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Aggressive cooling of the legs after XC

Last season I had a slight flash of brilliance at an event, worth sharing I think. It was a very hot day and I’d packed the coolbox with the usual cool drinks, food, ice packs etc, and also with a few big plastic bottles which I have filled 2/3 with water and keep in the freezer as additional ice blocks. By the time I got ready to go xc in late afternoon and, preparing for our return from the xc, put the leg wraps in a bucket of water with the ice block bottles, these had started melting, so they contained a smaller block of ice and a lot of ice-cold water.

On returning from xc and putting the leg wraps on the horse’s front legs, I realised that the ice water in the bottles was perfect for regularly pouring into the leg wraps to cool them down, as they rapidly heat up on the horse’s legs, the last thing you want! Every time I emptied one, I refilled it with cold water from the water tank, and the ice block inside then rapidly lowered the water’s temperature again. With 4 ice block bottles being emptied and refilled in rotation, I was able to super-cool the mare’s tendons for about 10 minutes, while I took out her plaits, removed studs, washed tack etc. At the end her tendons felt great, cold and hard, no puffiness at all.

She is unrugged because it was really hot with only a slight breeze… please don’t assume I was neglecting her!DSC00988


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