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Cold Water Spa Therapy for Horses Now Available in the US

World-renowned cold salt hydrotherapy is about to make its mark in the
US thanks to British company ECB Equine Ltd. While the treatment of injured horses in 35°F salt water has been around for at least a decade in Europe, Australasia and the Middle East, the US has just climbed on board with its first unit in Texas and an ECB Equine Spa distribution center in New Jersey.

The ECB Spa assists in the treatment of a wide range of injuries and conditions, including tendonitis, arthritis, sore shins, open wounds, infections, and general skin conditions.

According to the company, the cold salt water, which is maintained at 35°F, deters the progressive deterioration of injuries by reducing swelling. Surface bone density is also improved, helping to eliminate stress-related bone injuries.  Most people have also begun using the Spa for preventative treatment. For example, racehorse owners, trainers and eventers have had tremendous success preventing injuries by using the spa to treat horses before and after performances.

The salt solution has a natural healing effect on wounds as it acts as a poultice. Water aeration not only has a massaging effect on the leg, it speeds healing by increasing the dissolved oxygen content in the water.

Water hygiene levels are easily maintained by a combination of fine filtration, chlorination, cold water and salt.  Thousands of successive treatments can be performed with the same solution without transferring microbiological infections, says the company.

Rehabilitation facilities have been able to substantially increase revenue by charging owners about $50 for each treatment.  They have also been able to increase their number of stables by boarding horses needing extended stays.

Initial Research

According to Professor Evan Hunt, from the University of Sydney Orange, Australia, who undertook initial research into the effectiveness of the spa -"Tendon injuries unfortunately come with performance horses, be it racing, eventing, show jumping or polo. These have traditionally taken a long time to respond. In the first cases of treatment by ECB Spa ... I couldn't believe the rate of recovery, with results I hadn't previously achieved throughout my 35 years of veterinary experience."

Ed Dunlop of Gainsborough Stables,
Newmarket, and trainer of Ouija Board, winner of The Fillies Breeders Cup Turf 2004 and The Hong Kong Vase 2005, said: "I use the spa for immature tendons, open wounds, splints and sore shins. Ouija Board, for instance, threw a splint, went in the spa twice a day, every day, and it made an enormous difference. I'm impressed."

US contact:
Allen Gutowski
ECB Equine Ltd
9 Fieldstone Trail
Sparta, NJ 07871
Tel: 973-770- SPAS (7727)
Web site:  

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