Trade Zone: Sound Check
Old school horsemen will tell you that all a Thoroughbred needs is hay, oats, and water. Other trainers may say all you need is a good veterinarian and a stopwatch. Right in the middle of these two extremes is a growing group of horsemen who are willing to think outside the box when it comes to finding therapies that help keep their horses sound or help heal injuries more effectively and, therefore, potentially lengthen a horse’s racing career.
With an abundance of year-round racing, horses no longer receive a "winter break," which in the past had provided relief from the day-to-day pounding of training on a track and fully recover from body soreness brought about by regular training and racing. To compensate, trainers now employ veterinarians who specialize in chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage therapy, and will often seek alternative training methods such as swimming. Other therapies horsemen now have available to them include ultrasound and hyperbaric chambers.
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