Many riders understand the need to cool the legs effectively after intense exercise. However, even during lower-intensity work, the tendons and ligaments in your horse’s lower legs stretch and recoil. This article outlines why it is important to use Cryochaps ice boots for horses every day, even after low-intensity exercise.
Even in Trot, Your Horse’s Tendons are Working Hard!
Even in trot, the tendons and ligaments in the horse’s legs can achieve ultimate stretch as the flexion of the fetlocks are at their limit.
In the stance phase, the foot is in full contact with the ground. In trot, a significant amount of weight is placed on each leg in the stance phase. At this point, the fetlock is flexed and the tendons are stretched in order to support the joints. The SDFT and DDFT bend around the joints, at the back of the leg, so they are stretched to their limits in the stance phase.
It’s also fascinating to see in the video the recoil of the tendons and ligaments as they relax in the flight phase. The flight phase is when the leg is in the air. In this phase, the tendons and ligaments recoil, releasing the energy stored in them. This continuous stretching and recoiling generates heat in the soft tissues.
Now add to this changes of direction, different riding surfaces / footing (e.g. out hacking), the weight and balance of the rider, lateral work and anything else that the legs may have to deal with when working in trot. You will begin to understand that even trot work makes the soft tissues work hard!
Pushing the soft tissues to these limits causes microtears and inflammation. Over time, this can contribute to injury and lameness.
Cryochaps are a handy way to add cooling and compression to target any niggles before they get out of hand.
Cryochaps Ice Boots for Horses
Our Cryochaps equine ice boots are designed to be used every day after work. Keep them in the freezer and when you’re ready to use them, simply wrap, strap and leave on for 10-15 minutes. For best results, wet the horse’s legs before applying the ice boots. If you’re travelling, pop your Cryochaps into our ice boot cool bag and they will stay frozen for up to six hours.