Niagara Equissage

To determine if Niagara Equissage use improves performance in thoroughbreds.
The manufacturer claims that use of their product will improve circulation, joint mobility, and respiratory conditions, in addition to:

  1. Relaxing muscles while releasing tension
  2. Reducing swelling
  3. Improving pre exercise warm up and post exercise cool down


    Science is clear in that heart rate before/during/after exercise is an accurate measure of exercise intensity.
    Therefore, if heart rate drops for any given gallop speed – or gallop speed increases for any given heart rate, a positive conditioning effect is taking place. 

    Three methods of exercise were considered: half mile breezes on the training track, traditional 2 mile gallops on the training track, and actual 6 furlong races during the 2008-09 season.
    For breezing and galloping, the mare was outfitted with heart rate and GPS sensors to objectively measure performance in terms of the relationship of heart rate to gallop speed.
    In racing, the Beyer speed figure is used to grade performance that day. 2 races took place with no Equissage treatment, while 2 take place with treatments 20min before post time.

0.5 mile breeze:
variable                 no Equissage         with Equissage
time                        0:50.7                    0:50.3
RHR2                      147                         131
RHR5                      111                         98
%                            71%                        85.5%

2 mile gallop:
variable                 no Equissage         with Equissage
avg.pace                2:33                        2:27
avg. HR                  207                         196
feet per beat        10                           11

Races at 6F:
variable                 no Equissage         no Equissage         with Equissage           with Equissage
date                        11/11/08               12/5/08                 12/30/08                           1/24/09
Beyer                     34                           35                           50                                          49
Finish                         7                              8                              1                                          1

Equissage treatments prior to a half mile breeze improved post workout recovery within the first 5 minutes from 71% to 85.5%.
Equissage treatments prior to a gallop allowed the mare to move a tick faster for the distance, while expending less energy.
Equissage treatments 20 minutes before the post parade improved the Beyer figure by an average of 15 points.



  1. Steve Mayberry

    Love your writings…food for thought! Kind of green in horse conditioning but it seems that one has to keep a horse loose, muscle wise in order to enhance their stride and endurance. Thanks for all of the insight…I’ll surely be following you!!! SM

  2. Bill, did you conduct the tests with the equissage as list above with the horses, or were you involved?

  3. Yes, I was present – the Equissage team was not, but they were kind enough to let me borrow a unit for several weeks.

    I also had a horse who had run a poor 8th at Indiana Downs – took him to Churchill in a $7500 claimer and coaxed a 4th out of him after using the Equissage on him in the shipping barn just prior to the walk over to the paddock.

  4. That’s very interesting Bill. I know there are units used over here, but I do believe more for theraputic reasons with stiff or sore horses rather than as a prerace tool.

  5. Oh, its used like that here as well – although I am trying to convince trainers to use it proactively instead – easy to manage and it only takes 20min.

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