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overnight ice therapy

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  • overnight ice therapy

    Doing a little research here...
    What do you do to make sure your horse is sound for the Sunday morning jog out? Specifically, how often over night does the upper level horse get iced or "treated". And, what methods are used? I'm sure it's dependent on the xc course they ran, but as a standard practice, what do you do to make sure your horse is feeling fabulous for show jumping?
    What about the horse who just completed a one day horse trial? After a full day of competition, do you poultice and wrap your horse overnight? Any treatment?
    Thanks!!!
    Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground. ~Author Unknown

  • #2
    The answer is, not surprisingly, it depends on your horse, the level, the footing, the course, how hard they ran, etc.

    First of all, there's a fundamental difference if you're at a CCI or not - usually the barns close at night, so there's rarely any "overnight" icing. Moreover, your horse may have worked harder at a CCI (and you have a jog in the morning), so you'd be more aggressive about icing/wrapping/packing feet. You work to address any issues and then you let the horses be horses - they need to be left alone at some point as they're usually pretty sick of being messed with by Saturday night/Sunday morning.

    For plain horse trials, I usually ice anything that ran at Preliminary or up after XC, and I also ice if the ground was particularly hard. For my older guy, who has completed a ton of events in his career, I ice him pretty religiously after a Prelim XC: he goes 20 on/20 off in ice boots times 2. I will also usually ice his feet. After that, he gets set up - I usually put him in an alcohol wrap, though I may poultice him if needed. That's only if I can't turn him out - best thing for a guy like him is after icing to kick him out in a field and let him stay loose. After a one day he might get a gram of bute as well. For a younger horse or one with fewer miles, I might not ice, particularly at Training and below (though in general, you won't do any harm by icing and it might help, so if I've got a pair of ice boots floating around, I'll generally throw them on). Either way, if I have to do something heroic, they're not going to run the next day - just not worth the risk.

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    • #3
      I have seen these threads recently on icing and overicing. A few people have commented that it won't hurt to ice.
      A few years ago I had ACL reconstruction and was icing my knee pretty extensively. My physical therapist warned me to be careful to not ice too much as that could actually inhibit healing. The ice restricts the blood flow to the area and therefore slows down the healing.

      I don't know if she was full of IT or not. But it does make me wonder if you can over ice or is that only really a problem when you are rehabbing a specific injury rather then using ice after a hard work out.

      Anyone have thoughts on whether too much cold can inhibit healing?
      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SonnysMom View Post
        Anyone have thoughts on whether too much cold can inhibit healing?

        I think it probably can...but not in the context in which we are discussing. When you are icing at a competition or after hard work....it isn't to "heal" an injury. It is to reduce inflammation that the hard work has just caused. That inflammation can cause damage and pain...but if they ARE injured....the icing isn't going to heal it and will only mask it for the few minutes you might have iced them enough to be numb

        Personally....of all the big three days that I've groomed at...we didn't ice over night (even back in the day when the barns were not closed). You iced typically no longer than 20 minutes at a time....then off for at least 20 minutes (where you walked them or did other things to increase their circulation). Most horses we only did this 2 or three times and then maybe again in the morning.....unless there was a hemotoma or something that we were attempting to get the filling down on.

        Again...the icing wasn't for "healing"...it was to fight inflammation....but you also have to also balance that with keeping them moving to increase circulation. So a lot depends on what you are dealing with. But the ice will not heal something that is seriously injured....just allows the inflammation to be reduced so that when you increase the circulation....the body can heal itself.
        ** 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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        • #5
          I am not a doctor, but what I have been told by doctors to do when i've injured myself:

          for people: when there is an initial injury that involves swelling, you definately want to ice in the first 24 hours to get the swelling down. it reduces the pressure on the tendons, blood vessels and nerves (which causes pain). but one only ices for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off of icing to get the blood flowing. they want blood to flow, but keep the swelling down so the blood can flow.

          after the swelling has gone down, depending on the inury (like knee or rib) the doctors then would have me add heat to increaase blood flow. but if i started to swell up, then to add ice.

          so while icing is good, IMHO you don't want to over do it and give blood the chance to flow.
          I love my OTTB! I get my dressage test done faster!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by bigbaytb View Post
            I am not a doctor, but what I have been told by doctors to do when i've injured myself:

            for people: when there is an initial injury that involves swelling, you definately want to ice in the first 24 hours to get the swelling down. it reduces the pressure on the tendons, blood vessels and nerves (which causes pain). but one only ices for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off of icing to get the blood flowing. they want blood to flow, but keep the swelling down so the blood can flow.

            after the swelling has gone down, depending on the inury (like knee or rib) the doctors then would have me add heat to increaase blood flow. but if i started to swell up, then to add ice.

            so while icing is good, IMHO you don't want to over do it and give blood the chance to flow.
            I have heard the same thing, more than once from an MD and my vet. So that's the routine I follow. I bought some ice cells that I keep in the barn freezer and after a hard ride I put them on my OTTB for 20 minutes. They are similar to these offered on eBay:

            http://cgi.ebay.com/Techni-Ice-Reusa...item1e5c91711f
            Libby

            There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". - Dave Barry

            Comment


            • #7
              inomred: Those Techni-Ices are a great idea.

              i googled it and came up with the manufacturer

              http://www.thermafreeze.com/ and go to the equine.

              some one is smart in their company and they actually have the equine sheets, which are bigger. I bought a pack of 25! I don't have ice boots but do have a freezer at the barn. and it will be quite handy at shows because even if they are not toally frozen, they will be cold enough to get the job done! and soleved my delema of trying to keep my horse's legs in a bucket!
              I love my OTTB! I get my dressage test done faster!

              Comment


              • #8
                For the record, you can also buy Blue-Ice in sheets with cells, similar to the Therafreeze. They're sold at places like Walmart and Target in their camping section. I've used those a lot at shows. The main problem I have is that I don't have access to a freezer to keep them frozen at horse shows, and they only last one 20 minute icing before you have to refreeze them. So I would need six of them for a show so that I could ice three times.

                But they're great for icing at the barn. Or if you have living quarters.
                Comedic Eventing on Facebook

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bigbaytb View Post
                  inomred: Those Techni-Ices are a great idea.

                  i googled it and came up with the manufacturer

                  http://www.thermafreeze.com/ and go to the equine.

                  some one is smart in their company and they actually have the equine sheets, which are bigger. I bought a pack of 25! I don't have ice boots but do have a freezer at the barn. and it will be quite handy at shows because even if they are not toally frozen, they will be cold enough to get the job done! and soleved my delema of trying to keep my horse's legs in a bucket!
                  Thanks! I didn't spend the $ on ice boots either. I ordered the larger ice sheets and cut them to size to wrap around Louie's legs. I use polo wraps to keep them on for 20 minutes.
                  Libby

                  There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". - Dave Barry

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off is the maximum. After twenty minutes the cells start to die so you actually do more harm than good. That said, most of those cold tapes and the like get warm after just a few minutes so it wouldn't really matter how long you left them on.
                    McDowell Racing Stables

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