So today I worked on XC training with my horse. Trotting up and down hills, cantering, and galloping. He loved it!!! Although I knew he had to be tired, he still acted like he could go for another gallop. So since I worked him pretty hard today, and his legs got pounded a lot, I decided to use some liniment on his legs.
My questions are:
When do use liniment?
Where do you use liniment(legs, back, etc)?
What kind of liniment is your favorite? Why?
I mix it in my wash water to make the horse dry faster, it cools them down quicker than plain water. And it kills any bacteria they may have picked up in the water jump (looking right at my mud fever horse as I say that). So whenever they are very hot or the weather is super hot. I only do it after xc or a gallop if its a hot day.
Full strength on legs when I do a hard workout, like a hard jump or if the weather is really hot. It cools and tightens the legs, but not much, really. But for any and all galloping I poultice and wrap, because its the galloping that really takes it out of their legs, and poulticing and wrapping is the best way Ive seen to tighten legs up and pull heat.
I mix Vetrolin into a 5 gallon bucket of water and then sponge all over to use as a body brace. I keep Bigeloil in a spray bottle to spray on legs to help tighten them. I'm pretty liberal with it, I don't use it every time, but if I think he's worked a little extra that day I'll do it.
My horses generally live out, so I don't use liniment much. I'll do them up with it (rub their tendons w/ straight liniment, then put on a standing wrap over it once liniment is dry) after a jump school or event for the trailer ride home, or overnight if the horse is staying in at a show. I don't use it in the wash water as it always ends up in my eyes or theirs. In the past I've used Vetrolin, but my current horse developed a lot of scurf on his ankles after just one use, so I've switched to plain rubbing alcohol for him (has the advantage of being cheap, too).
Poultice is also good, but I don't like to use it unless I can hose it off the next day--that's half the benefit. Also it always ends all over me.
I think a lot of the benefit from rubbing liniment is the rubbing/ massaging. if its about that alchol works really well. If there is soreness..(and test this if you ever have sore feet) tuttles is a great liniment for drawing out pain. diluted.
Vetrolin really is a refreshing bath, i do get it on myself(arms) and like the feel.... and have used sore no more as a wrap...seems to help with reducing edema. Not too strong.
I was a horse therapist in my pre child days... may just take it up again as I am moving into the next life phase, empty nest . Less responsibilities, go back on the road....
PSA - If you decide to use liniment on your horse. Test it in a small area first a day or so before you think you'll need it. I have a delicate skinned TB and I inadvertantly burned him with a liniment. He's not a fan.
"We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville
I typically like to use it as a luke warm rinse after they are cooled off (so, I'll cold hose them, then wash them with Vetrolin diluted with luke warm water), after a particularly hard ride, like the OP described, or if the horse really used its body and maybe they are a little weak or have had some muscle soreness issues. I'll rub Sore No More gel into their tendons after a jump school (sometimes wrapping over it if they need it), and will occasionally rub it into their backs and butts if they are a particularly back senstive horse.
While we're on the subject, all you Sore No More users, is it worth the extra money? I LOVE the gel and have used it for a few years, but I've always hesitated at getting the liniment over Vetrolin as I use A LOT of it this time of year, and the price just seem prohibitive. Is it worth the extra money? No any cheap, online sorces for it?
You definitely save if you get the bigger size, and to me it is totally worth the money...you just have to know how to stretch it! Whenever I liniment their whole body (after cross country or an especially hard jump school or gallop) I use a splash of vetrolin AND a splash of sore-no-more in a bucket. Then when I wrap I'll use the sore-no-more gel (because it's easier and I feel like I'm not wasting as much). As an aside, I really don't understand why some people use SO much liniment, it is really only necessary to use a couple of ounces in a large bucket. In fact, most of my horses have been sensitive TBs and they hate it when the liniment isn't diluted enough!