How to Use Ice Boots for Horses
Regular use of ice boots on horses can help prevent and reduce swelling, cool tendons after exercise and assist with treating injuries. Using ice boots for horses legs can be highly beneficial to competition horses and racehorses, especially when combined with compression and pressure techniques.
Just like human athletes, sport horses perform at their best when particular attention is paid to their warmup and cooldown routines.
So what are ice boots for horses and how can they help your horse?
What are ice boots made from?
There are many different materials used in ice therapy boots for horses ranging from traditional boots that require ice cubes to be manually put into specially designed pockets (hello frozen fingers!).
What are the best ice boots for horses?
In our opinion, the best ice boots for horses are gel ice boots (such as the Premier Equine Cold Water Boots). They are the best ice boots for horses when convenience and avoiding mess are your priority!
Each boot is full of Micro-crystals that turn into a gel when soaked in water. Because the gel forms a soft cushion, these are the most comfortable and cushioning ice boots for horses legs.
Their anatomical design means that your horse can be walked around while wearing them which is perfect for post cross country or jumping sessions when keeping moving aids in good recovery.
To activate the gel ice boots, follow these two stepsStep 1: Soak the ice boot for your horse
Soak them in cold water for 24 hours prior to their first use.
Following their initial soak, simply soak them for approximately one hour to reactivate the crystals and use them again.Step Two: How to store your ice boot for your horses next use
When not in use they can be dried out and neatly rolled up, ready for the next time they are needed.
Looking for the competitive edge when using Ice Boots for Horses?
For horse owners looking for advanced cooling technology, compression ice boots such as the Premier Equine Cold Water Compression Boot provide next level care.
Similar to ice therapy boots for horses, these boots use a combination of advanced, medical grade fabrics to assist in cooling the horses leg and provide temperatures that are 6-12 degrees cooler than ambient temperature.
The instantly noticeable element of the Premier Equine Cold Water Compression Ice Boots is the 3D sports mesh outer that allows air to circulate around the cold water material to prolong the cooling effects of the boots. A medical-grade lining provides hypo-allergenic and antibacterial properties right next to your horses leg.
The best ice boots for horses are those that allow as much freedom of movement as possible. Adjustable velcro straps and an anatomical shape allow these boots to create compression on the leg to assist recovery. To use these boots simply soak in water for 5-8 minutes prior to use, no need for ice or refrigeration.
Does your horse have a hock injury?
Sometimes horses can accidentally knock themselves or be kicked in the hock.
Ordinarily this can be a tricky place to treat and requires many hours and litres of water to provide cold water therapy.
Ice boots for horses hocks can make life much easier! But if you don’t have ice boots for horses hocks on hand you can easily make one for yourself by using any flexible ice pack and a bandage with some stretch such as a polo wrap or coflex bandage. Simply hold the ice packs where needed on the hock and bandage over the ice packs. This allows you to bandage the joint in a way that maintains flexibility of the joint and works just like compression ice boots.
Don’t have access to Gel Ice Boots or Compression Ice Boots for your horse?
If you don’t have access to gel ice boots or compression ice boots, a great alternative is traditional ‘pocket’ type ice boots.
These are normally made from neoprene and are large boots with elasticated pockets that can be filled with made ice cubes. These are the best ice boots for horses when you don’t have access to cold water boots or need to keep repeating the application of ice multiple times (and you other boots can’t be re-used quick enough).
When going to a horse show without access to other types of ice boots for your horses, it's usually pretty easy to stop at a service station on the way to buy a couple of bags of ice to fill this type of ice boot. A good esky will keep the ice frozen enough to use throughout the day. We suggest having at least two types of ice boots for horses in every stable to ensure you are able to apply treatment quickly when needed.
How should I use ice boots for horses in Australia?
After exercise, your preferred ice therapy boots for horses should be applied for around 20 minutes. For extra cold treatment, or in very hot weather, place ice or ice packs in a bucket of water and soak your preferred ice boots for horses legs prior to treatment. But remember, ice boots for horses legs should never be applied directly from the freezer.
When using ice therapy boots for horses with injuries, always consult with your veterinarian first to ensure your proposed treatment plan is right for your horse. A wide range of injuries can be assisted by the application of ice boots at least 6-7 times per day for no longer than 20 minutes at a time. This sounds like a lot, but regular treatment is usually the best way to support a speedy recovery for your horse.
We hope this gives you some more information on the best way to use ice therapy boots with your horses. We have a great range of ice boots for horses that you can find on our website.