COLD SALT WATER THERAPY
Cold salt water therapy is one of the oldest tricks in the book and we love to show why it is so effective! Our cold salt water spa is a big tank that the horse walks into, the doors seal, and it fills up with extremely cold salt water. The water recirculates the whole time so it maintains a constant temperature, and jets add a massaging effect. Sounds pretty simple right? That’s the best part about it! It’s all natural and it reduces heat, pain and inflammation in the limbs. We add a blend of salts that are very therapeutic and allow the water to get significantly colder than plain old cold hosing. Although we certainly have nothing against cold hosing and it can be a great tool at home and on the road!
At Coulee Equine we use the cold salt spa for a variety of things including:
~ MAINTENANCE: When horses are travelling and competing the time spent in trailers, stalls, and working on less than ideal ground, can create small amounts of inflammation in the limbs. This inflammation causes pain and in turn your horse will not feel 100% at the competition. The salt spa helps to cool the limbs, speed up healing and suck all of the inflammation out. We have competitors leave Coulee and haul 4 hours to a rodeo only to text and say they can’t believe how amazing their horses legs still look! The Cold Salt Spa is a drug free way to ensure your horse is feeling their best!
~ TENDON/LIGAMENT INJURIES: Sprains, strains, and tears –we have dealt with it all. It’s no secret the less time that tendons spend with inflammation and heat inside, the less time they take to heal. They will also heal stronger. Depending on the situation we will always work with your vet, but the sooner they can get into the cold salt water the better!
~ WOUNDS: I know a lot of wounds can be dealt with at home, I have done my share of home remedies in my lifetime with success. However, with a horse that is in competition or will be soon, there is simply no comparison to the cold salt water soon after any laceration. The salt helps to kill any infection in the wound as well as increase healing time, reduce scar tissue and have more hair growth back to the area. We also have a pump system that allows us to pump the cold salt water anywhere on the body. Of course, each horse has their own healing period but the cold salt spa will always be beneficial.
~ LAMINITIS/FOUNDER: These cases are some of my favourite to work with. The horses come to us in so much pain and after just one session you can see incredible results. Within a couple days the horse is noticeably different. It is incredible to see these horses make such improvement so quickly. The cold salt spa will reduce the inflammation and the heat and in general just make the horse feel so much more comfortable. Once out of the salt spa our comfy stall mats also help with their recovery.
~ POST-SURGERY: Again, post-surgery any heat and inflammation can cause more damage and slow down the healing process. The salt spa is amazing for helping horses return back to work in less time and stronger post-surgery.
In human athletics, icing is a common daily practice. We agree that icing is a very important factor when competing, and the salt in the spa just helps to drive the cold in deeper than regular icing techniques. Because of this, using the cold salt spa as often as possible is great for your horse. We can’t even say that the cold salt spa works best for one specific thing. All summer we have competitors from across North America hauling in to stand their horses in the cold salt water. They know the toll that the miles take on their horses and they know what helps. After a session their equine athlete will feel rejuvenated and fresh –ready to compete!
We understand that during competition times, travel is very busy, but even bi-weekly treatments can show great benefits to your horse. Check out our packages designed for a cold salt spa and an infrared session.
On this topic of icing, after each competition run made it should be habit to ice your horse. And I do not mean bogarting the hose at the rodeo, which is sure to land you on everyone’s annoying list. Icing after work reduces heat in the limbs. If heat and inflammation stay in the limb for too long it will increase cellular damage, this can create small microtears in the soft tissue which over time can create much bigger problems.
BOTTOM LINE: FOR HEALTHY LEGS THAT WILL LAST, COOL YOUR HORSES OUT AND THEN GET HE HEAT OUT OF THEIR LEGS.
There are a few methods that we have used and work very well.
~ The first is a Game Ready system, although the most expensive and time consuming it will do some great things for your horse in helping them cool out their legs.
~ The second is the Hidez Ice Compression Socks, these work amazing at helping cool down the limb as well as reduce the inflammation. You put ice cubes into the pocket, the water melts out the bottom and the legs stay nice and cool.
~ The third, and cheapest option, is to poultice. We use a really great mud poultice that you do not have to wrap over. Simply put it on and leave it over night!
Next to the salt spa and Game Ready system, using the ice socks first and then poultice overnight would be ideal for your horse’s legs!
All of the rehabilitation cases are done in conjunction with a vet. If you have a horse that you think will benefit from the Cold Salt Water Spa, call us for more information on your specific case.