Heat build-up beneath your horse’s boots can be detrimental. Here’s a disturbing factoid from our friends at the Chronicle of the Horse.
A well-researched article written by Amber Heintzberger in 2010 investigated the topic of equine leg protection. Among the factors one needs to take into consideration when choosing a boot, Amber wrote, are weight, effectiveness and… breathability.
Heating is an issue because tendons are partly comprised of living cells, which can be damaged from extreme heat. One study from Japan showed that only 10 minutes at 48 degrees Celsius (118.4 degrees Fahrenheit) is enough to kill 80 percent of all tendon cells in a petri dish. In previous studies many horses’ legs reached degrees much higher than that, and if boots prevent heat release the effects are multiplied.”
Yikes! (Read the full story here.)
So, just how breathable are YOUR horse’s boots?
If your horse is wearing Equilibrium Stretch & Flex Wraps, you can breath a sigh of relief.
The wraps are made of revolutionary, high performance materials that maintain consistent body heat, blood flow and compression in the horse’s legs during all levels of activity. They keep your horse’s leg temperature stable, and as we’ve seen in recent studies, cooler legs are less prone to injury. They’re elastic enough to allow for free movement, yet they provide a generous level of support.
Other pluses: They’re easy to take on and off, so at horse shows it’s super-easy to have someone (even a clueless bystander) pull them off before you go in the ring. They come in two varieties, a flatwork version and a training wrap that offers a little more coverage and support–a student of mine whose mare has had suspensory issues recently purchased a pair. For diehard polo wrap people, there are also Stretch & Flex bandages. Depending on the style, they come in both black and, my favorite, white–I’m a sucker for the look of white polos on a dressage horse. They make anyone look fancy!
If you’re serious about your horse’s soundness and safety, I highly recommend investing in a set of these wraps. For more details, I wrote a complete review of them here.
Go World Equestrian Brands, and Go Riding!