If you have horses, you need to be very careful about handling them and maintaining their health. There can be situations where they have a strained muscle and an ice pack is something that can help reduce inflammation in this injured area. And as it is harder to keep a cold compress still on an injured horse, there are ice boots designed for this very purpose.
Cold therapy is successful because it constricts blood vessels thus reducing blood circulation to the injured area allowing it to heal. This is the same reaction that takes place when you use ice boots. Ice boots are basically a leg wrap that helps cool the lower legs of a horse. This will bring down the inflammation and heat that has accumulated in the ligaments and tendons of the horse’s leg. This will prevent localised swelling and prevent heat getting accumulated in the lower limb. This is a phenomenon that can occur after exercise. After rigorous activity, the temperature of tendons will be high and this will be the ideal time to use ice boots. It will quickly bring down the temperature. And the boots are pliable even when they are frozen so it can contour around the fetlock joint and the tendons. So when there is maximum contact between the lower limb and the gel pack, the process of cooling down occurs faster and more effectively.
When choosing ice boots for horses, you need to think about their practicality. Consider if they will cool quickly or whether they can be cooled without using a freezer. The duration that they last is as important as the time taken for them to become cool. So if you are taking part in a competition, you need to choose ice boots that can be used at that facility without a lot of hassle. And there should be a high surface area that is in contact with the ice boot. You can use ice boot when travelling, for yard work etc. They can be kept in a cooler bag or stored in the freezer. Make sure you read the instructions on how to use the gel pack. These will specify how long it has to be in the freezer as well as how long it can be on your horse. Generally, cooling therapy can take up to 40 minutes and it is best to use it directly after exercise.
When washing the ice boots, make sure you wash the outside only. The instructions will let you know how to care for them as specified by the manufacturer. There are two reasons that ice boots are used. Some use it to prevent injuries while others use it as a treatment method. Both of these reasons are valid. When treating an acute injury, you can use this up to four times a day. And make sure you keep to this schedule in the first two days following an injury so that it improves the chances of healing. For prevention of injuries, using them once a day after exercise will be sufficient.