Principal Body System: Cardiovascular
Definition: Blood, heart and blood vessels.
Function: Distributes oxygen and nutrients to cells; carries carbon dioxide and wastes from cells; maintains the acid-base balance ofthe body; protects against disease; prevents haemorrhage by forming blood clots; helps regulate body temperature.
The horse’s heart is an extremely effective organ, and fortunately rarely experiences problems. Which is just as well because the horse’s heart has to pump a healthy blood supply to one of the largest mammals on the planet.
It is quite simply the lifeline to a horse's optimum health.
The equine cardiovascular system comprises of a pump (heart), a distribution system (arteries), exchange areas (capillary beds), and a return and collect system (veins). They have one job to perform, and that is to transport oxygenated blood (around 40-litres of blood in a 500kg horse), as well as nutrients, lymph and hormones to vital organs and tissues, and remove waste products to where they can be eliminated.
A disruption can cause anything from a mild to a more serious problem - anaemia, laminitis, bruising and colic being just some of the more recognised disorders that can affect the circulatory system.
In naturopath speak, and falling in with the cyclical circadiam rhythm, energy levels are at their highest during summer, thriving at this time of year. To support the energy demands, this is the best time of year to cleanse and tone the heart, purify the blood and stimulate circulation.
In addition, if we get a really hot summer with our horses standing or working in the heat for a prolonged period of time, this can result in heat exhaustion. The circulatory system literally collapses and the venous system gives way, preventing a regular supply of blood to return to the heart and brain. Vitamin C is a very useful preventative for heat exhaustion which helps maintain the elasticity of the arteries.
For cardiovascular support, see our ONLINE SHOP - ONLINE SHOP