View Full Version : The effect of heat on tendons?

Feb. 16, 2010, 11:20 PM
Hey All!
I have been curious about this for sometime, and was wondering if anyone had any insight of knows of any good resources to find out more about the effects of excess heat on the tendons and the potential damage it can cause. can the damage be reversed? to what level would it potentially impact a horse's career. etc... (and what types of leg boots esp. xc boots, are a good option if this is a serious concern)

I first saw this addressed on this video from the USEA annual convention a month or so ago.


If there is already a thread about this i apologize, as i didnt see it!


Feb. 18, 2010, 07:59 AM
I've been worrying about this lately myself. My friend who works at a tack store just told me about some protective boots that have air cooling. Dalmar. They are from Ireland. I am very impressed and am going to buy some.

Feb. 18, 2010, 08:22 AM
Try these threads



and also

especially the posts by RAyers

Feb. 18, 2010, 10:55 AM
In short, heat causes cell death. This puts the tendons at higher risk for injury. Obviously the cells can regenerate themselves, but it takes longer for them to do so than it takes to kill them. Icing after hard work will curb some of the damage for sure, as well as minimizing the heat buildup in the first place (though elimination is impossible).

As far as impact on career, its not a one time deal. Over long periods of time constant heating of the legs will weaken the horse's soft tissues. And obviously the more soft tissue injuries a horse has the harder it will be to bring them back, if at all. But all horses get hot legs no matter what you do, so heat buildup in itself is not a career ending issue, just that more heat equals more wear and tear.

Dalmars are not the only vented boots on the market, Im very interested in the Premier Equine Air Cooled boots. Also some boots are cooler than others just based on materials, even without vents. My friend finds her NEW fleece lined boots to stay quite cool, and the people I know with Prolite boots dont find they hold heat either.

Feb. 18, 2010, 11:02 AM
I have to admit that the great minds on CoTH and the USEA video finally convinced me to discontinue using my (gasp!) Sports Medicine Boots. After seeing the video, it really did explain why we need to re-examine our views on when and how to protect our horses legs. I'm so glad I did.

I have the TriZone all sports boots and I've been really happy with them so far. I haven't used them XC yet but I will sometime this spring.

Feb. 18, 2010, 11:10 AM
Funny that 3 YEARS ago we had this same discussion:

Tendon, Ligament, Muscle Injuries and Running Hard