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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

February 19, 2011

Post-ride Care of the Endurance Horse

There was a pretty good (short) article in The Endurance News about aftercare for the horse.  I found one hole in my post-ride care that I need to figure out.  That being cooling the legs.  Phebes will not tolerate cold packs on her hind legs, she will kick, and stomp until you think she's going to break a limb...but I'm thinking that we could substitute very cold water sponging on the lower legs.  I had thought about putting standing wraps on her for the overnight, but after reading how you really have to know how to do these or you could cause a bowed tendon I'm going to nix that idea.  I was also wondering how to get the sweat and scurf off of my horse when it is windy and chilly?  You wouldn't want to hose your horse with cold water when the weather is chilly, but if you are riding the next day you certainly want all that post-ride crud off of the horse.  My camping set-up is pretty primitive.  I need to look into some cheap way of solar heating water for her clean up and mine as well.  

Any of you experienced riders care to share what you do for your horse after you've finished?   How much do you feed?  Do you hose down your horse? Do you blanket? Do you wrap the legs?  Do you hand-walk? Electrolyte?  Is your routine different if you are doing a multi-day?  ~E.G.


  1. Subscribing to hear what the experienced riders say!

  2. I received an email response that said this:

    I use Ice Tight Poultice for the legs with cashel boomer bandages over the poultice for support. Its pretty hard to mess things up with these. As far as feed I give them as much food as they want, they use so many calories during the day they can't regain it during the ride so I give them free choice. Normally I hose my horse, as long as it is warmer than 40 degrees. I put a cooler on until the horse is dry and then if it is just warm and dry out I will put a light sheet on but if it is windy I put a blanket on to help keep the muscles warm. Normally i am showing for BC so i walk them a lot to keep them loose so they don't stiffen up, but even if i am not showing i walk them. I do give electrolytes after a ride normally a half dose in a mash along with other supplements to help assist in recovery...

    This is the blanket/sheet i like to use. It has fleece on the major muscle area to keep them warm but mesh in all the other areas to help them cool off.

    That blanket is NICE! Big thanks to my contributer on this topic. ~E.G.

  3. Each horse is different, in what they need and what they want . Toad always wanted to go out and do the whole thing again (even after a 75) so lots of walking was appropriate for him.

    Fee likes to hold still and contemplate the whole experience, so I surround her with food and leave her alone to think for a few hours before I clean her up and walk her around.

    Food: as much hay/beetpulp as they want, plus fresh grass if there's any nearby. Electrolytes in the food until we return home.

    Legs: if there is heat/swelling (rare), I will use iceboots:
    These boots have strips of replaceable frozen gel packs; I get extra gel packs cheaply at the marine supply places, because folks on fishing boats use 'em to keep the catch cold. I don't wrap legs otherwise. The iceboots work well as cold packs for any kind of injury, (equine or human) and they're at least 10 years old.

    Cleaning: I will bathe if it's warm; at cold rides, I allow the coat to dry (under a fleece cooler) and then brush it out.

    Walking: We "meander" through camp to socialize and graze, especially after Fee awakens from a post-ride nap.