Anyone Tape their Horse's Back?

I’m thinking of trying this for my horse because he carries some tension and tightness in his back and hindquarters. Anyone do this? Did you like the effects?

I dont really know what you are talking about.

I think you would be better off getting a massage gun and using that to relax muscles.'s+back&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS862US862&oq=Tap&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j35i39j46i67j0i20i263j69i60l2j69i61.4559j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=_8T2MYOiBO9zI0PEPh42iqAk22

I noticed that some folks at our barn had a physiotherapist in to tape their horses. They aren’t in my inner circle so I don’t know what they are treating (proactive or accute). And I don’t know if it made any difference. My feeling would be to change up training and get a body worker out, unless of course it was an accute injury that I was throwing everything at.

My horse has been PEMFed several times, massaged, chiroed, and thought this would be a lower cost therapy that I could do myself (with some training) between actual body work.

It can’t hurt and it is low cost.

I watched that video and really do not see the point. As I said for tension and tightness use a massage gun or even a curry comb.

Taping became a fad about 5 to 10 years ago in human athletes. It is supposed to give some support like with knees, or with proprioception. I think at one Olympics many athletes were taped. I would want to see if it’s still considered state of art for humans.

Many new horse modalities are based on human fads from a decade ago, often fads that came and went in humans.


I watched it too and I agree!

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I had a bodywork guy who was great & loved to experiment. While the tape did help me a bit, pretty worthless on horse back. We had to clip the hair all the way down & use extra sticky spray for it to even stay on at all. It had no effect. Those muscles are just too big & deep for it to be a useful modality.


Lots of people and PTs use KT tape but it’s use/benefit is limited. It’s rarely used by itself, and even my PT admitted that it may not help (but couldn’t hurt, if done right.) Certain injuries benefit more from taping than others - a lot of runners find relief from shin splints with tape, but when I had an IT band injury I didn’t find any improvement. I am guessing that the closer the issue/injury is to the surface, the more it would help.

It would definitely depend on the injury to a horse’s back - and because of the hair it would be tricky for it to stay on.

My injuries have all been related to “tightness” but the reason for the tightness can’t be fixed by the tape (a lot is conformational). So, I would say the same for a horse - there is probably a reason for the tightness but whether or not it can be improved is hard to say. It’s a lot harder to stretch a horse well, than to stretch yourself well…but that’s one of my main “treatments”. Warmup then stretch, then work, then stretch again. Plus PT, strength training and conditioning. Tape wouldn’t hurt, and I might use it a little in advance of issues this year, but I don’t expect it will be a significant factor in me staying uninjured.

I’d be curious to know the symptoms, and then the workload/schedule and schedule for bodywork (and what that includes). Thinking that if bodywork is 1x month and the horse is in work 5 days/week, I’d think bodywork/chiro more frequently plus (if possible) stretching exercises and/or “strength” exercises would be far more beneficial than tape.

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Well timed as my mare was taped yesterday following her massage appointment. She’s had ~100 appointments over the last year and this was the first time my person felt it could be beneficial. We are seeing a subtle change in the topline that isn’t necessarily bad but she wanted to see what would happen if she taped in a way that created a temporary bridge feeling from the shoulders back to the SI. My mare absolutely moved differently afterward, which makes sense because she’s never been taped. It stayed on about 24 hours and I coaxed the last bit off today. What I found most interesting is that all along the line where the tape was she was very quick to soften under the weight of my hand, lick and chew, and even yawn. Some areas along where the tape ran she is typically pretty reserved with any type of release until easier areas are worked on first and she rarely if ever yawns.

I don’t think a single session was transformative but it did pique my curiosity about how it seemed to bring some body awareness to a specific area. That being said, I definitely would not feel qualified to tape on my own or to tape on “cold” muscles.


I wonder if taping a horse’s back is more like cupping than taping for “support”. I’ve only had it done once (not with candles, just suction) and the massage therapist said it draws more blood flow into the muscle and promotes healing. From your description I wonder if that’s more of the goal of taping a horse’s back?

I am not sure if cupping results in statistically significant changes but a lot of people have believed in it for centuries, so it probably does something. And again, like taping - maybe more beneficial in muscle groups that are near the surface versus deeper issues.

I have! its helped,

I would NOT use a massage gun, you can do more damage then good.

Yes my massage therapist has taped my mare’s back. I do think it helped. Make sure you get the correct tape.

On a side note, my DH has me tape his knees for long training runs and competition. He says he feels a huge difference esp the day after. I think for somethings it works great- others, well, I think some people just like to decorate themselves with colored tape

According to the sites I’ve been reading, that’s the goal, the tape “lifts” the skin to allow blood to flow more freely I believe. Kind of the same goal as PEM-F, to break up clogs, so to speak.

Lady B, how long did the effects of taping last?

i think it helps. it basically pulls the skin away from the muscle to create circulation.

i’ve taped myself, and I can’t believe how nice it is. definitely helps with circulation.

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I find it just works as the tape is on, some tape can last 3-5 days depending on weather and horses coat. Once the tape is off, I didn’t see much difference. For my it was for back relief, which his is chronic and in the long run, tape isn’t going to fix it.

Attempting Mesothearpy at this point.

I don’t have any experience with taping horses but I tape my bad ankle when I run and I continue to wear the tape for the rest of the day after the run. When I do this I am 100% after the run. If I run 5KM without the tape, I am crippled for days. For some reason, neither tensor bandages nor ankle brace help the same way tape does.

There are a few different sub-applications of the k-tape, all based on lifting of the hair and skin under the tape. Decompression, inflammation, lymphatic, proprioceptive and muscle awareness taping, and influencing fascia. I’ve definitely seen enough (and of course played with it on myself) to say it works, but as with any modality, how dramatically well it works all depends on the individual and even the individual condition and tapings.

While there is no real harm in using it on it’s own, it’s best used following another bodywork modality. Think about it helping to carry the bodywork forward as they carry on their horsey life and work. It’s also going to be way more effective if applied by a professional with a good understanding of anatomy and the particular taping goal. So that being said, if you decide to try this, I would NOT just pick up a roll of tape and start on your own. Find out which of your existing professionals offers this service and ask them to apply it after their work. Then, talk to them about whether it would be beneficial for you to reapply between sessions, and if so, they can show you what to do and maybe even provide you with pre-cut tape.

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