The best ice boots for horses provide cold therapy to the lower leg. They are usually used routinely after fastwork or strenuous exercise in order to cool the structures in the lower leg or for rehabilitation from injury. Cooling the tendons and ligaments is important after fastwork as increased temperatures can cause damage to the structures, while the cold temperatures also promote healing.
In recent years, the technologies used in ice boots for horses has come on leaps and bounds – and there is a wide range of options, too. Some ice boots and wraps also provide compression, vibration or the option for heat therapy – similar to many other therapy products – offering even further benefits, so it’s important to consider what you hope to get out of your new ice boots.
Another thing to consider is the practicality of each pair of boots – some are quick to cool or can be cooled without the need of a freezer, while others take longer but may last longer, too. If you plan to use them after competition, be sure to choose a pair that you have the facilities to activate and keep cool if necessary. It’s also important to think about how much surface contact the boot has with your horse’s leg – the more contact, the more benefit the leg is likely to receive – and the ease of application.
Here’s a selection of the best ice boots for horses to help you weigh up your options…
Cryochaps ice wraps
Sizes: One size to fit 15.2–18hh | RRP: From £49.99 for one wrap |
These all-in-one ice and compression wraps have an ice gel section that covers all the major tendons and ligaments in the lower leg. It also has uniquely designed compartments to follow the contours of the leg to ensure every area is cooled effectively. The gel inside is crispy, even when frozen, which helps the wrap mould well to the leg. There is a stretchy compression sleeve that applies uniform compression, which helps drives the cold deeper into the tissues. The Cryochaps cool bag will keep the wraps frozen for at least six hours, and the wraps should be applied for 10-15 mins – short sharp application is highly beneficial, as the removal of ice and compression also plays an important role in recovery, increasing blood flow and oxygen to the area, which kick-starts healing.
View at cryochaps.co.uk
Equetech Bonner Ice Bandage
Sizes: One size | RRP: £66.95 for a pair |
This cold compression bandage brings fast and natural relief to muscles, tendons and ligaments. The bandage freezes within just 20 minutes and unlike other similar products on the market, which can contain alcohol, this one does not use chemicals to work, has a much lower temperature and stays colder for longer. Applying the bandage for just 15 minutes gives penetrating residual cold for up to 30 minutes after the bandage has been removed. It can be used in a first-aid setting or as a preventative measure for competition horses, and is also suitable for humans.
EQuick EArtik cooling boots
Sizes: One size | RRP: £125 for a pair |
These cooling boots, which can be used on front or hind limbs, have a tough, structured outer and are secured with three Velcro straps. They are supplied with reusable, non-toxic, gelatine bags that can be left in the freezer until needed, when they are slipped into the mesh panels on the inside of the boot. It’s recommended they are used for 20 minute periods, but the ice packs will stay cold for up to two hours. The gelatine bags are also microwavable at low heat for use as warming treatment, while the boots are also machine washable.
Horseware IceVibe boots
Sizes: Full or extra-full | RRP: £219.95 for a pair, including ice packs, panels and charger |
These rechargeable, cooling and vibrating boots can be used on the front or hind legs and encourage movement of the lymphatic system and blood flow. Made with a neoprene outer that wraps around the cold packs and is secured with Velcro, they have elasticated inner pockets for the vibrating panels and are contoured to the lower leg. The latest update includes a light indicator on the vibrating panels.
Ice Horse tendon wraps
Sizes: Pony or horse | RRP: From £95 for a pair |
These wraps provide uniform compression and excellent coverage to reduce inflammation and heat in the tendons and ligaments. The wraps are maybe with a breathable fabric that keeps the packs securely in place and allows the heat to escape. The ice packs freeze to a snow-like consistency, which allows them to mould to the leg for maximum coverage, and can stay cold for more than two hours.
View at fmbs.co.uk
JHL Cool Boots
Sizes: One size | RRP: £59.99 for a pair |
These boots have a neoprene outer wrap, which is combined with a removable gel cooling pad. The boots are easily secured to the leg with three wide touch-tape fastenings, which makes them quick and easy to put on and take off.
LeMieux Arctic ice boots
Sizes: One size | RRP: £64.95 for a pair |
These generously sized, flexible ice boots have four elasticated straps that allow for flexible fitting, which means that they can be used anywhere on either front or hind limbs. They contain a gel that is formed in 24 separate pockets and contours around the limb ensuring maximum contact. The boots take four to six hours to freeze and should be used for 20–30 minutes at a time. A cooling bag is also available so you can easily transport the boots to shows.
Premier Equine cold water compression boots
Sizes: S–XL | RRP: £50 for a pair |
These boots have no need for ice or refrigeration – just soak in water for five to eight minutes to activate the cooling technology that lowers the ambient temperature by 6–12°C. The medical-grade lining has hypoallergenic and antibacterial properties, while the 3D sports mesh outer allows a constant flow of air to reach the cold water material which prolongs the cooling effect. The adjustable Velcro straps create compression to further aid recovery.
QHP cooling bandage
Sizes: One size (45cm) | RRP: £25.95 for one bandage |
This cooling bandage can be placed in the freezer easily applied with Velcro. Within the protector, multiple small gel packs enable the bandage to remain flexible when the gel packs are frozen. The gel packs are also lined with foam to disperse the cool evenly over a long time.
Ruggles compression ice socks
Sizes: S–XL | RRP: £68 for a set of four |
Made from a strong four-way stretch nylon Lycra, these can compression socks can be used with or without ice. The full-length ice pockets go around the back of the legs to allow for maximum coverage. They have a full-length zip, which makes them easy to put on and are fastened with Velcro at the top and bottom. The socks are machine washable and come in a handy storage bag.
Shires Arma Cool Hydro Therapy boots
Sizes: Pony, cob or full | RRP: £36.99 for a pair |
These boots contain micro-crystals that turn to a cooling gel when soaked in water. The crystals swell into the quilted fabric spaces to form a soft gel pad that hugs all parts of the leg when the boot is fitted. The gel is contained within the fabric quilting and returns to micro-crystals when dry so the boots are mess-free and reusable.
View at shiresequestrian.com
Woof Wear Polar ice boots
Sizes: One size | RRP: £59.99 for a pair |
These boots feature removable gel packs that can be applied straight from the freezer and moulded around the tendons as they remain flexible when frozen. Made with a plush breathable neoprene outer and fastened with touch-close fastenings for an improved fit, the boots have horizontal elasticated mesh pockets to position the therapy packs, which can be used hot or cold. Boots can be used on front or hind legs.
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