A Guide to Racehorse Recovery
Post Race Tips to Keep Your Equine Athletes in Tip-Top Shape
Racehorses are remarkable athletes, capable of pushing their bodies to the limit in pursuit of victory. However, after an intense race, proper recovery is crucial to ensure their well-being and maintain their peak performance.
In this guide to racehorse recovery, we provide tips that you can use post-race tips to keep your equine athletes in tip-top shape.
Following a demanding exercise session, it is essential to guide your horse to a complete stop and walk for a few meters. This allows your horse’s heart rate to drop significantly. After approximately 2-3 minutes have passed, your horse can trot with long reins for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on its age and level of preparation. During this trot, your horse can choose its preferred pace, attitude, and speed. However, it’s important to avoid a trot that is too fast, as it may push your horse back into the anaerobic zone.
Engaging in active recovery, such as a 5–10-minute trot, rather than passive recovery, like a 20-minute walk, can reduce the lactate levels in athletic horses by up to two times. Moreover, the psychological aspect is just as crucial. After an intense workout, your horse’s adrenaline may still be elevated, and it may take some time for your horse to mentally transition from a full-out sprint to a calm state as you lead it back to the barn.
Now, allow your horse to take a break and drink water. Offering your horse five swallows’ worth of water, preferably with dissolved electrolytes, is perfect. Be cautious not to let your horse drink too much too quickly, as it could lead to a stomach ache.
Once your horse has cooled down and is breathing more normally, you can give it a sponge bath to initiate the muscle-cooling process. Afterwards, continue with a 20-to-30-minute cool-down walk until your horse is completely dry before leading it back to the barn.
Back in The Barn
Once back in the barn allow horses to eat and drink at their own leisure while you inspect their legs and joints for wounds or swelling. This should be done with a vet if you suspect any injuries.
If there are no negative signs but you would still like to be proactive in your treatment, our pro-tip is to use a quality poultice to reduce inflammation or the effects thereof.
During exercise, it is normal for a horse’s limb to generate heat due to increased circulation and the release of stored energy. This heat is beneficial during physical exertion as it keeps the structures pliable. However, excessive heat can potentially harm the tissues and contribute to secondary inflammatory processes following exercise.
While heat naturally dissipates over time, using Endeavon Methylated Spirits can expedite this process and often prevent potential damage.
The effectiveness of this product lies in its ability to cool the leg. When applied, Methylated Spirits evaporate rapidly, carrying away the accumulated heat from the tissues of the limb that may have built up during the race. By drawing out fluids between cells, this product helps reduce lingering inflammation and prevents swelling and promotes a smoother recovery.
Endeavon Uptite & Icetite is a leading clay poultice designed to relieve and extract heat inflammation and soreness around the knees, ankles, and tendons. It also speeds up recovery from cuts.
After a race apply a thick layer of clay to an uncomfortable, swollen or painful area of the body to stimulate healing.
In the Days That Follow
To ensure the full recovery of a racehorse’s muscles, it is important to understand that it typically occurs within 24 to 48 hours after a strenuous effort. Therefore, implementing an active recovery routine the day after the race can be highly beneficial in facilitating the elimination of accumulated waste from intense exertion. This warm-down session can involve activities such as trotting or a short canter, followed by a day of complete rest.
In the subsequent week or two, you can improve and speed up your horse’s recovery process by providing the following supplements.
The performance and recovery abilities of an exercising horse are intricately tied to the presence of B-Group vitamins. These essential vitamins contribute to reducing the buildup of lactic acid in muscles, a key factor in fatigue, while also assisting in post-exercise muscle recovery.
Endeavon B is a specialized Vitamin B Complex supplement that plays a crucial role in supporting the nervous system, promoting cell repair, and aiding muscle recovery. With the added Tryptophan amino acid, it provides valuable support to optimize your horse’s performance.
For optimal results, it is recommended to supplement Endeavon B in your horse’s feed for several weeks leading up to and following the significant race. This proactive approach ensures that your horse receives the necessary nutrients and support to perform at its best and recover effectively.
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a dietary supplement commonly used to help support joint health in horses, and it boasts a variety of benefits for equines. It naturally targets the body’s inflammatory response and can help soothe equine joints, promote comfort, and aid muscle recovery.
Our MSM supplement offers multiple benefits, including joint pain relief in ageing and performance horses, and maintenance of healthy connective tissue, cartilage, bones, and hooves.
MSM is best when supplemented in feed for weeks before and after the big race.
We Care About the Equine Industry and Racehorse Recovery
At Colesdale, we understand the dedication and hard work that goes into training and competing at the highest level. That’s why we provide top-quality supplements and poultices, backed by years of research and expertise. To support your equine athletes’ well-being and racehorse recovery.
Our commitment extends beyond providing products. We believe in empowering horse owners and trainers with insightful information to make informed decisions about their working animals.
Through our new online platforms, we strive to deliver exceptional quality products, effective solutions, professional service and valuable knowledge to support our industry.