Tips for Keeping Your Horse’s Legs Healthy

Lameness is a common reason for seeking veterinary care for horses. You need to make sure that your horse is in good health before they are exercised. There is not much protective muscle when it comes to the lower legs of horses and this makes them more susceptible to injury.

You need to ensure there is sufficient warming up before any exercise or strenuous activity is done. This is actually the transition activity that is done between the resting and active state of the horse. Skipping this warm up stage can actually harm the horse. You need to speak with your veterinarian as well regarding the length of the warming up period and what is to be done during this. There are horses that are put to work as well as training and competitions. This is common for all that. With proper warming up technique, you are significantly minimizing the strain that targets the ligaments and tendons of the bone. It will help prevent most injuries as well because it helps to increase their range of movement and flexibility of muscles.  It is best to keep to a repeatable routine that the horse can get used to. And just like warming up before exercise, you need to have a cool down stage after activity as well. This will help them stretch out used muscles and help them relax the legs which will again minimize the risk of any injury after the activity.

You also need to carry out regular inspections of the legs to make sure that there is nothing troubling the horse. To do this, you have to gently palpate the lower limbs to see if you can discern any swelling or heat that indicates infection. Through the behaviour of the horse, you will be able to tell whether it causes pain. Whenever there is an injury, one of the common ways of controlling the amount of swelling that will happen and addressing the pain is by cold hosing. This can take a lot of time so as an alternative you will be able to purchase ice boots for horses that will make the task a lot easier. These boots can be wrapped around the leg of the horse and kept for about 15 minutes depending on the swelling and pain. It is not just used as a treatment procedure, this can be a precautionary method as well to prevent injury. After a strenuous session, you can use the ice boots to give some relief to the joints and ligaments to help with the everyday wear and tear.

You can also use leg protection methods whenever the horse is being exercised. This will depend on the horse as well and their age as well as their gait. Those that have a bog gait are more vulnerable to injury. And if your horse has had a prior injury, this increases the chances of injury to their limbs as well. You also need to consider the nature of the surface that the horse is moving on. Therefore, it is important to understand the surrounding terrain and inspect it for any changes. Examples of leg protection are boots and bandages. Boots are easier to fit their legs and it is a lot easier to remove after being used. You have a lot of designs to choose from but you need to be careful about the heat build-up that can happen with boots.


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