CHOICE OF COLORS
Model: Ice boot.
Why buy: Reusable; store in the freezer to keep ready to apply cold therapy to any part of the horse’s leg. Quick-grip straps allow for varied levels of compression.
Cool feature: Available in red, navy, black, and blue.
More info: (317) 862-6842; tough1.com.
Model: Tendon wrap.
Maker: Ice Horse.
Why buy: Ice Horse formula stays colder, longer than traditional gel ice packs. The wraps are breathable and provide compression and full coverage to reduce inflammation and heat after exercise.
Cool feature: Re-freeze and re-use wherever your horse has aches; other models available specifically for the hocks.
More info: (800) 786-6633; icehorse.net.
Model: Flexible ice cells.
Maker: Professional’s Choice.
Why buy: The reusable, flexible ice cells distribute cold therapy to your horse’s legs and stay secure in the splint while retaining their shape as they melt.
Cool feature: Fit easily inside splint boots, and because they’re removable, can be used by you, too, for your aches and pains.
More info: (800) 331-9421; profchoice.com.
Model: Leg wraps.
Why buy: No ice necessary; keep in a container and take out for use on any part of the leg. The gel formula removes heat from the muscle tissue or inflamed area through evaporation.
Cool feature: Freezing changes the composition of the gel, so there’s no pre-cooling necessary, making it easy to transport on the road or to events.
More info: (888) 274-5444; coldflex.com.
Price: 2 inches by 48 inches for $16.95; 3 inches by 72 inches for $24.95.
Any therapeutic accessories purchased for your horse are an investment. To ensure that you make a good choice, here are some pre-purchase tips, and suggestions for caring for ice boots once you have them.
Worth the purchase. Though you might be tempted to simply purchase ice packs at a local drug or superstore, and affix them with adhesive wraps, avoid this. Home remedies could lead to ice burns, shifting, or injury caused by excessive pressure.
Meet the need. A horse used for performance undergoes consistent strenuous exercise, so will likely need more specialized therapy than the kids’ pleasure horse, for example. Also, consider whether you need a multi-function wrap that can be used on more places than the lower leg and tendons—such as the hock.
Follow freezer etiquette. Proper care of your ice boots and therapeutic wraps will make them last longer. Store them flat in the freezer to ensure that ice gel and formula can reset in a re-usable position.
Keep items clean. Many ice boots, like splint boots or other protective gear, need to be cleaned or rinsed after use to avoid causing your horse discomfort from residual grainy sand that could cause irritation.