20 APRIL 2016 | HorseIllustrated.com
that have capsaicin work by first stimulating and
then decreasing the intensity of the pain signals in
Ca;eine: The University of Georgia did a
study that has shown that if you drink two cups
of ca;einated co;ee before your workout, it will
reduce your pain better than taking an NSAID.
Unfortunately, this does not work if you are a habitual
Ginseng: Daily consumption of ginseng has been
shown to help with chronic aches and pains.
Sleep: Sleep is the only time our body is able to
repair itself. After a grueling day in the saddle and at
the barn, you can’t beat a good night’s sleep to help
Prevention: The Best Medicine
The best course of action when it comes to dealing
with pain is prevention. Be safe when riding by
wearing a helmet. Wear appropriate footwear, even
when you’re doing a quick barn chore.
“I broke two toes last year because I ran into the
barn ‘just for one second’ not wearing the appropriate
footwear,” says McAllister.
Also, just like you warm up your horse before going
out to jump a round, give yourself time to warm up
your own muscles before swinging your leg over your
steed. Whether it’s an extended grooming session,
longeing your horse, or just doing chores, your muscles
will be more pliable with a short warm-up.
“Warm up before your ride or workout, then
stretch afterward,” says McAllister. “Getting your
muscles warm means you’ll be less prone to stress or
injury. If you’ve been sitting in the o;ce all day and
arrive at the barn and immediately get on your horse,
there’s more likelihood you’ll be injured.”
Of course, if any ache or pain has not subsided after
a few days, McAllister says it’s time to call the doctor.
“We take far better care of our horses than ourselves,”
she says. “We call a vet if our horse strains a tendon,
but if it’s just us, we rub some dirt on it and keep going.
We need to take better care of ourselves, as well.” HI
MEGAN ARSZMAN is a freelance writer based in Indiana,
where she’s learning to balance motherhood with horses, dogs,
ONLINE What are other tricks to dealing with chronic pain for
equestrians? Visit HorseChannel.com/Extras
E R Horse people know all too
well the toll physical labor
takes on your body.