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Thursday, 18 October 2018

Why You Should Cold Hose Your Horse Everyday

The benefits of cold hosing your horse's legs are amazing and yet so many people don't do it.  Whether your horse has an injury or you just want to help him recover after riding, cold therapy is the answer.

Here are the benefits of cold hosing a horse's legs.

Dark bay Horse galloping around and rearing up in his field


When your horse has an injury to the leg, chances are the leg will start to swell.  This is because any damaged blood vessels from the injury will start to leak fluid for up to 36 hours.  When you start cold hosing the horse soon after the injury then continue for the next few days, the blood vessels will contract which limits leaking.

Another great advantage of cold therapy for injuries is that the cold water can have a numbing effect and will often reduce pain quickly.

I would recommend cold hosing your horse's leg for around 30 minutes 2-3times a day for around 3 days after an injury.  Then go down to once a day until the horse has recovered.

Equestrian hose used to cold hose a horses legs

Ridden Work Recovery

I have started to either cold hose or use ice boots after every.single.ride. This can seem like a lot of work as it takes around 20-30mins.  Yes, some people don't have the time of this but you should try to make time.

When a horse is ridden, the capillaries swell to provide extra blood to the working muscles.  This is great for performance but once the horse has finished his work it can take time for the capillaries to shrink back.  This means the extra fluids and enzymes aren't needed and they cause some swelling and stiffness.  You will see this as the horse 'stocking up' or he may develop windgalls.  

Cold hosing helps to shrink these capillaries before they can cause swelling.  The other great advantage is that the horse's legs heat up a lot when being ridden.  When the horse stops work, the legs stay hot for too long.  When a horse if left with hot legs for extended periods of times regularly, it can cause soft tissue damage and increase the risk of injury.  Cold hose your horse's legs immediately after cooling down to get those legs cold ASAP.  

Dark bay Horse With a riding show jumping


I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  


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