflammatory properties. With increased circulation, as seen byt the thermography report, we can assume there is delivery of healing mediators via the circulatory system as well. Accuhorsemat works from a prevention, maintenance and treatment standpoint, and is an exciting tool to integrate into a performance horse's routine before and after tacking up. Adequate warm up of the major muscle groups for any athlete is essential to performance."
The Thermography study was made in collaboration with:
Animal Infrared Imaging - Tomas Cernansky - 172 SE 6th, Hillsboro, OR 97123, USA
Dr Peter Leando PhD, Veterinarian, President of the American College of Clinical Thermography (ACCT) and Managing Director of Meditherm Inc, Florida - 2030 West First Street - Fort Myers, FL 33901, USA
Dr. Cierra Dedeker - Peak Performance Equine PLLC - 11475 NW Old Soldiers RD,Carlton, OR 97111, USA
This study and copyright is owned by Accuhorsemat AB which shall always be mentioned when using this source.
Using an Accuhorsemat® before riding has a relaxing effect on the muscles and can calm a tense horse, which makes it possible to achieve looseness from the very beginning of the riding session. Alternatively, you can use the rug after training or competition to help your horse to recover more quickly. Using the rug for a short period before treatment by a masseur or equine therapist can help the therapist to treat the deep muscles more quickly.
All horses are individuals and react differently to the Accuhorsemat. It is therefore important that you try it out and see how the rug works best for your own horse. We recommend that you start by laying the hindquarter's acupressure mat on your horse for a while, without the rug, to allow the horse to get used to the acupressure rosettes. If necessary, you can make light circular movements over the mat to provide a little pressure, replicating what happens when the rug is laid over the top. When your horse has become accustomed to the sensation, you can use the complete rug and gradually increase the duration of use.
When your horse is accustomed to the rug, we recommend that you use it for around 30-45 minutes. If you see no direct reaction, the rug is still having a positive effect as blood circulation is increased, speeding up the recovery of the musculature.
Before the treatment it is important that the horse is restrained in the stable and constantly under surveillance.
Fit the blanket to the Velcro attachments. Attach the front clasps first, but wait to fasten the girth straps. This is to see how the horse is reacting to the acupuncture pads. If the horse looks calm, fold the hind quarter section of the blanket backwards onto the hind quarters. Fasten the girth straps, and make sure that the horse’s hair is laying down. Avoid the spine with the acupressure pads and make sure the acupressure pads are at its place under the blanket.
The Velcro bands on the blanket are a bit bigger than the acupressure blanket, which enables you to reposition the acupressure pads to address the horse's needs.
Let the horse stand still with the Accuhorsemat® for 10-15 minutes and see how the horse reacts. If the horse is not calm, you can adjust the girths by loosen it or tighten it, and remove acupressure pads that may be irritating the horse. To get the process going quicker, you can gently apply light pressure with your hand where the acupressure pads arelie located.
After a few minutes you should see that the horse gives you a sleepy impression. This indicated that the horse is relaxed and is feeling good. Do not leave the horse out of sight.
After 30-45 minutes the treatment should be done and the Accuhorsemat® removed. Make sure to loosen the front clasps and scroll the blanket backwards when taking it off.
The acupressure pads are removable and can be detached so as not to be too close to individual horses’ sensitive areas, such as the hip and the croup. Make sure to feel with your hand that the acupressure pads are at the right place and not too close to the sensitive areas.
Do not forget that if your horse has any visual wounds, rashes or similarities, that are placed on places where the acupressuremats are, do not use the Accuhorsemat® before they are healed.
If your horse is under medical treatment, we recommend that you consult your veterinarian before using Accuhorsemat during that period.
Accuhorsemat AB does not take any responsibility for the horse’s reaction or the owner’s actions when using the Accuhorsemat®.
The blanket is made out of beaver nylon and the straps are made of synthetic/cotton blend. The blanket (without the acupressure pads) can be machine washed at 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
The acupressure pads are made out of environmentally friendly TPE and are water resistant. The material is very hygienic and easy to rinse. After rinsing, hang them to dry. Do not tumble dry.
How to Apply and Take Off the Accuhorsemat
To give your horse the very best experience when first introducing the Accuhorsemat to your horse, we suggest letting your horse slowly get used to the sensation of the acupressure rosettes on its back by applying the hindquarter mat only. This without the actual blanket attached to it.
Horses have varying individual temperaments which will manifest itself in how they react to the acupressure mat when first being introduced to it. Most horses take to it immediately and will start enjoying and relaxing within a short period of time. Other horses may take a little longer.
Once you feel your horse is well adjusted to the acupressure mat, then it’s time to apply the whole blanket. On the other side of this page you will find step-by-step instructions on how to properly apply the blanket complete with the acupressure mats.
It is extremely important that your horse is securely fastened in its cross ties or tied up in other appropriate place. Never leave your horse unattended when wearing the Accuhorsemat. Recommended time of wear is 30-45 minutes.
1) Stand your horse in the cross ties. Our recommendation is to only apply the hindquarter mat the very first few times the Accuhorsemat is introduced to your horse. This is to let the horse get used to the sensation of the acupressure rosettes.
2) Once your horse is used to the acupressure mat, the blanket with the shoulder mats fastened with velcro can be applied on the horse. Start with applying the hindquarter mat making sure the spinal column is free of acupressure rosettes. Fold the blanket as the picture shows.
3) Fasten the triple front closures. Not too tight in the beginning. The pressure can be adjusted afterwards if needed.
4) Fold the blanket over the hindquarter mat as shown.Take care not to lift it too high over the back as some horses tend to tense up when approaching the hind end. Just gently pull the blanket over the back as close as you can.
5) Fasten the surcingles, not too tight. Their purpose is more to keep the blanket in place.
6) The fillet string aids the hindquarter mat to better envelop the hind end. It’s up to you whether you want to use it or not.
7) Leave the blanket on for 30–45 minutes, time depending on how your horse reacts. We recommend that you increase the time gradually, and you will notice fairly quickly what time frame best suits your horse.
8) When taking off the blanket, start with the fillet string, then the surcingles and end with the front closures. Just how you take off a regular blanket. Fold the front part of the blanket back over the hindquarters.
9) Put your hands, palms facing up, in underneath the blanket and lift it off. Don’t pull it off as it may irritate the horse. Remove the hindquarter mat, fold the blanket and put it all back in the designated blanket bag.