When Should You Use Ice For Horse Recovery?
Ice For Recovery In Horses
The benefits of icing have been documented for many years. Whether it be the reduction of inflammation, pain relief or to assist in recovery.
Acute injuries are the most common ones we treat with ice therapy to immediately reduce inflammation occurring and to take away the pain.
Just as in application to an acute injury, the benefits of cold therapy in rehabilitation can also be hugely effective in controlling inflammation to an injury site, for example, a tear in a muscle or wound on a joint. It can be used for muscle relief after exercise and a sore back from the saddle.
For starters, cold has an analgesic effect, which means it more or less numbs tissues that it touches. This makes your horse feel better almost immediately.
Then after healing is well underway and swelling has dissipated, it’s often wise to continue cold therapy even as the horse resumes his normal workload. If the horse has been off work for a long time during recovery, perhaps from a tendon injury or trauma to the back and is just starting exercise again, it is beneficial to apply cold therapy when that injured area is put back into work.
This can help minimise possible stress and inflammation as you get the newly healed tissues working again.
Ice For Cooling Horses
Ice can also be used as a cooling down method. This is the main benefit of the Equi-ice neck packs. They are placed onto the neck and clipped on. They are designed to sit over the jugular vein so when the horse, for example, has gone cross country or run a race their blood is pumping excessively around their body the blood running through the jugular vein will be cooled quicker than water being thrown on the horse because the neck pack is attached to the horse the cold pressure is consistently there.