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Equarium® benefits

The must-have equine solarium for today's horse owners. Discover the wide range of benefits and uses - from drying and clipping - to foaling and therapy.

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keylineEquarium in use

Why Equarium® is the best horse solarium . . .

keylinevet examining horse under solarium

How shortwave infrared benefits horses . . .

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Who uses Equine SunSwitch solariums . . .

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After its success as horse solarium supplier to the Olympic Games, Equine SunSwitch secured the equally prestigious Asian Games contract.

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Are patio heaters safe to use on my horse? Is a canopy solarium waterproof? See this and other useful info in our Solarium FAQs.

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How shortwave infrared benefits horses

Vet treating horseShortwave infrared is more than just an effective way to dry and warm-up horses. By stimulating blood circulation, it helps prevent injuries and helps heal them too. Shortwave infrared also plays a key role in the production of Vitamin D in horses skin. This is vital for bone development and health, regulating blood pressure, fertility, immunity against diseases. An Equarium® is especially beneficial in colder months and all year round for stabled horses, whose exposure to natural sunlight is minimal.

The infrared spectrum is divided into three wavelengths: short, medium and long. It’s the short wavelength infrared found in our Equarium® horse solariums and stable heaters that’s best for equine healthcare, therapy and breeding. It warms the skin, penetrating deep into the muscle, speeding up the circulation and producing a feeling of wellbeing. Healthcare technology company Philips, states, “The benefits of this form of heat therapy are based on locally enhanced blood circulation in the skin caused by vasodilatory response”. In other words, short wavelength infrared warmth penetrates the skin and speeds up the circulation, which in turn can accelerate the healing of wounds, and in many cases provide rapid and effective pain relief. It has also been found to accelerate the healing of eczema and saddle sores, and help clear sinus congestion.

Equestrians will know that with all horses, thorough warm up and cool down procedures optimise performance and reduce the risk of injury. This is usually done under saddle, and takes time. Furthermore, not all horses are willing to set off sedately and can cause themselves strains and pulls if the muscles, tendons and ligaments are not sufficiently warmed-up. However, with the use of an Equine SunSwitch Equarium® horse solarium, the temperature of the horse’s anatomy can be raised through a few minutes exposure to short wavelength infrared while it is being prepared for work.

As can be seen from the diagram below, Equine SunSwitch heat emitters mimic the infrared heat output of the sun - the most natural and wholesome form of warmth - but without any of the sun’s potentially harmful ultraviolet rays. Peak energy from Equine SunSwitch is produced in the short-wave (IR-A) region. The lower diagram highlights how this kind of infrared energy is readily absorbed into muscle tissue, whereas medium and long wavelength infrared are not, and are therefore of little value.

Output of infrared Equarium� and absorption into horse's body.

The blue line in the top diagram shows the infrared heat output of a standard infrared quartz element. Most of the energy from the standard element is produced at wavelengths that do not penetrate effectively and are therefore useless for therapeutic purposes. The Equine SunSwitch element is shown as an orange line; it can be seen that the peak output from the Equine SunSwitch element mirrors that of sunshine, shown as a red line, and is absorbed deep into the muscle. There are no harmful UV rays emitted by our solariums, and no, you cannot get a tan from them.

Short wavelength infrared is also readily absorbed by inert materials, which is why our Equarium® horse solariums are great for drying both horses and rugs. But clearly, not all infrared is the same.

© SunSwitch Limited 2006 (updated 2018). All rights reserved.


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