At some point this summer, many of us will have a good reason for icing our horse’s legs. Maybe he’s had a hard week, or just completed his first Novice cross-country course. Maybe you’ve seen a bit of swelling in that old left front leg injury. Whatever the case, you know that icing, while effective, can also be a bit of a headache… ice boots are generally pricey, bags and packs can be messy and slip, and cold hosing requires time, energy, and a good wash setup.
But there may be an easier way. The next time you go into the freezer for an icing device, go ahead and bypass the cold packs and reach right for… the flavored ice freeze pops?
That’s right! Emily Francis, an adult amateur event rider based in Bath, Pennsylvania, has come up with an ingenious (and delicious) solution to summer icing woes. “We always have freeze pops in our tack room fridge/freezer in the summer, and I found that a full strip is the perfect length for icing legs. The thin pops adjust perfectly around fetlocks and tendons. And they’re way cheaper! I bought a box of 100 pops on sale (10 strips of 10 pops) for about $2.50 last summer and have been using them ever since.”
Francis says she typically ices for about 20 minutes, depending on the temperature outside. (On hotter days, she notes, the ice pops’ shelf life tends to be a bit shorter.) The best part?
“When they start to break apart from their strips they become snacks. My horse LOVES them and eats them straight from the plastic. I also always bring extras on hot days for my crew,” says Francis.
“Being an adult amateur with just one horse and limited funds, I’m always looking for ways to cut costs effectively so I can get to more events and keep my ponyface in his spoiled lifestyle.”