Cold Hosing Horses Legs

Hot and Cold Therapies
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Cold Hosing Horses Legs

Cold hosing horses legs is a simple, yet effective from of therapy for horses. Cold hosing has a multitude of benefits for horses with injury and can be essential for rehabilitation. Discover how cold hosing horses legs can be applied safely and effectively.

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Cold Hosing

Cold hosing horses legs is a type of cold therapy, also as cryotherapy. Cyrotherapy includes the application of a cold water, or any cooling substance/source to a specific area. Application of cold will cause blood vessels to become narrower (vasoconstriction), therefore reducing blood flow to the area. Cryotherapy is often used on injuries to aid in the reduction of bruising and haemorrhaging. The decreased blood flow will also aid reducing inflammation, and therefore pain sensitivity, to the area where it is applied.

When To Cold Hose Horse’s Legs

Cold hosing should be used as soon as possible, after an injury has occurred. Dependant on the type of injury, different methods of cold therapy application can be utilised, to reduce discomfort, chance of infection, or the possibility of further damage.

Within the first 24-hours of an injury being sustained, cold therapies should be the only temperature therapy utilised. This will aid with pain relief, reduce swelling, and may help restrict bleeding. Cold therapies can be used up to 48 hours after the injury was sustained and requires repeated exposure throughout the period, for the therapy to cause an effective result.

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Cold hosing is perfect for most injuries, from one where the skin has broken to bumps and swellings. Especially great for wounds, cold hosing will help to wash away any foreign body from the wound bed, further preventing infection.

However, some horse’s will be very intolerant to cold hosing, especially if they are in pain. Heighten stress will only increase the pain signals sent to the brain, therefore alternative methods of cyrothkrpay may need to be utilised.

When To Cold Hose Horse’s Legs

Cold hosing should be used as soon as possible, after an injury has occurred. Dependant on the type of injury, different methods of cold therapy application can be utilised, to reduce discomfort, chance of infection, or the possibility of further damage.

Within the first 24-hours of an injury being sustained, cold therapies should be the only temperature therapy utilised. This will aid with pain relief, reduce swelling, and may help restrict bleeding. Cold therapies can be used up to 48 hours after the injury was sustained and requires repeated exposure throughout the period, for the therapy to cause an effective result.

Cold hosing is perfect for most injuries, from one where the skin has broken to bumps and swellings. Especially great for wounds, cold hosing will help to wash away any foreign body from the wound bed, further preventing infection.

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However, some horse’s will be very intolerant to cold hosing, especially if they are in pain. Heighten stress will only increase the pain signals sent to the brain, therefore alternative methods of cyrothkrpay may need to be utilised.

Application of Cold Hosing

Cold Hosing should be completed as often as possible after injury for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time.

If there is a wound, once bleeding has stopped or significantly reduced, a downward-positioned trickle of water will help flush away any small particles from the wound bed.

Flexi Hose

A flexi-hose available on Amazon

Swellings and bruising will also benefit from cold hosing. A 0-10°C water temperature showing the best effect, which is the average temperature of most cold water hoses.

Most horses tolerate cold hosing well, providing they are given the appropriate time to adjust to the icy temperature. Cheap, easy and used by elite-level riders, cold hosing is the most commonly used cold therapy out there.

Other Cold Therapies for Horses

For horse’s who do not tolerate cold hosing well, other cold therapies might be your bed friend. Before application of these therapies, ensure that wound beds are clean, as well as cold therapy of choice. This will reduce the chance of infection.

Ice Boots:  these are great for treating hoof pain, such as bruising, and have been suggested to aid in the prevention of conditions such as laminitis in certain situations. Cold therapies are not a treatment for laminitis though, and it is always recommended to consult a vet when horses are suffering from the condition.

Leg Wraps: these provide a quick and easy application of a cooling source. They keep both horse and owner safe, if a hose is not their cup of tea!

Cold Packs: also good for those horses who hate water, cold packs can be left in your first aid kit so they are ready on-hand when you need them. Bandage the cold packs, in towels, to the injury site. These are perfect for taking away to shows.

Ice Cubes: these may be difficult to get hold of in the yard environment. However, in the later stages of healing, coming to the yard prepared, with ice cubed wrapped in a towel, can provide an effective cooling source. Avoid applying ice directly to the skin, as this may result in damage or discomfort.

Cooling Gel/Clay available on Amazon

Cooling Gel/Clay: although less effective than physical forms of cooling, clays and gels have shown to have some cooling effect. However, once they are dry they will become insulating, so ensure they a removed before this happens. Cooling gel/clay is a quick and easy way to cool legs after competition.

When to Avoid Cold Hosing

Cold hosing horses legs should be avoided when injuries are in the later stages of healing. Cold hosing horses legs in the late stage of healing will only limit the injuries healing potential, restricting blood flow and nutrients needed for repair.

Age-related degeneration in joints may also not benefit from cold hosing. Arthritic joint may have an adverse reaction to cold hosing, with the extreme of temperature increasing pain. Cold hosing may only be beneficial for arthritic joints during flare-ups, when swelling has increased. Otherwise, the application of heat will relieve pain and stiffness, increasing flow of lubricating fluids, soft tissue elasticity and nutrients to the area.

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