The current heatwave has resulted in hard ground conditions, which can have a severe impact on your horse’s legs if not managed correctly. Check out our helpful hints on how to best manage your horse’s legs on hard ground.
Summertime means more sunshine and less rain resulting in ground conditions becoming hard. We have some helpful hints to help you proactively manage your horse’s legs to prevent ill effects caused by hard ground.
Adapt The Exercise Regime
Adjust your horse’s exercise schedule in order to avoid riding on hard ground. This is to minimise the impact of strain on your horse’s legs. Utilise sand arenas, forest hacks or venture to your nearest beach to add variety to your fitness regime and to protect your horse from injury.
Use Leg Protection
Leg protection such as boots or bandages is a good idea during the summer months as a precaution to further reduce the risk of a leg injury. Immediately after exercise, remove the boots/bandages to allow the tendon temperature decrease to prevent injury.
Cold Hose after Exercise
It is advised that you should cold hose your horse’s legs after exercise. Exercising on hard ground in hot weather can cause heat and jarring to the legs. Cold hosing is an effective solution to reduce heat and swelling in your horse’s legs after exercise, while the cool water can also help reduce stiffness. This is especially important if your horse has done fast work on hard ground (e.g., cross country).
Use a Leg Cooling Product
To continue the cooling effect after hosing, or when water is not available, use a leg cooling product such as NutriBalm Cooling Gel. When applied to your horse’s leg, NutriBalm evaporates and carries away the heat therefore causing a cooling effect. It has been developed to facilitate the delivery of the active components of MSM, Arnica and Calendula to the point of action to further assist with the cooling process.
Keep Hooves Moist
Keeping your horse’s hooves oiled and well moisturized ensures that the hoof capsule stays flexible, which allows for the impact of the hard ground. If the hoof dries out, there will be more cracks in the feet, which can lead to another set of problems.
Consider Using a Joint Supplement
Every day, the cartilage in your horse’s joints is continually being broken down and replacement cartilage is being manufactured. However, this balance can be upset due to increased training or trauma (such as impact from hard ground). To help reduce the risk of such trauma on your horse’s joints, consider using a joint supplement such as Arthri Aid. Arthri Aid is a Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM and Hyaluronic Acid supplement formulated to aid lubrication and help promote regeneration of the important shock absorbing tissues of your horse’s joints. It is available in a liquid presentation for fast absorption or in an economic yet effective powder format.
For more advice and information, please contact our expert team on 051 304010 or here.