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Icing revisited!

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  • Icing revisited!

    So I found this thread when I did a search, but its a couple years old and I'm hoping someone has some new, brilliant method.

    I know standing in a bucket of ice is the best way, especially if you want to get feet as well. Bailey will stand in a bucket all day long...Sky, not so much. He's slowly learning, but I haven't found a bucket big enough to cover his tendons let alone his knees.

    I'm also wanting to ice hocks and hind legs as well. After a recent tendon scare (thankfully just fluid) I'm going to become much more diligent about icing all four legs after a jump school. However, I don't necessarily want or need to ice feet after having a jump lesson in a perfectly groomed arena.

    I bought a set of the Premiere Cold Water Boots, and while I like them, they are definitely not as awesome as I was hoping. They only stay cold for a max of 10 minutes, and that's if they are sitting in more ice than water. However, it's better than nothing. Ice cells (like the kind from sports stores) are also better than nothing, but they don't get the leg THAT cold, and I've also found they have a time span of about 10-15 minutes as well. I've tried the 9 pocket ice boots from Pro Choice and like them, but find the coldness is a little sporadic and not uniform on the leg. I have used a Game Ready in the past (perks of the trainer I was with) and liked it, but now way am I able to spend $4k on a machine. I am, however, very interested in the Ice Horse machines. I could see having Sky stand in two small buckets of ice water for his feet, yet having the system on his legs and knees. He just wasn't a fan of the big bucket...small bucket he's better with.

    So, has anyone tried the Ice Horse system? Likes? Dislikes? Breaks down easily? At the most it would get used once a week, but probably more like once every two weeks, so it wouldn't get a lot of wear and tear.
    runnjump86 Instagram

    Horse Junkies United guest blogger

  • #2
    Ha! That thread made me giggle. Ah, memories.

    The Ice Horse system SUCKS. My former employer bought one and I could never get it to get a leg consistently cold. It is a far, sad cry from a Game Ready. I would not waste the money.

    The best methods (other than a bucket of ice or a Game Ready) are either the Jack's ice boots or something more or less similar to the method I talked about in that thread. I like the ice cube packs (actually made of ice instead of chemical). I have been known to just polo wrap them straight to the leg...I call them the poor girl's Game Ready. They get the leg pretty cold.
    Amanda

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    • #3
      Jack's ice boots are the best for total leg icing. I use a feed scoop to pour ice in, along with a bit of cold water, and the legs will get very cold. If I want to do feet as well, I use IV bags filled with ice water, duct taped around the pastern.

      For icing a specific area, like tendons, I'll use a homemade ice pack held on with a polo wrap. Fill a gallon-size ziplock bag (not full, just about 2/3) with 1 part rubbing alcohol, and 2 parts water. Put in the freezer, flat. The next morning, you will have a semi-flexible ice pack to fold around the horse's tendons; use a polo wrap or a sports medicine boot to hold it on. The ice pack should last several uses, just put it back in the freezer. Make several of them in advance so you can swap out as needed.
      “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
      ? Albert Einstein

      ~AJ~

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Hmmm...thanks all. That's very disappointing news about the Ice Horse system, I was really hopeful about that one! YB what have you used to ice hocks?
        runnjump86 Instagram

        Horse Junkies United guest blogger

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        • #5
          The ice horse machine is ok, but not worth the money, IMO. It can be a pain to put together and take apart, and you must be very diligent about cleaning it- a small amount of dirt or debris in the ice water chamber can ruin the machine. I know some people who love it, but I personally wouldn't go for one.

          Jack's ice boots are definitely the easiest for thorough icing. I also like some of the wrap products ice horse makes- they have long leg wraps that allow you to ice the whole leg, or isolate a certain area. Their ice packs get pretty cold and are very moldable, and save you the mess of dealing with bags of ice and water. I also like the ease of using them on horses that might not be very patient with buckets of ice or the Jack's boots.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Ok so y'all gotta share the secret of polo wrapping bags of ice onto legs. I also gave the baggie of alcohol water a whirl, and I have NO idea how you could possibly get that thing to stay on with polo wraps! I mixed it at 2:1, but maybe there was too much air? It was all liquid, and extremely infuriating.

