Hi everyone, I´m Victoria Rezesova and horses have been my passion for about 15 years. As a junior rider I´ve participated in many national and international shows, as well as national championships or national cups. During my long years of practice, I’ve tried various cooling equipment such as cold-water boots, ice boots for horses and cold hosing.
Take care of your horse
As long as I remember we’ve always been taught by our trainers how to treat the horse limbs after work. I loved the time after training fooling around with a hose while washing and cooling the horse legs. Maybe I didn’t understand the importance of cooling treatments at that time, but later, with more experience I can say it is one of the most important factors in horse health care.
And here is my summary of cooling treatments pros & cons
Personally, I find this cooling equipment as the most effective and comfortable, especially when I´m racing. It saves time, no freezer needed, always ready to be used. Just soak them in a bucket of cold or icy water for a few minutes before applying. My favorite is O’Cool therapy boots & not only due to really cool design. Even though they are water activated, there is no leakage of water comparing to other similar boots or cold hosing. I also appreciate the high-quality firm material and shape. They hold on legs perfectly while a horse is moving, so I can walk the horse with the boots on. What I really like is a special O’Cool accessory bag. It´s useful for hanging the boots after use or transport.
Ice Boots for horses / Bandages
I’ve tried various products of this kind of cooling equipment. No doubt it decreases the limbs temperature very quickly and it also saves your time but a freezer on hand is a must. So, if you are on the road it’s not that practical. Placing the boots on legs directly from the freezer may cause ice burns so a layer of bandage or other thin material between the boot and the leg is necessary! A few ice boots for horses types got so hard-frozen that I had a hard time fixing them properly to cover the whole horse’s lower limb.
If you are in the home stable with unlimited access to water hose and have 30 minutes for each horse just to cool the legs, then it’s a good option. In addition to the cooling effect, you will also wash and massage the horse’s limbs and clean any wounds the horse may have caused during work. On the other hand, I’ve found this method as very time consuming. And especially at events you only have access to buckets of water and sponges. Apart from that a prolonged exposure to water may also damage horse hooves.
It´s important to remember
Regular temperature of the horse is about 38 °C. During a hard work, core temperature in the flexor tendons can increase up to 45 °C. So, the first priority after the training or competition is to decrease the horse’s core body temperature with a particular attention to the legs. The lower limb of the horse consists of bones, joints and tendons and since it is not very muscular, it tends to be damaged. During jumping events the horse may also hit its legs against fences, that may end up with cuts and inflammation. Therefore, you need to firstly cool the tendons, and secondly limit inflammation in the lower limbs.