Why ice your horse’s hooves?
Hoof health starts on the inside of the horse, and icing helps reduce inflammation. Thankfully, most horses will never experience laminitis, and there are lots of ways we can help prevent this from happening.
Boots are one way to get icing done. These are designed for laminitis and will cover the fetlock and pastern, cooling the blood going into the hoof for added oomph.
When to ice
Call your veterinarian for a complete diagnosis and treatment plan or with any questions. It’s time to ice if your horse has or does any of these things:
- Bad or questionable footing! Hard ground creates a lot of concussion, which can be uncomfortable. Icing the hooves after a hard work out, bad footing, or a lot of jumping takes some of the sting out of the hooves.
- Your horse has a fever. The inflammation that occurs in your horse’s body during a fever can spread rapidly into the hooves via the enzymes that are involved in the inflammation process. For more on fever and founder, read this.
Regular monitoring of your horse’s temp will alert you to a fever long before he tells you.
- Your horse has diarrhea. Same scenario here. Digestive issues like diarrhea and colic disrupt your horse’s whole body, and GI problems can dump endotoxins from the hindgut into the hooves, creating laminitis. Act fast. Knowing if your horse’s manure is normal is key here.
- Your horse is injured. Injuries may cause your horse to shift weight from one leg to the others. Over time, this can cause supporting limb laminitis. Use ice to help those supporting legs and hooves feel better and hopefully stay free of laminitis.
The inside of an ice boot. Ice reduces inflammation, which is good for all parts of your horse, especially his feet. Ice is also a pain reliever.
The hard ground can lead to sore hooves.
- You found your horse binge eating. Binging on grain or hay or pasture creates a storm of problems in the hindgut. All of that food hitting the hindgut rapidly lets the microbes have a feast, triggering a chain reaction that can affect hoof health. For more on the horse that binge eats a concentrated meal, read this.
Don’t forget to call your vet! A little bit of proactive hoof icing can go a long way to keeping your horse sound and happy.
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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 cool the leg above the hoof, which can help cool the hoof.
These affordable boots can be filled with ice to help your horse.