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How to prevent lameness in horses

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how to prevent lameness in horses
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How to prevent lameness in horses is something all riders should continually be searching for. The horse soundness industry is massive and continually evolving. There are always new products and therapies on the market. This post is more about good old common sense and tried and tested methods that have been passed down for generations. So my advice on how to prevent lameness in horses is to stick to the simple methods. They rely on horsemanship and have been proven to work.

Good footing

Your arena surface is absolutely crucial to your horse’s soundness. Working and jumping your horse on a bad surface is the quickest way to shorten his career, and bring you a whole host of unsoundness problems. This is a link to another video that goes into detail on what is required for a good arena surface

Wrapping and bandaging

Leg maintenance often starts with wrapping or bandaging your horse’s legs after jumping him. First, keep in mind that wraps can’t “support” tendons or a ligament in a lower limb or reduce the load these structures bear. What wraps can do, however, is provide compression of the tissues to prevent fluid from pooling.

Learn his legs

Although the basic anatomy is the same, every horse’s legs will be slightly different. So with this in mind, go over your horse’s legs just to learn what is normal for him. That way you can quickly pick up any abnormalities.

Hosing and Icing

Keeping your horse sound can be as simple as hosing or icing your horse’s legs after he’s worked. For starters, it reduces pain associated with the activity. Its most important effect is to encourage vasoconstriction.

Liniments and Poultices

Liniment and poultices have been used for generations. These are mainstays of post-workout leg care, and you’ll find them in nearly any barn. They help restore a limb to its pre-workout state

Joint supplements

You should always include joint supplements in your maintenance program. Joint supplements don’t often give you the feeling of ‘wow my horse feels like a 2-year-old after that. That definitely doesn’t mean they don’t work though.

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