            I ended up putting ice cubes in a quart-sized baggie and after much swearing and contorting of my arms (thank god Bailey is a trooper and just stood there) I got the damn thing to stay on. However...about five minutes later is slid down. Readjusted, took a couple cubes out, and it stayed put. His leg was definitely COLD, which I liked. But overall the whole process was a PITA.

            I've used the Ice Horse tendon wraps (with the gel-packs on the inside) and wasn't too impressed. They didn't seem to get the leg very cold. However, at this point, they are the front-runners for icing solutions. I just need something easy that I can take to shows, but I'm still looking for a way to ice hocks and knees.

            ETA - Just went to the Ice Horse site and checked out the wraps, and HOLY CRAP they are awful proud of their stuff. $250 for knee to ankle wraps?! Nope!
            runnjump86 Instagram

            Horse Junkies United guest blogger

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            • #7
              To ice the hocks, I just get the people gel ice packs from the drug store and wrap it on with a polo. Works pretty well.
              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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              • #8
                Don't use regular ice cubes, like out of your freezer. You need something like this. I've seen them on the Target website, too. These keep their shape, so won't bunch at the bottom. Place it on the leg like quilt for a standing wrap (they won't go all the way around, but if you're just icing tendons, it works out. And then wrap the polo like you would wrap the bandage part of the standing. It won't be perfect and does take a bit of practice, but they don't NEED to be perfect since they are only staying on, at most, 30 minutes. Once I got the hang of doing this, I could put Toby in his stall (nice, since it freed up a wash stall in a busy boarding barn), and go about doing other things while he iced. I could get them on tight enough that he could roll and not disturb them too much. It isn't a perfect way of icing but it is better than a lot of the other methods I've used (Ice Horse boots, Ice Horse machine, and a few other various forms of gel packs). Their legs definitely are colder and cold where you WANT them to be cold this way...with the Ice Horse boots, I find the gel warms up and moves away from their tendons. I used them a lot on Vernon (I won a pair), and his cannons would be cool by the end of it...not his tendons.

                I still prefer my Jack boots if I want to get them really, thoroughly cold, but they require a lot of ice, which can be a pain if you don't have an ice machine at home or you are a blonde like me and routinely forget to get ice before galloping at home. For competing around here, it can be a pain, too, because we do so many one days, and hauling around 20lbs of ice is not easy. Much easier when you stable, especially if the venue has ice available. Jack boots are also great for hind legs.

                I wouldn't waste money on any of the fancy products.
                Amanda

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by runNjump86 View Post
                  Ok so y'all gotta share the secret of polo wrapping bags of ice onto legs. I also gave the baggie of alcohol water a whirl, and I have NO idea how you could possibly get that thing to stay on with polo wraps! I mixed it at 2:1, but maybe there was too much air? It was all liquid, and extremely infuriating.
                  Maybe that's too much alcohol. I guessed at the ratio...I usually pour whatever alcohol I have left from wrapping legs into the baggie (often about half a small bottle) and then add enough water to fill the baggie about half to two-thirds full. Then squeeze out all the air and freeze. It should freeze to a firm slushy consistency. If it's too hard, add more alcohol. If it's too liquid, less alcohol and more water. The alcohol keeps it from freezing solid.
                  “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                  ? Albert Einstein

                  ~AJ~

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've got a strained check ligament at the moment, and have been re-evaluating all of the icing options out there.

                    Absolute best so far is a flexible human gel ice pack from CVS - put on with a Saratoga bandage. The ability to compress the ice pack against the skin with the Saratoga seems to make a major difference in the ability to cool the leg.

                    I also own a full set of Ice Horse Evenduras, a full set of these: https://www.horseloverz.com/product/...-ice-boot.html and the Cryopak cells that go inside SMBs. None get the leg as cold as my home-made solution.

                    I'd be interested to know if anyone has tried the Equifit Ice Compression boots?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For spot-icing, another good idea is an ice cup: fill a dixie cup with water and freeze it. Peel back a bit of the paper rim to expose the ice surface, and rub it firmly on the tendon area for 10-15 minutes. Keep peeling back more paper cup as the ice melts. Wait 30 minutes or more, and then ice again with another frozen cup. This is more intensive than strap an ice boot on and walk away, but it is very effective at concentrating the cold to the area you want it (and keeps the rest of the leg and foot dry).

