Horse owners are no strangers to dealing with their horses’ injured hoofs and legs. Ice boots for horses are used for fast treatment of horse injuries and provide stability to the affected leg of your pet.
Ice boots for horses come in different designs. While some help a horse soak it’s feet in water, others enhance the circulation of water to relax the strained muscles.
Be it a bruise or an abscess or any other kind of injury, you need not worry now as we’ve got the perfect solution for you. We’ll list down some of the best options for your horse.
Why Invest in Ice Boots for Horses?
Cold therapy and ice treatments have been accepted forms of therapy for horses with ankle and hoof injuries. Ice boots are part of a recent development in the usage of this method.
This means the method is not only tested but also trusted around the globe. In fact, in 2003, the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science published a study to back the advantages of cold therapy on horses.
15 of the horses that participated in the study had severe injuries like flexor tendon damage or suspensory ligament injury. 13 of them completely recovered within 6 months through just 10 minutes of treatment sessions thrice a week.
Ice boots use cold treatment methods and save your time. Instead of making your horse stand still in an ice bucket, you can put these equine ice boots on the injured part and your pet will start healing. Ice boots for horse legs are also very convenient to use. All you have to do is find the right size that doesn’t restrict the blood flow in the legs.
If the equine has just exercised then wait until its body temperature cools down. Just wrap the boots around for 15-20 minutes and your pet will instantly feel the recovery.
A tedious exercise or a strong gallop is all it takes for a sprain injury. At times it takes 24 to 48 hours for the sprain to fully thrust its effects on the equine. However, a moderate cold therapy session after the run will help suppress the inflammatory response and avoid any injuries and ailments beforehand.
You can also avoid such injuries by using horse overreach boots. We wrote a detailed guide on overreach boots and listed our favorites here.
The Best Ice Boots for Horses: Our Picks
If you’re in a hurry, these are our top picks:
- Horsewar Ice-Vibe Boots (best overall)
- HORZE Finntack Pro Cooling Boots (runner up)
- Tough 1 Ice Boot (best budget option)
Now, let’s dive into the detailed reviews of these products and many more.
Here are the best ice boots for horses:
Let us finally review a non-gel ice boot. Ice Vibe’s product is a portable massage boot with an option to include hot or cold packs for therapy.
The cold packs held by the boots help slow down the circulation of blood within the strained legs and eventually control the inflammation. The therapy is usually combined with massage to maintain the blood flow and allow the damaged tissues to recover.
- The neoprene outer combined with a soft binding and velcro closure holds the boot in place while also prolonging the session
- The stretchy pockets make it easy to insert the cold packs
- Although very comfortable, the boot isn’t as convenient to use as gel-packs
The Finntack pro cooling Ice wrap is another great option if your horse faces regular swelling. The gel pouches can be frozen and wrapped around the legs of your horse when required.
The stand-out hook-and-loop velcro straps not only make these boots convenient to put on and take off, but also makes it adjustable to various sizes according to your requirements.
- The heavy nylon keeps the wrap soft during the cold therapy
- The drawstring bags make it very easy to stow the wraps
- This product occasionally runs out of stock due to its high rating
Designed using heavy denier lyon, these ice boots are most suitable for therapy sessions to treat arthritic joints and ligaments. The product comes in three different colors and with 4 quick straps to help adjust the tightness according to the comfort level of your horse.
The extremely thick exterior helps keep the product soft even when cold, hence, avoiding frostbites or general discomfort.
- The extremely soft material makes the product very comfortable and effective
- Very effective in treating acute injuries
- Extremely affordable when compared to other options
- Denier nylon isn’t as suitable a material as neoprene
These boots by professional’s choice come with extended hook straps to ensure the perfect fit for your horse’s legs. The straps can be used on horses of different sizes and provide the ultimate comfort. The gel pack can be conveniently used once it freezes.
The neoprene exterior makes it stand out amongst all other options by insulating the frozen gel packs. This helps avoid direct exposure to the cold ice and also provide longer and more comfortable therapy sessions. This makes the product best for active horses.
- The neoprene material helps better insulate the packs
- It comes with a mesh carrying bag
- The product is high in demand so make sure to get it in time before the stock runs out.
Another product by professional’s choice, the Equine Nine Pocket Ice Boot is an ideal choice if you prefer using actual ice cubes to massage your equine.
The boot comes with 9 inner elastic pockets where one can insert the ice. The layer in between helps avoid making the therapy session too uncomfortable for your horse.
The product comes with a hook and loop to adjust the tightness.
- The universal size boot means you do not have to worry about the specifications according to the size of your horse
- It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee
- The usage isn’t as convenient and comfortable as in gel-packs
The intrepid ice boot is ideally used after your horse goes through a strenuous exercise. However, it can also prove to be effective as an ice boot for horses with laminitis.
The exterior is made using the neoprene material and the interior is soft and durable. 9 elastic pockets within also make for ample space to cool down your horse’s leg.
- The neoprene exterior makes the boot durable and water resistant
- 6 touch tabs on the exterior help hold the boot in place while avoiding extra tightness
- The boot has to be filled with ice packs/cubes unlike gel wraps
The full leg ice boots are ideal comfort providers for a fully worked horse. The long boots cover the entire area from knee down. The exterior is made of neoprene and comes with a smooth lining of nylon.
The boots consist of multiple insulated pockets to provide a comfort filled relief to your injured horse.The elastic hooks also make for a universal size and help adjust the tightness of the wrap.
- The pockets remain soft even when the wrap is frozen
- Proper insulation and a nylon lining prevents debris from collecting within the pockets
- The product comes with a 30-day money back guarantee
- The product can run out of stock pretty quickly
If convenience is your priority, then the ice horse pair is your go to option. The gel-wraps are made using the quadrispan anti-migration fabric and provide uniform composure to enhance the comfort level of your horse during therapy.
