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Red Light Therapy

for horses

Red Light Therapy offers horses significant benefits in both rehabilitation from injury, and as a performance aid for the sport horse.

How Red Light Therapy works?

Therapy Wrap System

Offers an efficient and time effective therapy modality for all horse owners both professional and recreational. The pads house high quality Red and Infrared LEDS in a soft, flexible neoprene housing which conveniently wrap around the horse’s leg, or lay out flat over the top line. With no formal training required you simply place the pad directly over the area to be treated and let it do its work! The pads come in three sizes and have the option of battery (lithium ion rechargeable) or mains power operation.

Browse our product range
High Performance Red Light therapy Single Pad System
Equine Red Light Therapy Poll Cap
Red Light Therapy Wrap equine treatment
Red Light Therapy Wrap Horse Laminitis treatment
Red Light Therapy Wrap equine tendon sprains
Red Light Therapy Wrap equine joint pain
Red light therapy treatment for horses

Early history of Red Light Therapy

There have been many references throughout early history of ancient tribes using the power of sunlight for therapeutic purposes. Indeed the sun is worshipped as “the giver of life”. In the 18th century reports started to appear in medical literature about the power of light to treat an array of conditions. In 1735, Fiennius described a case in which he cured a cancerous growth on the lip using a sunbath. In 1776 LePeyre and LeCobnte found that sunlight concentrated through a lens accelerated wound healing and destroyed tumors.

With the advent of light emitting diodes (LEDs) NASA led the way in the early 1990’s by using LED light of certain wavelengths to grow plants in outer space. A major finding was that red light therapy activated natural plant growth in outer space. They also found that light had an effect on human cells. This then led to the application of light to help astronauts maintain muscle and bone mass, as well as treat chronic wounds. NASA’s findings demonstrated multiple health benefits from specific wavelengths of red light delivered through light emitting diodes.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Red and infrared wavelengths are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and more specifically, part of the spectrum of light emitted by the sun. These wavelengths are shown to be “bioactive” in humans and animals – meaning it literally affects the functioning of our cells.

The term “photobiomodulation” means the changing of biology with light, and is well used in science research. Whilst the whole cellular process is multilayered with dozens of mechanisms – in a very simplified way you could look at the body being a little like a plant absorbing light in the process of photosynthesis. In humans and animals light energy (photons) are absorbed through the skin and taken up by photoreceptors within the cell’s mitochondria. Through this stimulation within the mitochondria, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – cellular energy is produced.

High Performance Red Light therapy Single Pad System

ATP is the energy currency of cells and is vital for all cellular processes and regeneration. The mitochondria are the life-yielding, energy producing machines within the cells of all living things. It has been shown that specific wavelengths within the red and infrared range have a better uptake at the cellular level (due to the activation of cytochrome C oxidase). 660nm and 830nm are two of these wavelengths.

In essence, red and infrared light stimulates the engine of the cell driving up ATP production. Since everything in the cells depend on this cellular energy, red and infrared light have been linked with a wide range of health benefits.

Safe, Non-Invasive, and Drug-Free

What makes red light therapy stand out from other conventional treatments is that it is safe, non-invasive, uses no chemicals or drugs, and is not associated with harmful side effects. Red light therapy through the use of highly efficient, medical-grade LEDs is able to deliver specific wavelengths of light in a targeted manner to specific areas of the body where it is needed most.

Poll Tension & the Equine Red Light Therapy Poll Cap

Poll tension is an all too common management issue in horses -particularly performance horses. The origins of tension are many and varied and are beyond the scope of this article.

However common symptoms of poll tension are:

  • The horse riding heavier on one rein than the other.
  • Overly sensitive to touch around the ears or palpation about the poll.
  • Difficulty in bridling.
  • Resists bending in one direction.
  • Stopping at jumps.
  • Has a reluctance to step through from behind.

Poll tension may often be a result of an imbalance elsewhere in the horse. If you think of your horse’s motion as a wave that originates in the hind end and flows through the body and neck, you can see that the poll is the point at which the wave ends. Interruption at any point along the movement chain will ultimately have an effect on the poll. Because your horse’s body works as a unit that strives for balance, tight poll muscles can also be a secondary issue, a warning flag for a problem that originates somewhere else. Although the poll area is relatively small compared to the overall structure of the horse, it is of pivotal importance to his freedom and ease of movement.

