About 6 months ago my 14 year old Andalusian mare pulled her right shoulder by falling in a sand hole while out for a hack. I didn’t think much of it when it happened, but then I tried to ride in a dressage clinic the next day and had a not so sound horse. In the same week I had also changed barns and farriers. Problem one was the pulled shoulder. Problem two was the bad shoeing from the previous farrier…. This was not the news I cared to hear, but lucky for me the previous farrier only touched my horse’s feet for 3 months and new farrier who was horrified stepped in and suggested we start from scratch. Scratch as in take shoes off, don’t really ride because the angles were off so a front suspensory can occur, and correct with trims every four weeks. Perfect! Just how I wanted to head into the winter show season, but isn’t this what owning a horse is all about.
Thinking that I would have to give my horse 4-6 months off for the shoulder and hoof issue. The owner of the barn who also had an injured horse, ordered a Theraplate for a 30-day trial. I had seen one of these vibrating plates at other barns but never used, so I was curious and inclined to do so now. Skeptical at first, I found myself and my mare both looking at this odd mechanism that was placed before us. After 10 minutes I finally was able to convince her otherwise to get on the stationary plate, that was until I turned it on. Leaping off of it she did, and not carrying to attempt it again. After another 5 minutes and help from my husband we got her on the plate, turned it on, and shoved carrots down her throat for 3 minutes because that was all she could handle. There were no directions on how to really use it, only word of mouth instructions and a dial that regulated the intensity of the vibration. After a few days of getting her to like the plate she started to relax during the sessions that were gradually increased with time and vibration. After the 30 days of using this machine there was only a slight difference in the mobility of her shoulder. She was still lame in the walk and trot, so I didn’t dare try the canter. Frustrated, we went back to the drawing board and if it wasn’t for the owner of the barn who was more obsessed then I, we would have not known about a similar product called the Equivibe. After endless research and satisfied with what the company had sold her on, she wasn’t going to waste her time with a 30-day trial, she was just going to buy one.
A few weeks later this beautiful black aluminum plate showed up and with directions! There was no guessing game only facts on how to rehab your horse, matching up injury with time, hertz (vibration), and how many times a week. I believe there was a half sigh of relief that came out of my mouth, the other half was waiting for results. Finding her shoulder injury on the list of rehab injuries, I followed the instructions for the next 30 days. After the 30-days I wanted to test the waters and really see if this shoulder was truly rideable recovered. That’s when the other half came out in a sigh of relief. She was sound through walk, trot and canter with the only issue left to tackle were her hoofs. With confidence, not only did I have a recovered horse but her hoof growth was tremendous. Realizing the benefits that the Equivibe made in the growth of her hoofs, I continued to use the plate for the next 60 days with trims ever 4 weeks. With the help of the plate and an amazing farrier we had completely changed the game in her ability to come back into training. She has truly never been more sound and there is so much more willingness in this mare, that riding has become such an enjoyment! I didn’t want to be biased writing this article, but I have used both plates and the difference was enough to change my opinion on what plate I would recommend and use. I also want to point out that this plate had added benefits when I also used it before and after a schooling session. If I used it before my ride for 15 minutes, it made my mare more limber and my warm up time was cut drastically. If I used it after my ride, I noticed it the next day in her demeanor of being more supple and not as stiff as she normally would be. With that being said the Equivibe is not only great for rehabilitation, but maintenance too.
Now that I have shared my story I wanted to give you some insight into both products.
Theraplate works on a four zone circular vibration called, “Vortex wave circulation”. Plate is made of aluminum (no coating, so it comes as a silver color), carry weight 160lbs, capacity 3,000lbs, comes in two separate sections that need to be bolted together. This does make for easy transportation if you plan on taking it to horse shows, (make sure someone bolts them together). There are aluminum handles on the side, but they are easily bent if a horse slips off and hits the handle with their hoof. Top of platform consists of thick black ribbed rubber that is bolted to the aluminum body. They also make smaller plates for humans to use. The one thing I noticed about this company is that they put a lot of money into marketing. They sponsor horse shows of all disciplines, they have an ambassador program, which basically means they give a free plate to a top rider, so said rider promotes product for them, keeping the Theraplate name relevant in the horse world. They have a long list of testimonials on their web page, all mentioning the benefits to using the plate before and after their ride. Theraplate is made in the USA and offers financing. Check out more at theraplate.com / Product Price for Equine Unit: $5,999.00
Equivibe works on a vertical vibration frequency that works throughout the entire platform, not in sections. Because of it’s vertical vibration it actually pulses up through the horse’s body and as you intensify the hertz, you can actually feel it go all the way to their head. Plate is made of aluminum and powder coated black for a sleek finish. Top of platform consists of thick black pimpled rubber. Plate comes in a variety of sizes, with the most popular being 40”x 80” single plate, carry weight 150lbs, capacity 3,600lbs, or double plates (30”x 36” each, carry weight 60lbs each, capacity 3,600lbs) which is ideal for travel. This company has put a lot of money in the design and materials used to make this product and less in marketing. They are very much results based as you can read in all the testimonies that endlessly grace the pages of their website. This product is the only rehab plate to be featured in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, May 2015 issue. Equivibe is made in the USA and offers financing. Check out more at equivibe.com / Product Price for Equine Unit (single plate): $5,795.00, (double plate): $4,295.00