How to Repair a Torn Muscle on a Horse

When a horse's muscle tears, it is because of muscle fibers rupturing, according to Peter Gray, equine veterinary surgeon. When this occurs, the horse slips or falls and has a hard time keeping itself up. Treatment must be timely to ensure that the torn muscle grows back correctly. First, treatment includes healing the damaged tissue, and then it includes restoring the full movement of the damaged muscle.

First massage the torn muscle area with your hands, a wisp or a pad, while gently applying pressure to the area that is injured. Use a massaging gel if you like. Then apply an ice pack to the torn muscle to decrease inflammation.

Giving the horse a phenylbutazone (bute) supplement, which is an anti-inflammatory drug, is a good idea to reduce the swelling and pain. Bute for horses can be compared to ibuprofen for humans.

Keep the horse in the stall until it recovers so that it cannot run on the injured muscle out in pasture or paddock. This resting period could take anywhere from a week to two months, or longer, depending on the severity of the tear. The horse shouldn't be raced or worked hard for up to six months.

To speed the recovery process, laser therapy is a common form of treatment that helps to encourage collagen fibrils to realign themselves when healing. Or you could use a portable device made especially for horse recovery. These devices release microcurrents to stimulate blood flow in the injured area.


Immediately after the muscle tears, call a veterinarian in to take a look at the severity and to make sure no bone injuries are involved. A vet can help with the entire process and make sure the muscle is treated correctly.

Things You'll Need

  • Massaging wisp or pad
  • Massaging gel
  • Ice pack
  • Bute supplements
  • Stall
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