We ask a lot of our equine athletes. Mine is asked to carry me around three barrels at high speed. If you ask any athlete, they will tell you that they get sore—even with all of the proper training and conditioning. The same is true of our equine counterparts. And for some reason, my partner, Dashers Riata Tivio, is prone to soreness more than most.
I’ve been blessed to receive a sponsorship through Hinman Custom Performance that has allowed me to try many new products on the market that help keep my horses at their best. Draw it Out is one of those products that is extremely important in our pre- and post-run routine. I apply the DiO gel to Riata’s legs before we run and before I put her boots on. The few times I’ve been rushed and not had time to perform this part of our routine, the runs have not been pretty. I also use the DiO concentrate mixed with water in a 50/50 solution that I spray along her back, hip, and shoulder muscles to help alleviate soreness after riding. I have found other uses for DiO, but we’ll stick to helping with soreness for this post.
Another product we’ve gotten to use this summer that has been a lifesaver is the Horseware Sportz-Vibe ZX. It has massage panels that you can put in many different areas throughout the sheet to hit the spots that need more attention as they might be tight or sore. We run that up to two hours before it’s time to tack up and run to get muscles limbered up and more comfortable. If she’s sore or stumbles during a run, the Sportz-Vibe ZX goes back on after the run as well, and the massage panels get moved to that area. The Sportz-Vibe ZX is a great tool to have in your kit for soreness as well as just general 'feel-good' use. Riata practically falls asleep when she has the Sportz-Vibe on.
The last item I want to talk about is the set of Ice-Vibe Boots we started using this summer. Stalling is not something my mare is subject to unless she’s at a barrel race. She stocks up and gets stiff when stalled. She lives in her Rambo Ionic gear when stalled, but sometimes needs a little more help with loosening up and moving that fluid out of her legs. We started using the Ice-Vibes Boots on her front legs to bring the fluid down, and they have helped immensely. I also use them after a run when it’s really hot out to get those tendons cooled down quickly. The ice packs stay cool for about a half-hour, and the gentle vibrations of the massage panels help work it into the legs; it just plain feels good, too. You can use them before a run, without the ice packs, as a pre-race warm-up.
So I admit that my mare is spoiled, but I also ask a lot of her. I do everything in my power to keep her at the top of her game. What are you doing to keep your horses performing and feeling great?
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