We all want to protect our horses’ legs, and using boots and bandages is common practice. However, do you know the effect of wearing bandages on the temperature of your horses’ legs? Heat can damage the soft tissues inside the horse’s legs, and over time this can result in injury.
The soft tissues will naturally generate a lot of heat during exercise. However, bandaging your horse’s legs will insulate them, keeping the heat in. This can result in the horse’s legs – and therefore the soft tissues – getting even hotter during exercise.
The Effect of Bandages on the Horse’s Legs
Watch the video below to see how the temperature changes as the horse moves through the paces.
We strapped a temperature sensor to both of the horse’s front legs. One leg was bandaged, whilst the other was not.
After 10 minutes of walking, the sensor on the bandaged leg was reading 27.5°C.
After 5 minutes in trot, this temperature rose a further 2.5°C.
After 4 minutes in canter, the bandaged leg reached well over 30°C
Galloping brought the temperature close to 40°C.
This experiment only measured the surface leg temperature; core tendon temperatures are expected to be several degrees higher. Studies have shown core tendon temperatures to reach 45°C, whilst tendon cell degeneration begins at 42°C.
Cool Your Horse’s Legs Using Cryochaps Ice Wraps for Horses
It is important to cool your horse’s legs quickly and effectively after every exercise session. However, this is even more important when you have used exercise bandages, because the soft tissues will have been exposed to even higher temperatures. Cooling the legs as quickly as possible after exercise could help minimise damage to the tendons and ligaments.
Cryochaps ice wraps for horses provide a quick, easy method of cooling your horse’s legs after exercise. Just wet your horse’s legs, wrap and strap Cryochaps, then leave on for 10-15 minutes.
Use Exoskeleton Exercise Boots for Protection and Ventilation
Our exercise boots offer excellent protection against strikes and impacts, whilst minimising heat build up in the horse’s legs. The forced convection cooling system draws air across the back of the horse’s leg with each stride, which helps to take heat away from those precious soft tissues. Order Exoskeleton tendon boots today and give your horse excellent protection, without the excessive heat build up.