What makes for a good ice pack for your horse to relieve their pain?

Post In: Horse leg cooling wraps
What makes for a good ice pack for your horse to relieve their pain?

Award-winning American author John Steinbeck once said of horses: “A man on a horse is spiritually, as well as physically, bigger than a man on foot.”

Well, in addition to our own bodyweight, it seems that horses carry the weight of the world in their legs. Your horse’s well-being should be on the top of your mind because their pain is yours as well. Of all injuries, it is leg pain and swelling that horses suffer most frequently. If your horse needs pain relief, read on to see the crucial things you need to look for in a horse ice pack. Their comfort is the mane priority, after all!

Equine cold therapy

First, let’s see why cold therapy is essential for horses. Cold therapy has always been a trusted recovery treatment for horses. Even when your horse hasn’t sustained any injuries, it is still important to give their muscles and legs the cold therapy for recovery from a hard day’s work. 

Also known as cryotherapy, cold therapy works by reducing blood flow to a certain area. This can significantly reduce swelling and inflammation that causes pain. 

Cold hosing 

Before horse ice packs, or ice packs for that matter, were even invented, many people used cold hosing to give cold therapy to horses. It’s a tried-and-tested hydrotherapy method that’s widely used even today. 

This is when you aim running cold water coming from a hose towards a horse’s injury. The first thing it does is that it cleanses the area of dirt, debris and dust. Next, when the water is quite cold, the temperature encourages the inflamed area to reduce. This is an effective way to reduce swelling and inflammation because water is always flowing. This means there’s no chance for the affected area to warm up due to body heat. 

Because the hose is mobile, and that it is quite a straightforward, no-frills process, cold hosing has become one of the most popular ways to naturally get rid of a horse’s leg swelling and pain. 

The downside to this, however, is that you and your horse always need to be together, and it does not allow the horse (nor you), to roam around freely. 

Also, massive amounts of water might be required before pain relief is felt by your horse, so in some ways this can be costly and may involve water wastage.

Horse ice packs

Providing the best pain relief to horses is crucial if we want them in tip-top shape. Many have come to realise the importance and benefits of a comfy and happy horse. This is why there are plenty of horse ice packs available in the market. 

We understand that the decision in choosing the best ice pack for your horse can be overwhelming, so we’ve decided to help you out.

What to look for in a horse ice pack

1. One size fits all

Just like us, horses come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s best to get a horse ice pack that’s one size fits all. This horse ice pack covers 40 centimetres (16 inches) of a horse’s leg, so it’s bound to fit all horse leg sizes, it even works for ponies. They also have strong Velcro strap attachments  to make it a comfortable fit for your four-legged friends. This can also mean that you can use the ice pack on different horses.

2. Flexible when frozen

You’ll want an ice pack that is ready to use straight from the freezer. Some ice packs require a little bit of defrosting in order to have some form of malleability, which may take a few minutes. When you’re in a world of pain, a few minutes can seem like hours. You don’t want your horse going through that agony. Even if you just need to ice them for exercise recovery and not pain relief, those few minutes of defrosting can still mean time away from other chores (both for you and the horse). This ice pack is made with thick viscous gel inside, which means that they are pliable and flexible straight out of the freezer.

 This also means that the ice pack wraps comfortably around your horse’s leg.

3. Reusable

When you have a horse, it’s never just a one-off care. This is a long-term relationship, so you should get one that’s reusable and easily cleaned like this one. 

It also pays to always have an ice pack ready for your horse as they are always prone to leg swelling and injuries. 

4. Portable

Horses are made to move around, and so are you. Inflammation and pain do not choose a venue where to strike, so it’s also crucial to have an ice pack that’s portable. Whether you’re in the races or in a show, an ice pack with a storage pack will be really handy to have. If you have to travel over a long distance with your horses, an ice pack’s portability will really be of use.

5. Multi-purpose

An ice pack isn’t just for one specific type of injury. When you have an active, healthy horse, expect injuries to be a normal part of life. This horse ice pack, for instance, is great not just for swelling and inflammation, but it also works for swollen hocks, stocking up (oedema), impact injuries, overheating and bruising.

The size of this horse ice pack also allows you to be flexible. This ice pack can also go on many other different body parts of the horse. Your horse will love you for this as you’ll always have an answer for their pain relief.

We hope we’ve helped you decide what important things you need to look for when buying a horse ice pack! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We’d love to hear from you!

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