                      This comes from my experience rehabbing a bowed tendon, suspensory strain, and various other injuries, along with some good ideas from equine layup specialists.
                      “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                      ? Albert Einstein

                      ~AJ~

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post
                        Maybe that's too much alcohol. I guessed at the ratio...I usually pour whatever alcohol I have left from wrapping legs into the baggie (often about half a small bottle) and then add enough water to fill the baggie about half to two-thirds full. Then squeeze out all the air and freeze. It should freeze to a firm slushy consistency. If it's too hard, add more alcohol. If it's too liquid, less alcohol and more water. The alcohol keeps it from freezing solid.
                        Aha. Lightbulb, lol. I played with it a bit and low and behold, today I have a much firmer, slushy-like bag of goo in my freezer just waiting to be [clumsily] polo-wrapped on tonight!! Thanks all!!
                        runnjump86 Instagram

                        Horse Junkies United guest blogger

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
                          Absolute best so far is a flexible human gel ice pack from CVS - put on with a Saratoga bandage. The ability to compress the ice pack against the skin with the Saratoga seems to make a major difference in the ability to cool the leg.
                          That is exactly what I do, right down to the Saratoga. Works like a charm. Kinda redneck-y, but it works and is cheap & easy, so I don't see the point in investing lots of $$$ into something else.
                          Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Ok Frizzle, do you put the pack on the leg like - or | ??

                            Does that even make sense?! LOL!!

                            I iced Bailey tonight with the homemade alcohol solution, and DAMN his leg was cold! I put it in an SMB then wrapped a polo wrap on top of that. It was definitely bulky, and it didn't fit very well in the boot. I think a quart-sized bag would have been better, or having it more full. It wasn't 2/3 full like had been suggested because I ran out of alcohol, but I'm going to make more of these and play around.

                            I may even make 9 quart-sized ones and stick them in the Pro Choice ice boot and see what happens!!
                            runnjump86 Instagram

                            Horse Junkies United guest blogger

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I always use a standing wrap bandage not a polo wrap. It's a bit stiffer so the ice stays exactly where I want it.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by runNjump86 View Post
                                Ok Frizzle, do you put the pack on the leg like - or | ??

                                Does that even make sense?! LOL!!
                                Well, I have packs similar to these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00131...&robot_redir=1 Not those exact ones, but they are a large sheet with the little cells. As someone else mentioned, I wrap it exactly like the quilt of a standing wrap (although it is admittedly a bit awkward) so it wraps completely around the leg, and then put the Saratoga over it. The Saratoga is perfect because it's not slippery and has those little strips of rubbery grippy stuff inside. Love em! I can even handwalk/graze my horse as he's iced.
                                Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post
                                  For icing a specific area, like tendons, I'll use a homemade ice pack held on with a polo wrap. Fill a gallon-size ziplock bag (not full, just about 2/3) with 1 part rubbing alcohol, and 2 parts water. Put in the freezer, flat. The next morning, you will have a semi-flexible ice pack to fold around the horse's tendons; use a polo wrap or a sports medicine boot to hold it on. The ice pack should last several uses, just put it back in the freezer. Make several of them in advance so you can swap out as needed.
                                  You can make these with dish soap, too, if you have it on hand. (And you can double bag them to make them hold up a little longer, too.)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I picked up an Ice Horse system for a song figuring I would just resell it if I didn't like it, but now that I have figured the darn thing out, it works pretty darn awesome and I am definitely keeping it! I have an adapter for the truck and can just run an extension cord and plug it in to it if I'm at an event where I don't have a plug in handy.

                                    I lent it to a friend who was dealing with an injury and needed to ice a leg 3+ times a day, and it saved her a bunch of money not having to buy ice, because one bag in the Ice Horse cooler last a good day and a half for several treatments, instead of using one bag per icing with the boots she has.

                                    Your mileage may vary, of course, but the Ice Horse system gets 2 thumbs up from me!
                                    Eventing It Up In The Great White North! A girl, a horse, and a helmet cam!!
                                    http://www.facebook.com/albertaeventer/

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