Effect of light therapy on heart rate and behaviour in horses

Huge thanks to Chloe for sharing her dissertation project which was submitted (Spring 2018) in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Equine Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation for the University of Greenwich.

This pilot study has been successful in achieving what the study set out to achieve. With limited research into the effects of the Photizo Vetcare and light therapy in general, understanding what the effect of this new therapy is on heart rate, behaviour and surface temperature was not previously understood in horses.

The study discovered that light therapy significantly influences behaviour in the horse. A higher number of positive responses were observed after the light therapy than before the light therapy. A lower number of negative responses were also exhibited from horses in the study. Resulting in the fact that light therapy increases positive responses from the horse and decreases negative behaviour responses.

Light therapy has a significant influence on heart rate by reducing the heart rate of the horse. This ensures that horses undergoing light therapy are not stressed.

There is still a need for further research within light therapy but specifically within other light therapy uses. Research is limited in the area and therapists should be informed about more of the other potential benefits of light therapy. However, for the price of the device and the benefits that are already researched, the Photizo Vetcare is a beneficial tool for therapists and owners who would like to provide some complementary therapy at home. It could allow them to provide pain reduction (Laakso and Cabot, 2005*), assist in healing skin abrasions (Brem et al., 2004*) kickstart the healing of Tendon and Ligament injuries (Fung et al., 2002*).

*Clinical references are cited in the full paper Chloe Parrett – Dissertation

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