Horse’s legs are very vulnerable and therefore highly prone to injury so taking care of our horse’s legs is pivotal to ensuring they thrive in their career. As owners, we can take many preventative steps to keep our horse sound.
During training or exercise
The first step in our training routine should be to adequately warm the horse up for the upcoming exercise or training it is about to receive. Just like in people, warming up is important as it helps with oxygen delivery around the body and blood circulation, reducing muscle stiffness and prepares the joints, ligaments and tendons for strenuous work.
Consider whether your horse will benefit from the use of correctly fitted boots or bandages. Leg protection can assist with reducing the impact of knocks that your horse might experience during training or competition.
Lastly, identify the surface you are riding on. For example, if the ground is very hard, this can often result in inflammation of the joints as the joint will need to absorb a larger impact. You may need to alter your training routine to accommodate for the riding surface.
After training or exercise
Immediately after exercise, an effective cooling down routine should be implemented. Cooling down will assist your horse by bringing its overall body temperature, respiratory and breathing rate to a normal level.
Post-exercise the immediate removal of boots and bandages is important to ensure the legs are able to cool down as quickly as possible. Cold hosing directly on the legs can also assist with dropping the overall temperature of the leg.
Icing the horse’s legs can assist with reducing inflammation in the tendons, ligaments and joints and can be done for about 15-20 mins. Make sure that when applying ice, it is not applied ice directly to the skin as this can be extremely uncomfortable to the horse. This is where a comfortable ice boot can be a great choice when it comes to icing.
Finally, you might want to consider the use of a clay poultice such as SwellDOWN. Clay poultices can be placed over the entire leg or in strategic areas to assist with drawing out heat and to reduce swelling commonly generated at damaged sites to aid a more rapid recovery. They are often more convenient than some other cooling methods as they can be left on the legs for a longer period, up to 24 hours, before they are washed off.
SwellDOWN is the ORIGINAL and THE BEST clay poultice on the market as the combination of wet clay, essential oils and minerals have a cooling effect on the skin. Heat produced by exercise or injury is drawn out at a rapid rate, limiting hypoxic (lack of oxygen) damage and reducing the risk of oedema (fluid retention) and muscle damage, thereby aiding recovery.
SwellDOWN is NOW available in a convenient 5.2kg size which means the Kelato team has you covered in any size that is most suitable for your discipline! SwellDOWN can be applied after training, trialling and post racing and also when travelling. A BONUS to SwellDOWN is that it can also be used to help draw out stone bruises!
SwellDOWN is of benefit for:
• After training, trialling and post-race
• After exercise (especially on hard or heavy ground)
• After events
• First sign of inflammation
• Can be used to draw out stone bruises