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Book Review: ‘Kinesiology Taping For Horses’

By Katja Bredlau-Morich.

Image courtesy of Trafalgar Square

Prior to reading this book, I had a very rudimentary and assumed-through-observation understanding of what exactly kinesiology taping was and what it did — generally, I assumed it was the same thing as basic athletic taping but with fun colors, perhaps working to support tendons and ligaments in their normal functions. My teammates in high school track and field often went to the athletic trainer to get taped for various injuries and weaknesses (I apparently never put in quite enough effort to merit injuring myself in the first place, seeing track only as a time obstacle between me and the barn).

Unsurprisingly, my assumptions about kinesiology taping were quickly proved to be totally incorrect within a few pages of Katja Bredlau-Morich’s in-depth guide, Kinesiology Taping For Horses. Kinesiology tape has plenty of applications, but generally is used in its simplest application to lift the hair coat and skin and therefore increase the space in underlying tissue for blood and lymphatic fluid circulation. Kinesiology tape has applications for pressure relief, pain relief, circulation improvement, support of joint mobility, support of muscle activity and improvement of proprioception. There are a variety of indicators for when kinesiology taping could be an important supporting therapy, and just as importantly, there are a variety of contraindicators for when it should not be considered.

That’s an aspect of this book that I appreciated, having what I feel is a healthy skepticism of modalities that are self-described as “all the rage”: Bredlau-Morich is very clear that kinesiology tape is not a miracle cure nor a replacement for veterinary care, and she’s careful to explain that it should be an accompanying therapy used in concert with other physical therapies such as massage or stretching. As an experienced equine physical therapist, Bredlau-Morich is uniquely experienced to write such a book, and provides plenty of great illustrative photos plus case studies to describe real-world applications of taping techniques.

Kinesiology Taping For Horses doesn’t bog itself down in a thorough study of anatomy, though readers newer to the world of equine physical therapy may wish to keep a reference handy as they work through this book. The book is written clearly yet is still rich in detail; I read it cover-to-cover in a single sitting and have a new respect for kinesiology taping without feeling bogged down by minutiae.

This book can be used as a guide to self-starting equestrians who want to jump right in with kinesiology taping; personally, after reading this book and having a greater understanding of how this therapy works, I’d be more comfortable having a certified kinesiology practitioner applying his or her skills to my horse rather than turning myself loose with a roll of tape. However, Kinesiology Taping For Horses certainly opened my eyes to this practice, educated me in when and where kinesiology taping might be a useful therapy for my own horse and encouraged me to keep an open mind and think outside the box when it comes to equine physical therapy.

Kinesiology Taping For Horses is available from Trafalgar Square.

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