How Do FLAIR Strips Make Breathing Easier?

Lauren Nicholson and Landmark’s Monte Carlo. Photo by Abby Powell.

You’ve most likely seen FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips on many event horses you’ve watched, especially out on cross country. Have you ever wondered exactly how these strips help a horse? It helps to first learn about the horse’s respiratory system, which differs from our own in a few ways. FLAIR Strips are beneficial for horses at all levels of competition — not just the 5* level! — and you can learn more or purchase your own pack here.

Graphic courtesy of FLAIR Strips.

Unlike humans, horses only breathe through their noses during intensive exercise.

The horse’s respiratory system is essentially a long tube that extends from the nostrils to the lungs. The respiratory system is divided into the upper airway (nostrils, nasal passages, larynx and trachea) and the lower airway (lungs). The only way to bring air into the horse’s lungs is through the nose.

Graphic courtesy of FLAIR Strips.

When a horse breathes in during exercise, over 50% of the resistance to airflow is in the nasal passages.

During exercise, resistance to moving air into the lungs increases. 90% of the resistance occurs in the upper airways and over half of that occurs in the nasal passages. One reason for this is that a significant portion of soft tissue overlying the nasal passages in horses is unsupported by bone or cartilage, including at the narrowest part of the upper airway: the nasal valve. As breathing intensity increases, this unsupported tissue collapses during inhalation, reducing the size of the airway and greatly increasing resistance to airflow.

Graphic courtesy of FLAIR Strips.

FLAIR Strips reduce airway resistance during exercise to make breathing easier.

The physics principle of Poiseuille’s law tells us that for each incremental increase in the size of a tube, resistance to flow decreases by 16 fold. FLAIR Strips improve airflow by supporting the nasal passages to reduce the soft tissue collapse that occurs in all horses during inhalation. Using a FLAIR Strip can be compared to drinking from a large, thick straw rather than a regular straw…it’s much easier to get what you need.

Graphic courtesy of FLAIR Strips.

Clinical Studies prove FLAIR Strips reduce airway resistance.

Clinical studies at leading research institutions show that by reducing airway resistance FLAIR Strips make breathing easier, reduce fatigue, reduce lung bleeding, conserve energy, and quicken recovery. See the science at