Cold Water Boots For Horses - Tackle Swelling and Soothe
Who better to endorse Premier Equine's Cold Water Horse Boots than sponsored rider Paul Tapner? Paul is a professional rider, a historical member of the Australian event team and a previous winner of the Badminton Horse Trials. Paul has been using Premier Equine's Cold Water Horse Boots on his horses for prevention and treatment of injury for years - and in this blog, we will discuss why.
Have a look at this video where Paul explains how to use the Cold Water Boots here.
How Do Cold Water Boots Help With Injury?
Cold Water Therapy is a customary procedure in eventing, racing and competition yards worldwide. This form of cold water treatment is applied religiously after strenuous exercise, fast work, exercise on hard surfaces, and injury rehabilitation.
Excess heat in the tendons and ligaments can cause damage and the breakdown of these weight-bearing structures - leading to the risk of lameness, sensitivity, or injury. Inflammation or swelling of the tendon, known as tendonitis, is considered one of the most common soft tissue injuries in horses.
Tendonitis is commonly a consequence of overextension of the tendon, usually from rapid or uneven strides, tearing the tendon fibres. Excessive exercise on hard ground can also cause damage due to the concussive impact that the hoof cannot absorb travelling up the forelimb. This ailment often leads to lameness and, when left without prompt treatment, can lead to a lengthy rehabilitation plan to return a horse to peak performance.
When an injury or strain occurs the blood vessels in the area become damaged, activating elevated white blood cell production within the body. This autoimmune response increases blood flow in the affected area as the white blood cells produce chemicals to help protect the body from infection, due to injury, and promote healing. The increased circulation and amassed blood flow may appear as bruising, swelling, or abnormal levels of heat in the localised area. These symptoms can cause further damage to the injured area and complicate healing.
Applying a cold treatment to the exterior of the horse’s lower leg constricts the blood vessels and reduces excess blood flow. This helps to reduce the internal temperature of the area in close proximity to the application which can help to reduce inflammation, allowing for more efficient healing, and temporarily relieve acute pain.
When Should I Use Cold Water Boots?
The optimum time for treatment is around twenty minutes. This allows the treatment time to reduce the inflammation and reduce pain however applying cold treatments for excessive periods of time can be very counterproductive. If the body is exposed to cold temperatures for a prolonged period, the body may overreact and encourage further increased blood flow to the area to reheat the tissue. Consequently, this may cause the swelling to reoccur, warranting the treatment futile. The best practice would be to apply twenty-minute treatments, up to three times a day, as required.
How Premier Equine Cold Water Boots Work?
The Premier Equine Cold Water Horse Boots are full of micro-crystals which turn into a cold gel when activated by soaking in water. This gel creates a cushioning compress which moulds comfortably around the horse’s tendon and fetlock area. The anatomical design of the quilted gel pockets allows for a close yet unrestricted fit, allowing the horse to be walked whilst wearing the cold water boots.
Not only are cold water horse boots much more convenient than the cold hosing alternatives – the addition of strategically placed elastic straps improves the efficiency of treatment by implementing an element of compression when applying the tension of fastening the straps during fitting.
For those who require a quick soak, durable alternative, you should consider the Cold Water Compression Boots. This option activates from a 5-8 minute soak in iced, or even ambient, water. The lining is of medical-grade material providing hypo-allergenic and antibacterial properties. The material uses unique chemistry to achieve rapid water absorption. The advanced formulation releases energy over time to provide temperatures that are 6-12° cooler than ambient temperature.
The outer layer of the Cold Water Compression Boots is a 3D sports mesh, allowing a constant flow of air to reach the lining material and prolonging the cooling effect of the treatment.
For a more intense treatment, Horse Ice Boots would be required. Premier Equine produces two design options, 6 pocket horse ice boots or 9 pocket horse ice boots. Each boot has pockets sewn onto the inside of the boot which can be filled with crushed ice. The lower temperature will slowly permeate through to the horse’s leg, providing ice-cold treatment. Although these boots are not quite as convenient as the cold water options (due to the requirement of ice), they provide a more intense treatment if required and fit high up to/over the knee or hock for maximum coverage and cooling.