The velcro closures help create a grip onto the legs and, hence, reduce the inflammation or strain in no-time. The removal process is also very easy and helps avoid any additional fatigue.
- The wraps stay cold for two hours and mould according to the shape of the horse’s legs
- The wrap is not adjustable by size
Are you looking for fit ice boots with a zipper? The cordura ice boot is made of heavy duty nylon and comes with a zipper in a standard size.
Don’t worry about keeping the pack in place as the suspenders provided with the product help stabilize the grip onto your horse’s legs.
The foam cuffs within also ensure that the ice is held tight and the cold therapy works effectively. However, place a fabric in between to avoid direct exposure to the horse’s skin.
- The product comes in two appealing colours
- The foam within saves the exterior from draining the water from the melted ice
- Zippers aren’t as adjustable as velcro straps
Is your equine suffering from an ankle injury? Relax and get this ankle wrap by ice horse. The product comes with 12 ice inserts and suspender straps to provide a stronger grip.
The design helps cover the knee all the way down to the fetlock and pastern areas. The front leg is covered by 6 ice inserts each leading to maximum coverage and hence properly reducing the inflammation within.
- The velcro closures help adjust the fit and also ease the process of taking the wrap off
- The packs mould to adjust the horse legs, keeping them cool for longer
- It is a regular ice pack and not a gel wrap
How to Choose the Best Ice Boots for Horses?
Now that we’ve discussed all our picks, it’s important to cover up the aspects to look out for when choosing an ice boot for your horse.
Ice boots for horse legs are generally made of one of two materials. Neoprene is the first and most common one.
The outer layer on ice boots are usually made of neoprene which helps keep the ice cool within. This makes the product long lasting and more efficient.
Denier nylon is another commonly used material. However, unlike Neoprene it isn’t water resistant or flexible to use in different temperatures. Therefore, the former proves to be a better and more comfortable material when it comes to ice boots.
The durability of a product is highly linked to its material quality. Therefore, make sure to buy from reliable brands (such as those mentioned above) instead of using homemade ice boots for horses.
This not only assures long-term usage but also a more comfortable experience for your equine. An active horse will occasionally need a quick cold therapy session and therefore durability becomes a key essence of the product.
Gel Pack vs Ice Pack
Gel packs and ice packs are the most common types of ice boots available on the market. The former requires one to freeze the entire wrap and lasts longer and more effectively.
Ice packs on the other hand are simple wraps filled with ice cubes or packs. Generally gel packs are considered to be the better and more comfortable option.
Velcro Straps vs Zippers
Similarly, you can buy an ice boot with a zipper or a velcro strap. We would suggest the latter option as it is easy to use and keeps the wrap in place hence making the therapy more effective.
How to Use Ice Boots for Horses?
Cold therapy using ice boots can be classified into two types. The first one being a session to avoid muscle strains post-exercise, while the second relating to treatment of acute injuries.
The general concerns will be pretty much the same in both cases. We strongly advise to read the guidelines listed on the packaging. Also make sure to clean the wrap properly after each session.
The difference mainly arises in the usage technique. When using these boots after a heavy gallop, make sure you wait enough for the equine’s body temperature to cool down and its heart rate to slow down.
Wrap the boots around for no more than 30 minutes and your horse is good to go.
However, when treating an acute injury, make sure to use these boots within the first 48 hours. Do not wrap them around open wounds and remove for 5 minutes after every 15 minute session until the inflammation reduces.
Ideally, you should be giving the horse an ice therapy once every 4 to 6 hours. However, consult your vet if the swelling is increasing. Be very careful about the tidiness of the wrap as the dampness can help viruses grow and cause various infections on the legs.
Now lets address a few of the frequently asked questions regarding your equine.
Which is better, ice boots or a cold water wash?
Ice boots are definitely more convenient and effective than a cold water wash. The boots not only equally cover all parts of your equine’s legs, but also help avoid direct exposure of the cold water/ice to its skin.
Can ice boots hurt your horse?
Ice boots are one of the safest ways to provide cold therapy to your horse. Good quality products when used according to guidelines are not only safe, but also very effective in reducing strain after a strong gallop and treating ailments from excessive runs.
Are ice boots expensive?
Just like any other product, ice boots range from very reasonable to expensive ranges. The important thing is to buy a quality product that meets your basic requirements and relieves your horse under a prescribed budget. We have listed a wide range of options in this article to suit your requirements and budgets.
What are the precautions of using ice boots for horses?
If your equine requires a cold therapy after a tiring run, make sure to wait until its body temperature has cooled down and the heart rate is back to normal. However, if treating an injury, make sure to avoid wrapping the packs around open wounds and take quick action within 48 hours. If the strain is a major one, then make sure to consult your vet before taking any steps.
How long do you leave ice boots on a horse?
The prescribed time for most gel-wraps is 20 minutes to half an hour under normal circumstances. However, if the equine is suffering from an injury, try applying the wrap for 15 minutes before giving a 5 minute break. Keep doing so until the inflammation reduces and repeat the process every 4 to 6 hours.
How do you put ice boots on a horse?
Make sure the horse feels safe around you and slowly wrap the boot around its pasture. For ice packs you need to rub the packs a little for the cold therapy to properly work. In case of a zipper, ensure that the wrap stays in place, whereas if your boot has velcro straps then adjust the tightness accordingly. The horse will soon feel comfortable and relieved.
You know enough about ice boots now. A good idea of what they are, which aspects make for a good product, and a list of the best products is all you need for an informed decision. So wait no more, and get your horse the best gift this year.