2014 Show Season: Post XC Care

One of the most interesting things I learned this summer, or at least I think, is how to take care of a horse after a grueling XC run. There are, of course, lots of ways to do this “correctly,” this is just the way my trainer and our BM taught me.

The first few times Dandy ran XC, we just did a basic cool down. He got a long walk to cool down and a good hose down (when available, bucket and sponge bath when not). He would get a second walk an hour or so after that. He was just jumping beginner novice and novice which shouldn’t take too much out of him.

It wasn’t until after the championship at Caber Farms that JLE started to up the game. This was still just a novice level course but Dandy jumps hard and he gallops hard so she had N, our BM, walk me through how to ice boot and wrap. When he moved up to training level at Aspen Farms, he got the ice boots and the poultice under the wraps. I was lucky to find that Dandy didn’t care about standing in boots filled with cold ice water. He just waited patiently for me to be done.

wpid-20140906_115052.jpgOur new routine for XC care is: walk, hose down and then standing in the ice water with his front boots for 20 minutes and 45 minutes for the back pocket boots. If it’s been a super hard course, I can add a second time in the front boots. He then gets a few hours to relax, take a nap if he wants, while I wait for his legs to dry. He then gets them poulticed up, wrapped and then another walk.

As they say, no hoof, no horse. Hopefully Dandy appreciates the pampering.


7 thoughts on “2014 Show Season: Post XC Care

  1. nice breakdown of the routine! part of me wonders if i should be doing more for my mare… even if we’re just doing the super baby stuff lol

    1. It shouldn’t hurt to be extra cautious but this is also where it’s good to know your horse and how they come off the course. Most of the horses in our barn don’t get this big of a cool down but Dandy uses his front legs hard so he needs it.

    1. Not a stupid question. 🙂 I was going to talk about it but then I figured I’d just do a video instead because I wasn’t sure how good I’d be at explaining it. But I’ll give it a go and you can let me know how I did.

      Here’s how we do it: You fill the boot about half way to 2/3 depending on the horse and how much water you want in it first. Then you drag the boot over to where the horse is standing, pick up their foot and then position the boot where they were standing. Then you tip the boot forward and slide the horse’s foot in the boot. The hoof should hit the bottom of the boot and then rock back into standing up-right (once the horse is standing still in the boot, fill it up with as much as ice as you prefer). Now, a lot of horses, especially if it’s their first time, do not like the feeling of the water or of the ice pouring in and so you are supposed to put a hand over their knee to kind of guide and push in. Sometimes you have to stand there and hold the knee to keep them from upending the boot. Thankfully, Dandy didn’t care at all about the boot so I just sat near by in case I had to jump up in an emergency.

  2. I always find post-show care to be a very interesting topic. Obviously Miles isn’t working as hard as horses who run XC, but I like to try to do the absolute best for him and I’m always thinking about new techniques to try. Thanks for sharing yours!

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