My Leg Care Routine
As we all know, leg care is critical to keeping your horses feeling their best. Over the past couple of years, I have developed a leg care routine that I do after every jump school. In today’s post, I am going to share with you every aspect of my leg care routine.
First off, let’s start with riding. I always like to have leg protection on my horse whether I’m lunging, hacking, or jumping. Leg protection comes in many forms: open front boots, splint boots, polo wraps, etc. Lux has a splint on his right front; it does not hurt him in any way, however, I can't put any hard boot (like an open-front boot) on him so I ride him in polo wraps. Polo wraps provide tendon support and leg protection. The polos wrap comfortably around the splint while giving him ultimate protection. All of our horses go in the Equifit Multiteq Boots at home and/or at shows. These boots are incredible. They are extremely durable, protective, and flashy. Lux wears these in the equitation and I think they look much better than polo wraps. I love these boots because they provide shock absorption and protection of the leg. I use the SheepsWool lining because it increases breathability and resists odor. After every ride or two, I use baby shampoo or dawn soap and scrub the boot to wash them. They can also be thrown in the wash! Finally, I use the Equifit Bell Boots when lunging or in the paddock. I love these bell boots because they do not rub as they are super soft and flexible. Lux actually shipped home in these bell boots from Florida! I throw Lux in these bell boots when lunging (and in turnout) in order to keep his shoes and hooves protected if he over reaches while playing! I also put him in front and back boots (either from SmartPak or Equifit) as extra leg protection while lunging.
After I finish riding, I pull out my Equifit GelCompression Tendon Boots. These are ice boots that reduce inflammation, control swelling, and decrease the risk of injury. They can also assist with injuries such as suspensory injuries, bowed tendons, arthritis pain, and much more. I use these to reduce the temperature in my horse’s legs. There was a new study (link here) that stated that it could take 3 hours for your horse’s leg to return to normal temperature without icing. I love these ice boots because they are still pliable after being in the freezer. They never totally freeze, helping the boot form perfectly to the leg and they can be used on both the front and hind legs. I typically ice him for 15 minutes (we started at shorter times and worked our way up). I’ve found that all of our horses really enjoy their ice time and tend to relax and chill out (no pun intended) while they’re on.
After ice booting, I get right to poulticing and wrapping. Poultice draws out heat and inflammation in their legs. I also love poultice because it reduces tension. If I have a smaller jump school, I will only poultice the front and dry wrap the back. It just depends on how strenuous his workout was. I leave mine on over night while wrapped with quilts/standing wraps and wet papers. I will then follow poulticing with Magic Cushion. Magic Cushion helps reduce swelling, heat, and inflammation within the hooves. I take a medium size ball, spread it all over their sole and frog, and then wrap with vet wrap. Like the poultice, we leave this on over night.
Establishing this routine takes some time and practice. You have to figure out what boots, products and equipment work best for your horse. Once you have nailed down your preferences, keeping a streamlined, predictable routine makes it easy to do this on a regular basis.
Check out my Tik Tok for a video of my leg care routine (click HERE)