Honestly, I have never noticed any difference between rubbing alcohol. assorted linaments, and some stuff I make myself, save some of the commercial stuff has enough menthol to make interesting red spots on my hands. The way linaments really work is the massage that goes with the application, although there is some cooling action provided by the product drying; the same can be achieved with plain water. Poultices will draw heat from a leg, but should not be used if there is an open wound.
I have always been suspect of instant cure rubs - the latest, best, new and highly touted thing that costs 10 times what regular stuff does.
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I used Sore No More for our gaming horse when he ran last year along with cold hosing after runs. This horse is 18, has known bone ship and is mildly arthritic but he took great care of my then 12-year old daughter. The Sore No More definitely kept swelling and stiffness down in his legs. It doesn't heat up the way a traditional liniment can so there were no skin issues.
I use alcohol. For my mare, liniment is more for helping her cool off even faster (ie, body brace), not to aid in soreness. Alcohol is cheap, speeds evaporation, and doesn't make my nails feel like they're on fire like some liniments do.
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