May 03, 2016

Tips and Tricks of the Trade: Post Cross-Country Leg Care

By Jill Thomas - Allison Springer Eventing

Tips and Tricks of the Trade is a new article series being provided through a partnership between Athletux and the USEA. This month's article comes from one of Allison Springer's working students, Jill Thomas, who has had extensive experience caring for some of the top horses in Springer's program.

As our competition season is in full swing, our horses are in the prime of their fitness work. As we all know, care of our event horses legs is very important, especially following gallops or cross-country.

The upper level horses at Allison Springer Eventing (ASE) typically will do gallop sets once a week leading up to competition, while horses going training and below will do a slow canter once weekly. After care of the horse’s legs on these days is very important to prevent any injury and ensure that these horses stay in the best condition possible.

Upper level horses will be iced following gallops and cross-country. Ice therapy is a great way to cool your horse’s legs after a hard exercise to help prevent soft tissue and joint damage. I love to be able to use either five-gallon pails or a large muck tub (pictured below) for icing the front legs, so that everything from the hooves to above the knee can receive the benefits of icing. If your horse won’t stand in buckets, Jack’s Ice Boots with foot pans work great as well. Just be sure to make the boots wet to achieve the best result. Horses should be iced for twenty minutes at a time, after that time, there is no greater benefit. After a big cross-country course, horses may be iced multiple times in twenty minute increments. They would stand in ice for twenty minutes, stand out of ice for twenty minutes, and so on.

Some horses stand well enough to be iced in a muck tub.

After icing, I will towel dry the legs before rubbing the legs down with a liniment. I really like to use Equine Advantage LLC’s “Sooth’n Cool Gel”. Standing wraps should be applied to achieve best results.
Don’t forget about the feet! For horses who don’t have pads in their front hooves, packing their feet is essential especially in the summer months when the dry ground can cause a lot of concussion. There are many pre-mixed hoof packing products, but a mix of Epsom salts and liniment in the hoof can do the trick just as well. Packing the feet can help remove heat and reduce the impact of heavy concussion from a gallop or cross-country.

The day after the horses have galloped or competed, they are all jogged up to check their soundness. It’s also really important to check their legs – everyday, not just after cross-country - for any heat, swelling, or new bumps. If you can notice any change in your horse’s leg when it first appears, you can often prevent a potentially more serious injury down the road.

Learn more about Allison Springer Eventing by visitng their website.

Sep 20, 2023 Sponsor

How a Helmet Saved Silva Martin

When Team SmartPak Rider Silva Martin saddles up, it’s always with a helmet. Silva’s riding career has taken her from Germany all across the world before she settled in the United States in 2007—well before helmets were popular in dressage. When the traditional top hat ruled the dressage ring, riders often schooled in baseball caps or nothing at all.

Sep 20, 2023 Area Championships

Meet the 11 New Champions from the Area VII Championships at Aspen Farms

Aspen Farms in Yelm, Washington, served as the beautiful backdrop for this year’s USEA Area VII Championships. In total, there were 11 championship divisions offered from the Beginner Novice level through Intermediate, in addition to the event’s regular horse trial divisions. USEA President Lou Leslie was onsite to lend a helping hand and help issue awards during the prize-giving ceremonies. Meet the 11 new USEA Area VII Champions below!

Sep 19, 2023 Eventing News

In Memoriam: Mr. Medicott

The USEA is sad to report that Mr. Medicott (Cruising x Slieveluachra) passed away on September 17 at Ms. Jacqueline Mars’ Stonehall Farm in Virginia where he has enjoyed his retirement since 2019. The Irish Sport Horse gelding made quite the mark on the sport of eventing in the U.S., completing more than 50 FEI events over the course of his career with five different riders and finishing in the top 10 at 30 of those competitions. Mr. Medicott attended two Olympic Games and one World Equestrian Games for two different countries over the course of his career. “Cave,” as he was known around the barn, was 24 years old at the time of his death.

Sep 19, 2023 Eventing News

One Month Until the Pan American Games!

In just one month, the top horses and riders in North America, Central America, and South America will present their horses in the first horse inspection at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. Held from Oct. 26-29, the 19th edition of the Pan Ams will serve as an Olympic qualifier for those countries not yet qualified for Paris 2024.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA