Looking after legs
By Your Horse
Grooming and Care Advice
30 April 2012 10:54
Research has shown that, over a certain temperature tendon cells in horses’ lower legs are prone to damage. In short, the hotter your horse’s legs become the greater the risk of killing tendon cells and risking inflammation. As exercise will inevitably cause your horse’s lower legs heat up, especially in hot weather, it’s important to take care to cool them down after hard work.
To avoid over heating during hard work and to cool legs down after work bear the following in mind:
- If your horse wears boots when working, consider the material and structure of the boot – if the material is thick and foamy it’s less likely to be able to release heat
- If your horse’s legs are hot after work try cold hosing to bring down the temperature
- Remove boots immediately after work in order to allow heat to escape from the leg
Research by Alan Wilson and Allen Goodship (1994) at the University of Bristol indicated that the temperature inside tendons of horses in gallop (without boots on) could reach 45°C - further research has shown that at this temperature a percentage of tendon cells will die.