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You may or may not be aware of the old practice of strapping. This was something used particularly in the racing world post race to help dissipate the harmful toxins generated by the body in the process of heavy exercise. It involved some sort of bunch of soft leather straps which were soaked, washing the horse down to remove sweat and debris and then for 20 minutes or half an hour slapping the horse all over its body. Hard work apparently and apparently it worked too.

Now, you probably are aware that top athletes these days get in an ice bath for 10 minutes or so after exercise for exactly the same reason. The cold induces constriction of the blood vessels thus squeezing out toxins and the body also responds to the extreme cold by sending more blood to the area thus providing a conduit for the toxins to be carried away and excreted before they can cause too much damage.

Putting a horse in a cold bath is of course possible if you have the money and space for a bath that size and all that ice. However, I regularly a power washer to wash down my horses (at a suitable distance of course). It does have several uses such as getting them used to a noisy device close to their bodies but I suspect that it also has an effect not dissimilar to strapping and an ice bath as the cold jet of water hits the body massaging the area generating a drop in body temperature to create blood flow in the same way.

It would make a interesting case study. It's cheap, has multiple benefits and is something we can all do.

Samsara Equitation Equine Rehab Centre - nr. Whitney-on-Wye, HerefordSamsara Equitation Equine Rehab Centre - nr. Whitney-on-Wye, Hereford