Every athlete deserves an edge, and that includes your equine athlete. Equine Salt Spa’s salt therapy treatment is a new respiratory treatment that is proven to help enhance breathing function and better performance. The Benke Family, creators of Equine Salt Spa, have several successful clinics for humans in the U.K. under the brand, The Salt Cave, and wanted to shift their focus to the equestrian industry. Keep reading to learn more about the treatment with leading sales representative Cay Young and owner Sofia Benke!
Horse & Style: Can you explain why you decided to move into the equestrian industry and how you started the business originally?
Sofia Benke: We started our business under The Salt Cave brand with several successful clinics in London and throughout the UK, and we have several more in the works right now. The treatment works just the same for humans as it does for horses, and it clears up not only respiratory issues, but can help with other diseases, skin conditions, overall well being. Salt is a natural anti-inflammatory and when you inhale it, you can see the benefits almost right away. Because of the success of the business, we were recommended by a friend to try and shift the therapy to the equine industry because it has the same benefits and is perfect for sport horses. We created a specially outfitted trailer with air conditioners and sound machines to create the most relaxing environment for horses receiving the treatment. It is a common treatment in Australia for racehorses because it helps to really open up and clear the airway, which leads to better performance.
Above and below: the Equine Salt Spa trailer is fully mobile. Horses walk on, receive their treatment, and walk off!
Cay Young: Equine Salt Spa’s salt therapy treatment uses a patented medical device, The Breeze Tonic Pro, to distribute finely micronized salt particles throughout the air in a state-of-the-art trailer specifically outfitted to administer the treatment. As a horse stands in the trailer and passively breathes in the salt during the 30-minute session, their airways will begin to clear, in turn improving performance and overall well-being. The trailer is equipped with two air conditioners as well as a newly installed sound system that plays soothing music to ensure the most relaxing treatment session possible. The salt therapy treatment is all natural and perfectly safe for humans, which allows team members and handlers to supervise the treatment from inside the trailer. The salt distributed during the treatment is the same form of finely micronized salt used in the very successful human clinics of The Salt Cave brand. Equine Salt Spa recommends 2-3 sessions a week for 6-8 weeks receive optimum results. The Breeze Tonic Pro device is also available for lease to clients wishing to administer the treatment in rehabilitation centers, quarantines, at competition facilities, or in their own personal barns.
H&S: What are the benefits you have personally seen from Equine Salt Spa treatment?
CY: I’ve found that after horses have had an Equine Salt Spa treatment, they are not losing their stamina so quickly, between the first round and the jump-off, and for my own horses, their acclimation and transition to Florida [from Europe] was faster. It helps them to be able to get more wind. I noticed with some of the horses that get a little puffy, they weren’t getting that anymore and their circulation was better. After a hard day’s or week’s work, whether it be lots of showing or training, they would be moving more freely and much more calm. The treatment is extremely relaxing for them. With some of them coming from up north and getting used to the heat and humidity of Florida, the healing time for the skin conditions down here is so much quicker than anything I have ever seen (with salt spa treatments). A lot of times no matter what you do, those conditions never really go away, this is the one treatment seen that completely clears them up. The healing process was easier, and there wasn’t discoloration in the hair.
H&S: What are the most commonly asked questions about the treatment?
CY: The treatment doesn’t in any way make the horses lungs bigger, which is sometimes confusing. It helps to clear the respiratory system, which makes them not breathe as hard and they’re able to work more efficiently, so you can focus on quality instead of quantity in your riding.
H&S: How does the treatment work, and how does it improve performance?
SB: Without getting too technical, when a horse breathes in the salt, it reduces inflammation and congestion in the lungs, which many times causes the airway to constrict. This is where you see the positive change in performance, when the airways are clear and taking in maximum amounts of oxygen. When the lung function is improved, there is more efficient oxygenation throughout the body, which helps to remove carbon dioxide more quickly. That is the other great thing. When carbon dioxide is removed quickly, recovery time improves, meaning you can get more out of your workouts and training sessions. Not only does it help with breathing, but it can remove nagging skin conditions too.
H&S: Is the treatment legal?
SB: The treatment is completely all-natural, since it is only micronized salt. It is a completely compliant way to improve your horse’s breathing and performance without having to worry about crossing competition and federation guidelines and regulations.
H&S: Where do you hope to see the business grow in the next few years?
SB: We are having a big surge in the racehorse industry right now as well as a great group of dressage clients that are using the therapy with their horses here in Wellington. The Breeze Tonic Pro, the machine that distributes the salt throughout the trailer, is available for lease and we would love to grow that business by installing the machine into barns, trailers, and at shows. This industry is so large. We feel that there are so many horses that would greatly benefit from trying the treatment, whether they have chronic respiratory issues or they are just struggling to get in shape. This year, after the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival, we will be traveling to several of the major circuits on the East Coast, so check your show vendors and stop by and say hi!
CY: I would love to see this grow as a treatment in all disciplines. The great thing is it’s completely drug-free. The way the sport is going, with the amount of showing and daily work, you need a proven treatment that is completely natural to help your horses keep up with the amount of work they need to perform their best. We would love to see the Breeze Tonic Pro installed in many of the quarantines because of its antibacterial qualities that can help eliminate infection and bacteria in the lungs. There isn’t a single discipline that it wouldn’t help a horse to perform better in.
For more information on Equine Salt Spa and salt therapy treatment, please visit www.equinesaltspa.com, find them on Facebook by searching “Equine Salt Spa” or call (561)-766-7076.
-By Carly Weilminster for Jennifer Wood Media
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