Ways to Improve Your Performance Horse's Recovery After a Workout

October 15, 2018
 girl hosing down horse for recovery

Regular workouts are an essential aspect of keeping your performance horse fit, but it’s easy to focus on the workout itself without thinking that much about the post-workout recovery. Truth is, there are a number of ways that you can help your performance horse to recover better and faster after a workout, leaving him more comfortable and ready for the next workout, competition, or event.

Put these five strategies to work to aid in a faster and better overall post-workout recovery.

Cool Down Your Horse Properly

A good, slow cool-down period is a must for any equine athlete. Cooling your horse out can help to keep his body from overheating, but it also provides a valuable opportunity for you to assess how well your horse is moving after the workout. Focus on walking your horse on a loose rein to let him stretch and relax mentally after his workout.

In most cases, 10 to 15 minutes of walking your horse after a workout will be enough to help cool him out, but for particularly intense workouts in warm weather, such as racing or competitions, you may need to use water to speed the process along. Continuously applying and removing water from your horse’s coat can help to draw heat out and away from his body, bringing his temperature back down to normal.

Apply Liniments or Poultices

Liniments and poultices can assist with your horse’s recovery, too. Liniments help to cool the leg, drawing out the heat that results from intense exercise.

If inflammation or swelling is present or likely in a leg, a poultice can help to draw it out, keeping the leg firm. Wrapping over a poultice offers valuable compression to further prevent stocking up. 

Whether you decide to use a liniment or poultice will depend on your horse’s condition post-workout. Both are valuable additions to any tack trunk.

Use Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy, or the use of water to promote healing and recovery in an equine athlete, is a popular option for many performance horses. Hydrotherapy is a soothing experience for your horse, but it also helps to reduce inflammation. Treatment with cold water is particularly valuable after a strenuous workout or injury, since cold water can help to preserve cells, so they incur less damage during the process of healing.

There are many ways to use hydrotherapy in your barn, and cold hosing is the simplest method. Taking some time to cold hose your horse’s legs after a workout can help to reduce inflammation and soothe away soreness. The same is true of using hydrotherapy boots or wraps. And if you have access to an underwater treadmill, pond, or ocean, giving your horse some swimming time makes for a great low-impact option when conditioning your horse or helping him to recover from an injury.

Treat Your Horse to a Post-Workout Massage

Equine massage is another valuable tool when it comes to horse recovery and the equine athlete. A post-workout massage can help to reduce swelling, relieve stiffness and pain, and improve your horse’s circulation for a better recovery. Massage is non-invasive and may be the perfect therapy for your horse after a particularly intensive competition, event, or race.

Feed the Right Supplements

You can also support your performance horse by providing him with the nutrition his body needs for a post-workout recovery. Un-Lock Advanced Muscle Formula combines amino acids that offer your horse muscle support, as well as electrolytes and vitamins. This formula may help to reduce muscle fatigue, reduce cramping, and speed your horse’s recovery. The Un-Lock Paste gives you the versatility to administer the supplement pre- or post-exercise.

Your horse works hard for you, and by supporting his recovery, you can help to relieve muscle pain and have him ready for his next workout, sooner.

Learn more about Un-Lock and place your order today to see the difference it makes for your performance horse.

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