Leg injuries are the most feared injury among horse owners. Treatments normally include anti-inflammatory drugs and rest.
By following a fitness plan and learning to recognise how your horse is feeling, you can go a long way to avoiding exercise induced injuries. There is also a lot you can do post exercise, to cool and rejuvenate your horse’s legs.
Whether you have an older horse that is starting to stiffen, or a horse with an existing injury, there are plenty of products on the market designed to help relieve stiffness or reduce swelling.
Magnetic therapy boots
A natural therapy that influences the body’s own healing process by boosting circulation.
Blood is an electrical conductor and blood cells have a natural current flowing through them. When injury occurs, they are knocked out ofalignment.
Magnetic therapy can help recharge the cells and put them back in place. It can be used for a range of problems, from muscle strains and windgalls to arthritis and general stiffness. As with any alternative therapy, do check with your vet first. Do not use on open wounds or recent injuries.
There are two types of magnetic therapy: static and electromagnetic.The static type operates with either bipolar magnets working as opposing forces or one powerful magnet placed near a main artery.
Magnets should last a lifetime and there are many products available. Most can be left on overnight, but check manufacturers’ instructions.
These are used to cool hot, hard-worked, bruised or strained legs.
Some contain crystals that form a gel when soaked in cold water, some use ice packs while others use a hosepipe or incorporate a water pump system.
Check the instructions for how long you need to soak them and how long they can be left on.
If you have been competing on hard ground it’s useful if you can leave them on as part of travel protection for the journey home.
Similar in design to normal boots they give extra support. They can be used on horses whose legs are vulnerable, perhaps from a previous injury, but also as a preventative measure.
Reducing the stress on a horse’s legs, reduces stress on all the other joints too, and can also provide extra protection from knocks and strikes.