MURFREESBORO, Tenn. —A device that is shaking up the horse world is the topic on the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.
Host Gina Logue’s interview with Holly Spooner, who holds the Chair of Equine Health in the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience, will air from 9:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, and from 6 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, April 29, on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org.
With MTSU professors Rhonda Hoffman and John Haffner and student Kayleigh Maher, Spooner co-authored a study of the impact of whole-body vibration on horses. When the device is in use, the horse stands on a metal plate 4 to 6 inches off the ground while a human turns it on and adjusts the frequency of the vibration with a dial on the machine.
After an earlier MTSU study determined that whole-body vibration helped stalled horses maintain bone density, Spooner said, MTSU embarked on a follow-up study.
“With this particular project, we … looked at how this therapy, in conjunction with regular exercise, perhaps improve bone density and some other parameters in the horse,” Spooner said.
“We said, ‘OK. If we add whole-body vibration to horses that are already exercising, can we see a cumulative effect of that whole-body vibration? Or, basically, even if they’re not losing bone mass, will this add to their bone mass?’ And the results didn’t indicate that that would be the case.”
Manufacturers and proponents of vibration plates claim that whole-body therapy can provide the horse with benefits that range from increased circulation to curbing arthritis to building stronger bones. Spooner said that there is little academic research about whole-body vibration for horses as yet, although they have been on the market between five and 10 years.
To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to http://bit.ly/mtsu-otr.
For more information about the radio program, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.