Ah winter, a time of hibernation - cold mornings, dark evenings, wet days and very little time to get the horses worked! If you're like us, during the summer months your horses spend most of their daylight hours outside in the field, or even turned out at night to enjoy the cooler weather and peace from the annoying flies and insects. But as we turn back the clock on daylight savings time and the days get shorter, colder and much wetter, our horses are often turned out for shorter periods and spend longer hours in their stable. This results in a number of "winter" issues that we as horse owners like to do our best to try and prevent.
One of the most common problems with increased stabling hours is swollen or filled legs. This often occurs due to decreased movement causing slower blood circulation and therefore inflammation. It is most common in the hind legs but it can occur in all four legs. Obviously the best thing for this is movement, but due to the reasons listed above (dark, wet, ice, just winter in general), moving your horses as much as during the summer months just isn't possible. As a way to assist this swelling you can use stable boots or bandages. The quickest and easiest option (especially for less experienced equestrians) are stable boots. These come in many different forms and offer a range of different benefits. One of our top picks for stable boots are the HKM Mr Feel Warm Stable Boots that offer infrared technology which captures heat with proven benefits of therapeutic and anti-inflammatory functions.
Another boot option that offer therapeutic benefits are magnetic boots. The Kentucky Magnetic Boots offer an affordable magnetic stable boot which combine 21st century fabric and technology with an anatomically shaped outer and a removable, breathable wrap style intelligent material called Recuptex. Designed to help with recovery and the healing process in the body as well as encouraging relaxation through the horses nervous system.
Should you wish to use stable bandages and wraps which offer a very effective method of compression, we highly recommend the Kentucky Stable Bandages Repellent (brilliant as they don't attract shavings) and Stable Bandage Pads. Made from high quality materials, they're designed for both transport and stable wear.
Which ever option you decide to go with, we highly recommend giving your horses at least 8 hours a day with nothing on their legs to allow them to breath completely.
Want to share your experience with stabling during winter? Drop us a comment below!