10 Sep THE POWER OF LIGHT – A Key Ingredient for Training Success
Did you know that environmental light is the most important cue influencing a horse’s mental and physical well-being? Like humans, horses need light for more than just vision. Special cells at the back of the eye respond to blue wavelengths of light. As sunlight is naturally high in blue light, this serves to regulate internal rhythms throughout the horse’s body. This system, called the circadian system, controls the activity of nearly every cell in the body, ensuring the body clock stays in tune with the daily light-dark cycles.
Exposure to the wrong kind of lighting at different times of day plays havoc with an animal’s circadian system causing it to flatline. The consequences of circadian disruption are well-known in humans and include sleep disturbances, low alertness, impaired performance, immune suppression, illness and disease. The key to well-being is strong internal rhythms driven by consistent exposure to biologically effective blue light by day.
For stabled performance horses, lighting is particularly important. The equine industry has made amazing advances in nutritional science, veterinary medicine and training technologies, but until recently little attention was given to the level or quality of daily light a horse receives or the role it plays in ensuring optimal health, condition and behaviour.
Ground-breaking research conducted at University College Dublin identified that low levels of blue light could regulate important hormone rhythms in the horse when delivered to only one eye. The subsequent development of the Equilume Cashel Light Mask has been a gamechanger for performance horses by allowing them receive the optimum level of light whether they are stabled, out grazing or travelling to a competition. It is not just the quality but also the duration of daily light that impacts a horse’s body, the Cashel Mask delivers 15 hours of biologically effective blue light each day to ensure the horse receives the benefits of a long summer’s day throughout the year. By supporting the horse’s body clock, it helps to maintain muscle tone, strengthen immunity, ensure a sleek and shiny coat, encourage appetite and positively influence mood and behaviour. The requirement for clipping is reduced and the period of peak performance is extended.
Highly accomplished International Event Riders Phillip Dutton, USA and Sam Watson, Ireland have both experienced positive results using Equilume Performance Lighting:
“After just 3 weeks of using the Cashel Light Mask, I saw a remarkable improvement in my horse’s attitude and willingness to enjoy his work. The logic of more light for a stabled horse makes sense to me, and I was able to see the results. I am excited about what benefits Equilume will have for all my horses” – Phillip Dutton.
“We want the best for our horses & don’t want to miss out on a performance edge. The science behind Equilume makes so much sense and really helps my horses look and feel great, so they can perform at their best” – Sam Watson