One of the most essential items to have in your truck or float when you are out competing is a quality clay poultice. Applied to the horse’s leg, a poultice can reduce inflammation quickly, decrease pain and keep you and your horse in the competition.
Travelling, warm-ups, standing in stalls and actually showing or competing can place an enormous amount of stress on your horse’s precious legs. Bumps and minor tears can occur on a regular basis resulting in inflammation, commonly presenting as swelling. This inflammation results in significant changes to the norm in terms of blood flow for the affected area.
The capillaries in the area constrict, resulting in blood pooling. In this blood lies leukocytes which, although essential, can sometimes cause scar tissue to form around the affected area.
If the blood is not removed from the area, the ability for scar tissue to form will increase. Scar tissue can ultimately restrict the movement of the joint eventually hindering performance. See Diagram 1. It is therefore essential to keep a close eye on inflammation. When you see it, act immediately! The sooner the poultice is applied, the better the effects at reducing inflammation and reducing scar tissue to maintain healthy joints.
The take home message on inflammation is to cool things down quickly to reduce swelling and start the healing process. So don’t forget to pack your SwellDOWN when you are off to your next show, race or event!
To find out how to apply SwellDOWN for maximum effectiveness, watch the video below.