Inflammation and icing – how it affects your horse.
- Think back to any baseball or football movie you have seen – the star player walks around with ice taped to his shoulder or sits in a giant vat of ice water. This isn’t Hollywood magic – it’s taking care of the microinflammation caused by repetitive motions. Like your horse trotting around. Let’s go deeper into your horse’s legs to see how this breaks down.
How inflammation and cold therapies work in horses.
- Injuries and routine exercise both create inflammation. Injured tissue, like a tendon tear or even a scrape, gets flooded with blood.
- Unfortunately, the injury has broken blood vessels, so they will leak into the surrounding tissue. This creates painful inflammation and swelling.
- Ice therapies serve new injuries by constricting vessels and not allowing the leakage of fluids and blood into surrounding tissues. This prevents a large amount of fluid for your horse’s body to clean up and heal, thus healing times can be reduced.
Boots, while providing protection, also retain heat in your horse’s legs.
Similarly, when your horse is exercising, his legs and muscles generate heat.
- This is amplified under protective leg wraps and saddle pads. Capillaries are dilated (opened up) during exercise to provide blood and oxygen to these areas.
- After work, there can be a build-up of extra fluid, which causes inflammation as well as muscle soreness.
- After exercise, ice therapies serve to reduce soreness and bring your horse’s athletic game back up to par.
But what about older injuries and the aches and pains that go along with aging and being an athlete?
- Ice therapy can definitely help there, as well. Old injuries respond to ice as the constriction of blood vessels can have a pain-relieving effect.
- Additionally, when the ice is removed, the area is flushed with a fresh supply of blood, which contains an army of injury repairing substances such as white blood cells and other housecleaning substances.
Ice boots remove heat, speed healing, prevent soreness, and support your horse’s long-term health.
An ounce of prevention…
- While it may seem silly to perform ice therapies on a sound horse or a horse that has recovered from an injury, it’s actually the best thing you can do to support your horse’s health!
- Preventing soreness, aiding in recovery from exercise, and supporting the long-term health of your horse’s legs mean a happy athlete. And you only need 30 minutes a day!
If you want to get rolling on an icing program for your athlete, you can also pick them up here! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which are not a penny more for you. I couldn’t be more grateful for your support!
These ice packs make for easy cooling of your horse’s legs and hooves. They last for hours.
This tall boot can be filled with ice or ice packs to help the horse with laminitis.
These affordable boots can be filled with ice to help your horse.