In general, applying kinesiology tape on horses has become very successful, and wonderful results are achieved. VetkinTape® has been developed by us exclusively for animals coats. This cotton, hypoallergenic, elastic tape supports the muscular system, and the body’s healing processes and influences the neurological and circulatory systems without restricting freedom of movement.

The tape adheres well to the coat, yet there may be certain causes and situations whereby this is not the case. Due to friction (nibbling of the horse, rubbing, rolling, etc.) there is a possibility that the tape does not adhere to the coat as firmly as desired, however, the cause most likely has a deeper meaning. We have found some professional practitioners willing to answer the most frequently asked questions for us. Below is an overview of their findings, individual results can and will deviate and/or vary. Hopefully, this page will provide more clarity and support in setting up a treatment plan.

To learn how to apply the different techniques to animals, we recommend the professional to follow a Medical Taping course.

What are contra-indications for taping horses?

  • Open wounds, fever, thrombosis, allergies, skin irritation, bacterial infections, acute inflammation, fungus and scabies.
  • Cancer, melanomas and tumours. Often this diagnosis only becomes known at a later stage, but taping can provide relief in the final phase. The effect on the tumour can also be negative, always in consultation with the owner and/or vet.
  • Scars fresher than 2 weeks.
  • Pregnancy and lactation (in consultation with the vet).
  • When it appears that the horse gets itchy from the tape, it is better to remove the tape.
  • Acute fractures, muscle and tendon tears, unexplained limp (burst or fracture), it is best not to tape them in the first place. Check the situation with your vet before making a treatment plan.
  • Horse tries to pull the tape off, or shows other discomforts after applying the tape. ( If a horse reacts sensitively to the tape, it is best not to tape too many areas at once, but to apply everything in stages).

What are contraindications to Lymph Taping?

  • For an animal whose drainage/circulation is impaired (possibly consult a veterinary surgeon), watch out for kidney, lymph and heart problems, pregnant mares, and older horses (as the lymph circulation speed and blood circulation can increase).
  • Fever, thrombosis, watery oedema, systemic oedema, glanders, large blood vessels, absolute watershed and crown rim.

Do the different colours of VetkinTape influence the treatment?

Some professional practitioners state that the colour of the tape does not influence the treatment. Other reactions see below;

  • When a client does not like a colour, the horse can feel this and the tape will miss (part of) its effect. In other words, when owners choose their favourite colour, which makes them happy, they radiate this to their horse.
  • The colours blue and green work well because they are soft colours. The colour red does not work well when you want to keep the animals calm.
  • Owners of sport horses do want to try tape, but preferably in colours that are not too conspicuous.
  • I use black to calm down hypertonic/overactive areas. Quiet colours to calm down, brighter colours to activate.
  • I don’t use red on inflammations or swollen areas, but I do use it to activate. Blue I use for rest and movement. Orange I use for movement and warmth.

What can be a reason why VetkinTape® does not adhere well and comes loose quickly?

The horse’s coat and skin composition;
The composition of the coat and skin fat can influence the adhesive power of the tape. Horses regularly suffer from a greasy coats. When the problem comes from within, this greasiness is difficult to remove. Often it concerns horses that have an accumulation of waste products in the body, these waste products then come out through the skin.

Sometimes you can also see flakes on the skin and smell a typical odour around the horse. In these cases, the VetkinTape® will not adhere, not even after cleaning the skin with alcohol or VetkinTape® Clean coat spray. It’s a good idea to first give the horse a cleaning treatment for a couple of weeks to get the coat less greasy, after that you can tape it.

Most horse owners sometimes apply all kinds of ointment to their horse’s legs or skin. You may not see the ointment anymore, but it is still present between the hairs and on the skin. This also influences the adhesion of the VetkinTape®.

Horse legs with ‘Mud Fever’;
Mud fever includes all skin irritations in the hoof cavity. Legs with mud fever (which can also be “full” of fluid) and being shaved, a classic image with Friesians, will initially not benefit from Medical Taping. At a later stage, it will. Manual lymph drainage takes care of the drainage, an improvement of the immune system (which is necessary in case of mud fever) and recovery. After this has been applied several times you can start taping.

Below are some points that may apply to the adhesive strength of VetkinTape®;

  • Body temperature of the horse can make a difference; mares are often a bit warmer, and the tape may not stick as well then
  • The gender of a horse can make a difference; stallions produce more sebum which makes the skin fatter
  • Moulting, splashing
  • Incorrect application or taping technique
  • The application is very important, apply it correctly in one go.
  • Adhesion depends on where and why you are going to apply the tape, brachiocephalicus sometimes proves difficult to tape.
  • The overall condition of the horse and the nutrition that changes the composition of the coat.
  • Surgery, medication, and anaesthetics affect the composition of the skin.
  • Ambient temperature, extra warm weather may cause the horses to sweat under the tape.
  • Where is the tape stored? Do not leave it in the car during warm or cold weather, this will affect the tape and its adhesive power.

With oedema complaints it is experienced that, with taping alone, there is a big chance that the tape will not stay in place. A manual oedema treatment before taping could offer a solution. Do you have any experience with this?

  • All lymph-related complaints can best be treated manually first, possibly in addition to laser and/or pulsating magnetic field therapy. In this way, you get a good impression of what the lymphatic system can handle, You have a better sense of where you can start taping and you turn the system “on”. You can only discharge when the body is ready for it and the “drain” is open.
  • Lymphatic taping requires specific knowledge and insight. For the treatment of these complaints, the involvement of an experienced lymphatic therapist is a good addition to the treatment process.

Do horses need to be shaved or not for Medical Taping treatment?

  • Shaved legs of cold-blooded horses with a lot of hair, such as Friesian horses, are not suitable for tape. The density of the hairs, the number of hairs and the “prickliness” (they do not lie down but stand up) ensure that the tape does not stay on.
  • Tape can have less effect on horses with thick hair. A summer coat is ideal, not recently shaved but not too long either. Hair up to an average of 4/5 cm long works fine.
  • A winter coat is more challenging to tape than a short coat. However, a thick winter coat can still be taped. This is often the case with Icelandic horses and their winter coats.
  • The inside of the hind legs are not easy to tape, as the tape does not stay in place as well as on the back or the buttocks.