Note: Our Red Light Therapy Pads are indicated for use in the relief of muscle and joint pain, including arthritis and muscle spasm pain, and increasing of blood circulation, and relaxation of muscles. The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and not to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It’s not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with your healthcare provider, and should not be construed as medical advice.

How can the Equine Red Light Therapy Poll Cap help?

The Poll Cap can be a valuable aid in the management of poll tension due to the strategic placement of the red and infrared LEDS over acupuncture points, trigger points and common areas of tension throughout the head. Light Therapy is known for its rapid ability to open up circulation, reduce inflammation, increase collagen and ATP production, and release endorphins. All of which offer significant healing benefits for poll tension.

Recommended application time: A session of 15 to 20 minutes will provide a good therapeutic dose of light energy. No harm can be done if the cap is left on for longer periods of time as the body will only absorb what it needs in any one session. Daily use is recommended when there is a pre-existing issue in the Poll. Otherwise use on an “as needed” basis. Pre exercise is best or after the horse has cooled down from a work out. Indeed is has been well acclaimed as an effective pre- and post-performance aid for racing and competition horses.

Equine Red Light Therapy Poll Cap

Red/Infrared Light may aid in the management of

  • Arthritis
  • Back Pain
  • All Joint Pain
  • Colic
  • Cushings Disease
  • Infertlity / Cycling
  • Skin Conditions
  • Laminitis (Founder)
  • Viruses
  • Navicular Disease
  • All Muscular Pain
  • Scars
  • Poll Tension
  • Tendon Sprains
  • Shin Soreness
  • Performance Enhancement
  • Stomach Ulcers
Based on 53 reviews
Queena lee
Queena lee
Got a premium size for my golden retriever Harry , he is suffering from osteoarthritis . He absolutely loving it . End up I love it too . Sue is very friendly and answering all my questions. Highly recommended
Tania Davies
Tania Davies
I have been impressed on all levels with this company and their products. The delivery was fast, instructions very clear and the personal touch has been welcomed. I would highly recommend purchasing from this Australian company.
I have been using my red light pad for years now. I use it every day it keeps my niggles at bay and has helped me to continue to complete in Ironman at 46 years of age (3.8km swim, 180km bike 42km run) with my most recent being at the World Championship in Kona October 2023. I use it all over my body and its also brilliant for period cramps. Its also very good for travelling as you can plug it into your car and use it whilst on the move. I would highly recommend it to anyone its fantastic. Thanks Sue your a champ :-)
Tim Newick
Tim Newick
Cracka service and an awesome product, ya gotta get one, for any ailments ya got. Bought it for my knee, now the wife steals it off me for her aches and pains.
francesca elischer
francesca elischer
Honestly don't go anywhere without mine. I absolutely love it! And the service is great too. Can't recommend highly enough.
Guy Ridge
Guy Ridge
I use the red light therapy mat after footy training and games, its great for recovery!
Eileen Ridge
Eileen Ridge
I have loved my Red light pad for many years, I use it daily. I lay it on my chest to avoid coughs and colds before sleep, and on any ache/pain I have, mainly neck and shoulder from dog handling! Such a fantastic, simple and effective tool for self care. Thank you!
Lou Davies
Lou Davies
Thank you soooo much Sue. I have been suffering from bursitis and a frozen shoulder for 3 years, wake up in the middle of the night in pain, reach for my red light pad and ahhhhhh. Works instantly. Back to sleep. No medications. Then it's the impinged hip.. and... on it goes. Not only that, my family gets the red light Therapy and that makes me the best mum in the world.😁 I'm in love with this product. Thank you Red Light Therapy thank you Sue.
B Jones
B Jones
I absolutely love these products!!! I own Connect the Unicorn LLC, and use especially my poll cap in every treatment. The benefits are extraordinary! Sue is a absute joy to work with, the customer care and service is outstanding and in in the US!

Frequently asked questions

How can red/infrared/LED therapy help my horse’s head issues?

