Everyone knows how much elite athletes value an ice bath – it's an integral part of exercise recovery. So why and how do we apply these therapies to our equine athlete?
THE 10 MINUTE BOX Ice Boot Range
We offer a wide range of sizes to cater for all areas -
- 12 POCKET ICE BOOT – fits 15 hh + horses, designed to cover from the coronary band to just over the knee, and around the entire circumference of the leg.
- 9 POCKET ICE BOOT – as above, but for horses and ponies under 15 hh.
- 6 POCKET ICE BOOT – ideal for cannon bones or smaller areas.
- STIFLE ICE BAG – a common injury site, stifle bruising/scrapes are a major cause of lameness and soreness in eventers.
Why use Ice Boots?
Two main reasons -
- Muscle stiffness/soreness – intense exercise causes microtrauma (tiny tears) to the muscle fibres. The damage stimulates muscle cell activity, which repairs the damage and also strengthens the muscle. This is also linked to delayed onset muscle soreness, which is the stiffness we often feel during the next 24-72 hrs after intense exercise.
- Acute injury – caused by a knock or blow to a specific area, which then becomes inflamed and causes soreness and/or lameness. The most common areas affected in horses are the legs, either by being knocked on a jump, struck by another hoof, or jarred/strained by hard or muddy/slippery footing. For example, hitting a X-C jump with the horses knee may result in inflammation & soreness in the knee.
The Benefits of Icing on & off After Exercise.
- Icing constricts blood vessels, flushes out waste products (such as lactic acid) from affected tissues, slows metabolic activity (therefore the physiological procedure of inflammation), and reduced swelling and tissue breakdown.
- Rewarming between each icing increases the blood flow, therefore speeding up circulation which improves healing.
- Controlled inflammation is required to heal. Too many anti-inflam's (such as cortisone) will slow the healing process. Inflamed cells produce hormones which increase the rate of muscle regeneration and help heal damaged issues. Too much inflammation wears down the cartilage and causes swelling of the joint lining.
- Therefore, using 5-20 minute cycles of ice on/off at temperatures around 12-15 degrees C, will assist recovery by controlling inflammation.
- Plush adhesive neoprene – in 5mm thickness with plush outer fabric, to provide a secure and fully adjustable fastening for velcro straps.
- Heavy duty velcro straps with elastic inserts – Marine quality, UV resistant and with rot-proof stitching. The ice boot straps also come with an elastic which stretches when the boot is full of fresh ice, and then contracts as the ice melts, so as to hold the boot in place firmly. This allows the boot to be left on the horse safely without supervision, saving you time and leaving your horse to rest and recover.
- Elastic pockets – the pockets stretch to hold the fresh ice, and as the ice melts, they shrink with it to keep the ice in contact with the skin. The elastic is permeable to the moisture and cold temperature of the ice.