What springs to mind when you hear Equilume? Encouraging your mare to cycle early for a competitive advantage with your foal? Eerie Blue lights dotted all over a dark paddock filled with expecting mares? Summer solstice, coinciding with preparations for the show season, super smooth coats….
Did you know that the science behind the Equilume masks also provides benefits for the overall condition of performance horses? Equilume have developed a stable lighting system that brings the benefits of blue light indoors for the stabled horse. A study was carried out in 2016 for 2 year old thoroughbreds Group 1 was housed under customised blue -enriched LED stable lights. Group 2 under your average fluorescent tubes. The study was conducted over a period of 15 weeks, nutrition and exercise were the same for both groups and data was
recorded on weight, % fat and fat free mass (lean muscle weight).
In short, the results showed that horses housed under the consistent biologically effective light were heavier with higher fat free mass in comparison to the control horses. What you ask makes these specially designed stable lights have this kind of effect on performance horses?
Equilume Performance Lighting products were designed around an understanding of the natural circannual (seasonal light) and circadian (daily light) rhythms a horse has been exposed to throughout its evolution. By applying this knowledge you can understand the effect on the horses of fluctuating hormones that change within these cycles. The hormone melatonin, produced during hours of darkness, signals the change in seasons to the horses system but also controls how well the horse’s body performs over a 24-h period. It controls when they transition to winter, slowing down the metabolism of the horse, increasing fat storage for use when foraging becomes tougher, growing a winter coat, and reducing the growth of hooves for when the ground is softer. All of these changes are designed to conserve energy over the winter months.
Fortunately for our performance horses, they no longer need to rely on their natural instincts to survive the winter. What’s more, by manipulating the hormones through artificial light we can regulate the melatonin levels during the day and allow it to rise naturally at night. This important rhythm regulates the horses body clock and impacts all of the horse’s physiology. Melatonin also acts as a powerful anti-oxidant with a crucial roll in keeping the horse’s immune system functioning normally. The biologically effective light used in the Equilume system is programmed to gradually transition from blue-enriched white light by day to a low-level red light at night, mimicking the light at dawn and dusk as the sun rises or sets. Gradual changes in day length are incorporated to ensure an extension of the summer period for our horses, delaying the effects of winter onset. It is important that we still need to allow our horses to experience a shorter winter day and this can be easily programmed around our horse’s competition schedule. But the improved quality and duration of daily lighting ensures that horses are at their healthiest all year round.
Other benefits of the Equilume Stable light include;
• Antibacterial nature of blue light in the stable environment
• The low glow of the red light at night enables you to see what is
happening in the stables without disrupting their night time rest.
• Better utilisation of feed through the Winter months.
• More natural foaling down of mares, with reduced complications.
If we are happy and healthy our skin glows, how do you think your horse feels when his coat is also in prime condition ?
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