Ringbone is exostosis (bone growth) in the pastern or coffin joint of a horse. In severe cases, the growth can encircle the bones (hence the name ringbone).

High ringbone occurs on the lower part of the large pastern bone or the upper part of the small pastern bone. Low ringbone occurs on the lower part of the small pastern bone or the upper part of the coffin bone.

High ringbone can be observed externally, whereas as low ringbone occurs in the hoof and only advanced low ringbone will create a bony bump on the coronet of the horse.

Caused by numerous factors including a direct blow to the joint, underlying bone disease, infection or concussion transmitted up through the limb.

Ringbone causes inflammation around the collateral ligaments of the joints and is likely to cause lameness. The inflammatory process then leads to the deposition of bone around the affected joint.

Can Equissage help?


Although Equissage cannot reverse what is happening (it is a degenerative disease), it can help to halt progress to prevent the condition worsening as well as ease existing symptoms allowing the horse to be more comfortable and, alongside other factors, allow the horse to continue its working life. Ultimate success does however depend on good management and taking account of any conformational factors which may be contributory in the onset of ringbone. Ringbone is very painful and can be secondary to another condition or can cause secondary conditions which affect the surrounding area.

There are different types of ringbone depending precisely on what is affected. However therapy which improves joint function (the internal workings) helps to halt the continued formation of new bone provided the initial cause of the onset of ringbone is removed.

The aim of treatment is to reduce the chronic inflammation. Equissage therapy works effectively in these instances promoting circulation to assist in the removal of waste and toxins and allow fresh nutrients to be brought into the affected area. Equissage use cannot remove the extra bone that has already been laid down, but by halting the inflammatory process it can prevent the continuation of that process. The cycloidal massage is proven to help with joint mobility and arthritic conditions which ringbone is akin to.

As rest is essential in the early stages, particularly whilst investigation is carried out as to the exact cause and whether adjustment to shoeing, etc. will be of benefit, then Equissage can help to limit the effects of box rest such as stiffness, filled legs, etc.


Use the Pad on a daily basis on a No.4-No.6 setting for 20 minutes; then use the Leg Boot on the affected joint or apply the Hand Unit for 10 minutes. If using the Hand Unit be sure to fit the rubber cap otherwise the vibration may cause discomfort. The Boot or Hand Unit can also be used alone for a secondary treatment later in the day.