Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Animal Science

Major Professor

Jennie, Z. Ivey

Committee Members

Jennie Ivey, Amanda McLean, Lew Strickland


Therapeutic modalities in the equine industry are constantly progressing due to evolving needs of horse owners who desire to make their horse perform at their best. Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy is a lesser understood modality when it comes to its use in horse. Despite its widespread use, there is little research pertaining to how or if PEMF therapy affects performance of the equine athlete and influences various equine medical conditions; however, PEMF therapy use in humans improves delayed onset muscle soreness, and increases stride rate and length which could possibly be applied to the equine athlete. The objective of this study was to assess how PEMF is utilized throughout the equine industry including its use as a therapeutic aid, reasons for use, and discipline usage. An online survey was constructed through Qualtrics, where participants were recruited using existing contact lists, social media, and a national Extension network during a 9-week period. A live animal experiment was also done to determine its short-term effects on horses in a moderate exercise program. All survey data was analyzed using the frequency procedure in SAS (v9.4) and the live animals experiment used the Glimmix procedure. Survey respondents received a set of questions pertaining to their industry involvement and their views on PEMF and each respondent could select multiple groups if they pertained to their industry involvement. A total of 86% (n=305) of respondents said they ride or exercise their horse and 85.08% (n=268) of individuals who ride have used PEMF therapy on their performance horse. In the live experiment, horses showed a lower heart rate, increased walk stride length, and a difference in their level of soreness through the use of a Equinosis lameness locator (Columbia, MO) immediately after treatment. Survey respondents had a positive outlook of PEMF therapy and its use on horses they own or lease. Live experiment results showed there is an immediate effect of PEMF therapy. Though results show PEMF is widely used and there are beneficial effects, more research is needed to determine how to best utilize therapy.

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