Restful, deep sleep plays a major role in success in all aspects of life—from work to competition. The same holds true for your horse, especially in stressful situations such as at events or while being treated at the veterinary clinic. Without reparative, restorative sleep, the body—human or equine—can’t perform its best, especially in clutch situations.
XpertEquine™ now offers a game-changing solution to help your horse get the rest he needs, when he needs it with the new, patent-pending REM Restorative Equine Mask. To understand the mask’s functionality, you’ll first need a primer on the relationship between sleep and light.
The Rhythm of Sleep
Circadian rhythm refers to the internal clock in all humans and animals and is strongly influenced by the daily cycles of daylight and darkness. In relation to sleep, darkness triggers the signal to release melatonin, the hormone that initiates sleep and restfulness and maintains sleep throughout the night.
Circadian rhythms are well known in humans, but horses are even more dependent on light, meaning horses are more susceptible to losing sleep when darkness is reduced or removed from their environment—as at major horse shows where barn lights are on all night or veterinary clinics when lights are left on for continued observation of patients. This means the horses have constant exposure to blue light, which is shown to suppress melatonin levels and reduce restful sleep.
The REM mask is a first-of-its-kind solution to this problem.
A New Kind of Sleeping Mask
Developed and tested by veterinarians, the REM mask from XpertEquine ensures that your horse gets a good night’s sleep, even with the lights on. It’s clinically proven to facilitate the melatonin rise needed for sleep and recovery, improving overall performance. In clinical studies, horses wearing REM masks showed substantial increases in melatonin levels even while under continuous lights, while horses housed under the same light conditions without the masks had melatonin levels below the measurable threshold.
The REM mask features uniquely designed eye coverings made of a special material that blocks blue light from entering eye. Blocking blue light from the eye allows the horse to produce melatonin, facilitating rest. The mask design is safe for equine eyes and resistant to shattering and scratching. Additionally, the patched-style mask can help horses with eye injuries and can ease anxiety during travel and other stressful situations.
The Mask of Champions
During the 2020 championship season, XpertEquine sent REM masks to several riders from diverse disciplines who face different competitive environments. The one commonality: lights left on 24 hours a day in the stable areas. Each of the testers experienced success in the arena and in terms of their horses’ comfort and performance.
“I felt like my horses rested better and were more settled,” said WPRA barrel racer Jana Bean, who won the futurity at the 2020 WPRA Finals. “I used the masks on my mare and on my stud, and they each seemed to have a little different calmness to them. They were relaxed, rested, and performed better.”
NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Casey Deary piloted Americas Supermodel, a 5-year-old mare, to the 2020 AQHA World Championship Show Junior Reining title, and said using the REM™ mask helped his mare seem more rested and settled in at the marathon-length event.
“The first day at the show, we didn’t use the mask,” Deary admitted. “As usual at shows, it took my mare a little longer to settle in and be ready to work. We tried the mask that night, and the next day when I threw my leg over her, she seemed more mellow and went right to work.”
Deary also used the REM mask at the NRHA Futurity and noticed his horses resting better—even to the point of finding them laying down in their stalls sleeping.
“I’m a fan,” Deary concluded. “If your horse rests at a show like he does at home, it decreases his stress and increases your chance at success.”
Lindsey Smith competes on the hunter/jumper circuit and saw remarkable results with the REM mask on a particularly anxious horse.
“We took this horse to a venue that’s a coliseum where they keep the lights on 24/7—it’s very bright in the barn,” she explained. “We schooled the first day, and the next morning the horse didn’t seem right. He was colicky, so we took him to the vet where he had IV fluids for a few days. I talked to the vet about the possibility of it being linked to my horse’s lack of sleep, and the vet had a prototype of the mask for me to try.
“We used the mask at the next show, and he was a different horse,” Smith continued. “It was really surprising, but undeniable. We came to feed, and the horse was laying down sleeping! Now we use it every time that horse travels. We put it on at night check and take it off when we go feed in the morning. It replicates the normal day/night experience, even under 24-hour lights.”
At the first show using the mask, Smith and her mount were champions on the $750 Take 2 Thoroughbred Jumper Division at the 2020 Blue Ribbon Winter Festival.
Find Your Mask
The XpertEquine REM mask comes in sizes small through extra-large. It fits like a fly mask, so doesn’t cause extra distress to most horses. Learn more about the science behind the mask, where to buy one, and how it works at XpertEquine.com.
XpertEquine™ represents a landmark partnership between Equibrand Products Group and Brazos Valley Equine Hospitals. Together, the respected, well-known businesses will develop a line of therapeutic veterinary items for horses to promote healing, improve health, maintain wellness, and enhance athletic performance. The first product from the partnership is the REM™ Restoration Equine Mask. Equibrand Products is based in Granbury, Texas, and includes well-known brands such as Classic Equine, Martin Saddlery, Classic Ropes, Rattler Ropes, and Cashel. With locations in Salado, Stephenville, and Navasota, Texas, and Brazil, Brazos Valley Equine Hospitals offer an extensive variety of services, from standard preventative care to the cutting-edge, specialty surgery. For more than 40 years, Brazos Valley Equine Hospitals have served horses’ needs with skilled staff and cutting-edge procedures. Learn more about XpertEquine products and the partnership at XpertEquine.com.
Hannah Haugen Macy
Public Relations Coordinator
972-481-8104 ext. 4143