Yo VIP, let’s kick it!
Sadly, this blog post is not about early nineties hip-hop (too bad because that is one of my favorite jams!)
This blog post is about the many benefits of ice (or cold) therapy for your beloved unicorn’s legs.
As the old saying goes “no hoof, no horse” it should really be more like “no leg, no horse”, since all our riding endeavours hinge upon our horses being sound and comfortable. Whether you are show jumping, doing dressage or pleasure riding injuries can happen at any time.
The goal with using cold therapy is the reduce inflammation and minimize any tissue damage to our horse’s legs. This could be applied to new injuries, an injury that is healing, or as preventive maintenance for a hard worker. The methods for applying it range from simple to high tech, the simplest being cold hosing – running a stream of cold water directly over the area for 15 to 30 minutes.
A large bucket filled with ice or ice water is also an easy way to apply ice and in our humble opinion the most effective way to ice your horse’s feet. This comes in handy if you have a horse with coffin bone or sole sensitivities. It may take some time to get your horse used to standing in a bucket of ice but most of them seem to get used to it after a few times.
Cold packs can also work, these would be secured to the leg with a polo wrap or stable bandage. These are handy as they can be put back in the freezer for reuse (disclaimer: don’t be a fool like me and think your horse is mature enough to go back into his paddock and not rip said wraps and ice packs off his legs and make a giant mess of blue goo) *eye-roll*
Alternatively (and a bit more expensive) there are ice boots or ice wraps that have pockets you can put ice into, or come with the ice packs already sewn in.
The timing for these applications is about 20 minutes at a time, you will not have any better results if you leave the ice on all day and in fact this can cause further damage to the tissues. For icing a specific area more intensely you can take an ice cube and apply it directly to the area, moving in a circular motion. Since this is the most intense form of cold therapy it is recommended to only do this for about 9 minutes.
As with anything you will have to experiment and see what works best for you and your unicorn but hopefully this can help you get started in the right direction!
Word to your mother,