As a professional athlete, I can’t help but take my own human exercise science philosophies and apply them to the horses. It is no coincidence that my horse's workout schedule closely mirrors my own. I am a believer in stretching, ice therapy, taking a scientific approach to nutrition design and timing, and periodization training for maximum fitness, soundness, and performance. Since I share so much of my own training and recovery philosophies with the horses, why not take a little advice from their world?
I have spent the summer recovering from a nasty ankle break. After four months of non-weight bearing, the connective tissues and muscles are tight and atrophied. As I am slowly rehabbing and putting that leg back to work, ibuprofen, gentle stretching and massage, ice, and elevation are my go to weapons for battling the inflammation and swelling.
After spending the weekend on my feet at a horse show, I got a good taste of what it must be like for our horses with lower limb injuries. They can’t sit back and prop that leg up so the swelling and heat pool down by the foot. The hoof is a long ways from the heart and if the horse isn’t moving much, the natural pumping mechanism in the foot will not function to push all that pooled blood back up the leg. The result is a hot, swollen, and painful foot lower limb. OUCH!
We can apply hoof poultice or ice using a sized up EasySoaker Boot, administer bute to help knock down the inflammation, and go for hand walks to encourage gentle movement. I have had great results using a clay and arnica poultice on the lower legs-it draws out heat and reduces swelling. I like it not only for minor injuries, but also after hard rides to encourage recovery. I find poultice applied underneath standing wraps combined with hoof boots particularly useful for the trailer ride home from a strenuous event.
I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it myself when a friend suggested I poultice my own ankle. I slathered on a generous layer of Sore-No-More, propped my leg up on plastic covered pillows, at sat back to relax while the healing clay went to work. Wow! What relief! The soothing concoction felt cool and comfortable on my skin and by the time I washed it off I could see a definite reduction in the swelling.
This was a fun and rare opportunity to feel what the horses feel. If you are like me, you may sometimes wonder if all the little extra steps you take to care for your horses are effective or useful or if they just make life more complicated. When it comes to poulticing, I am sold-both for me and the horses! Now if only EasyCare would make the Old Mac’s G2 and comfort pads in my size!
Customer Service Representative
A lifetime of riding and showing sport horses has given me a deep appreciation for the importance of soundness and comfort on performance. Let me help elevate your equine experience by finding the right boot for your horse and unique situation.