When should I cool and when should I warm the horse's legs?
We are often asked when it is appropriate to cool the horse's legs and when to wrap and warm them instead. Many feel unsure and we wrap or cool a little by feel according to what feels good at the moment. We decided to ask Professor Eva Skiöldebrand how she sees the matter. When should you actually cool the horse's legs and when should you warm them by wrapping them instead?
Inflammation and overexertion always create heat and you want to get rid of it. To get rid of heat, you need cooling. An overworked joint often becomes bilious. Bile is a sign of overwork and it needs cooling to contract faster and avoid the risk of developing into a full-blown inflammation. So if your horse has suffered a strain injury or a blow that causes heat and swelling, you should cool the leg with cold water to stop the inflammatory process.
Bile and heat in the leg are signs of inflammation and should be cooled
The healthy horse, on the other hand, wants heat to increase blood flow in the joint. It is then decided to wrap the legs, for example during the night, to support the circulation of healthy and well-functioning joint fluid. The increased circulation caused by the heat helps the healthy joint to channel nutrients into the joint.
A healthy horse without swelling or other signs of inflammation will want heat to increase blood flow
Those of you who follow us know how often and how much we talk about walking and the importance of walking a lot. This low-intensity gait is our best tool for caring for the horse's legs. The circulation that occurs in the synovial fluid when the horse walks allows slag products, which can form inflammation if they remain in the joint after exertion, to be flushed out immediately after the riding session. This is an effective way of preventing the horse from developing inflamed bile ducts. It also increases blood flow in the joint of the healthy horse and nutrients are transported into the joint, thus maintaining the protective and high quality of the synovial fluid.
If you stop for at least 15 minutes after riding, you don't really need to cool or warm your legs.
The step takes care of the recovery process naturally.
Eva says that the walk is so effective in taking care of the horse's joints that if you walk enough, you don't need to cool or wrap your legs. So walking is the key to good joint health. We therefore continue to spread the important hashtag #skrittamer.
Overexertion problems and arthritis often occur because we stop for too short a time and then let the horses go into the box. The waste products remain in the joints and there is a risk that inflammation is triggered.
A healthy horse can be wrapped to help increase blood flow and circulation in the leg.
An overworked horse or a horse that has received a blow or injury needs cooling immediately after it has occurred. This is to allow the inflammation and swelling to subside.
By walking long enough after exercise, the body takes care of its own slag and circulation management. There is no need to cool or wrap your horse's legs.
Conquer 200Pro is a dietary supplement that is given for preventive purposes to maintain high levels of healthy joint fluid.