If the issues are related to pain/injury, red light therapy is highly beneficial due to its ability to penetrate deep into muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones and promote a strong healing response. Predominantly red and infrared light wavelengths act to increase circulation, collagen production, ATP production, serotonin and melatonin production, lymphatic drainage, endorphin release and reduce inflammation. All these factors are important for healing and wellness.

Does Red /Infrared/ LED Therapy help with arthritis?

Yes certainly. Red and infrared light penetrate deep into tissues and joint spaces to increase circulation which improves the oxygenation of the tissue and removal of metabolic wastes. These wavelengths are also effective in shifting inflammation and stimulating the release of endorphins which can significantly reduce pain levels.

Can the red/infrared pads help my horse relax?

Yes. The red/infrared wavelengths stimulate the production of melatonin and endorphin release which can have an overall calming effect on horses.

Can red / infrared/ LED therapy help with poll stiffness?

Yes absolutely. Used once to twice a day for a good 20 minutes the pad will stimulate circulation and shift inflammation. Using the pad before exercise is recommended.

What should I do if my horse is reactive to the pad?

In some cases a horse may need to be introduced to the pad slowly especially if it is a little head shy. We recommend standing alongside the shoulder, facing forwards towards the head and gently moving the pad along the top of the neck using approach/retreat to the poll area. Once settled, place the pad in position over the ears. Use the red light pad for a short period of time (2-3 minutes if the horse is unsettled) then repeat later in the day. Usually the horse will become accustomed to the pad and very quickly learn to relax and enjoy these sessions. No force should ever be used in applying the pads.

How much time should I leave the Red Light Pad on my horse?

Around 20 minutes will give a good therapeutic dose of light energy, however in some cases longer treatment times can be highly beneficial. If your horse is comfortable allow for longer time!

How many sessions of red / infrared/ LED therapy should I do a day?

In acute situations you could do 2 sessions per day for the first few days then reduce to once daily as healing progresses.

Can the red/infrared pads help my horse relax?

Yes. The red/infrared wavelengths stimulate the production of melatonin and endorphin release which can have an overall calming effect on horses. This is more evident when the pad is used over the poll or sacroiliac regions.

Can red/infrared/LED therapy do any harm to my horse?

No harm whatsoever can be done by using the pads as instructed. Even leaving them on for much longer than normal is safe as the body will only absorb what it needs in any one session.

My horse sweats in patches under the poll cap – why?

Often areas of acute tightness or metabolic build up (lactate) in the muscles can be released during these sessions which can result in sweating. This is a positive outcome.

How soon after surgery can I use the Red/infrared pad?

Twenty four hours post surgery you can be using the pad twice a day to help the healing process.

Can I use the poll cap on my pregnant horse?

Yes absolutely. No restrictions here.

How can I use the poll cap to improve my horse’s performance?

Ideally use the pad just prior to riding/competition/racing to help soften and open the area. Also use directly after competition/racing once the horse has cooled down. As a recovery aid this is an ideal time to use the pad. Red/infrared wavelengths greatly stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage to improve performance and recovery.

Note: The therapy is totally legal with no swabbing issues – making it a valuable performance/recovery aid.

Why use both Red and infrared rays in the pads?

Because these two wavelengths together (Red 660nm and infrared 830nm) have been shown to work well together in promoting cellular regeneration and stimulating a strong healing response.

Can I use the poll cap over other areas on the body?

Yes absolutely. The poll cap will be beneficial to use over any area on the body requiring attention. Indeed the poll cap will sit nicely across the withers and the sacroiliac areas.

How is the poll cap powered?

The pad is powered by a convenient rechargeable lithium ion battery. The battery sits in a secure pocket stitched into the pad.

My horse shakes his head a lot – will the pad be safe?

Yes. The poll cap once in place under a halter with straps attached will remain secure even with strong head shaking.

Can I use the poll cap before or after my therapist has worked on my horse?

Yes absolutely. Many therapists work with our pads both before and after treatments. Some horses are so difficult to massage around the poll that therapists will use the pad for 10 to 15 minutes prior to them physically working on the area. The poll cap can have a significant calming and opening effect on horses.

Do I need any specific instructions on how to use the poll cap?

Only basic instruction is needed. The poll cap comes with an easy to read manual. You could also view our short instructional video listed on this page.