In The Arena

3 Must-Haves for Leg Therapy

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Leg Therapy! Gosh, everyone seems to have their own little routine or program that they implement when it comes to their horses legs.

I’m gonna go over some that I have used for years and always work for me! I always have these three things in my barn and in my rig. None of these are expensive and will help your horse’s comfort level and at the top of their game!

Poultice:

I first started using poultice years ago when I rode polo horses. We poulticed each horse after every match. Poultice can be used for a lot of issues but I have always used it as cold therapy to cool and tighten my horse’s legs. The process is easy, you can slap poultice on and then wrap with a damp piece of brown paper bag and then wrap their legs.  Honestly, and the way I do it, just cold horse their legs and then rub the poultice from stifle to pastern in the back and from above the knee to pastern in the front. I’ve wrapped and not wrapped and I feel like it works just as good not wrapping unless you have a serious issue. I have used a ton of different brands of poultice over the years but honestly, this is my favorite. Ice Tight Poultice. This stuff is cheap and doesn’t dry up. There is nothing worse than buying poultice and after you open it, it becomes hard as a rock and you have to add water to it. ANNOYING! It really does keep their legs tight and draws out any puffiness. I have found it’s great for a horse that stocks up at a show when stalled. Also, this stuff comes off really easy. If you have ever used poultice, you know that is a huge benefit! I’ve used some that a fire hose wouldn’t get the stuff off!

Draw It Out:

I first heard of Draw It Out years ago. I can’t even remember who told me about it but I bought some and have used it every since. Here is an example of how great this stuff worked for me. I had a horse come in from the paddock one evening that appeared to have been kicked. He had a horse shoe mark on his leg above his knee and it was blown up. It was hot and very tender and he was DEAD lame. I immediately got him under a hose to try and help the swelling. I went and got the Draw and rubbed it all over the area. I really doused him in it. I then put him up in his stall for the night. The next morning I went down to check on him and the swelling was gone. No swelling at ALL! I was immediately impressed. However, what REALLY impressed me is that I thought I was going to have to drag him out of his stall and hand walk him a bit because I was sure he would be sore and stiff. NOPE! He drug ME out of his stall. He felt great! I honestly couldn’t believe that it was the same horse. I’m a huge believer of this product and I make sure I always have a bottle in the barn and in the rig.

Sore No More liniment:

I’ve always been a fan of this liniment. I use a lot of it in the summer after I get done exercising my horses. I usually buy a big bottle of it (see here) and then make up some little bottles to keep in the trailer. I love using this as a bath brace in the summer. Just add a little to a bucket of water and then sponge it over your horses. This is a cooling liniment, which is why I love it. I live in an area where the summers can be brutal. We deal with high heat and sometimes drought like conditions. I’m always conscious of exercising my horses on hard ground. I always hose them down after a riding session and then rub this liniment on their legs before I turn them out.

These are just a few things I make sure I always have. They are all inexpensive and do make a difference! I am firm believer in having a leg therapy routine for your horses. Rubbing your horses down after you ride is a great way to get to know your horses legs and it forces you to pay attention. Once you get in to the routine, any little bump or problem that arises, you will notice it immediately. Taking just a little bit of time each day, can save a ton of time/injury in the future!

Check out these other great post:

Five Things to Include in Your Winter Riding
First Attempt in Learning
When Things Go Wrong

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