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 Post subject: Training question?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:19 pm 
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What is your understanding of a race prep technique described to me as "freezing their feet"? I've seen horses in standing bandages full of ice their feet in a bucket of ice water, and I've seen a horse that had been blistered - poor thing - but I gather this is somehow different than those 'remedies'. I heard a trainer say he did this to every horse before a race so it's viewed as a preventative or prep - not as a remedy to an ailment. Had one trainer tell me that a lot of ol'timers accomplish the same thing by rubbing mothballs over a horse's feet - is this a technique for deadening their sensation of the extreme concussion to be felt in running full out or some other purpose?
My question is what is it supposed to accomplish and how is it done? Just curious?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 12:26 am 
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Location: Haverhill, Suffolk , UK
I was told by my trainer the reason for 'blistering' the shins of my horses rear legs was to help eliminate the feeling of pain should his forelegs hit his hind legs whilst running.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 5:13 am 
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Some horses get extremely footsore, for no other reason than their hooves are thin and sensitive. You freeze them (I used Hoof Freeze) the day (or the night before) a race. It is basically to make sure that the horse won't get 'stung' by the hard track.

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 Post subject: Ice water
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 5:43 am 
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Darley line

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Location: Alhambra-Calif.
Ice water or tubbing a TB before they race is used by many trainers. It will take away pain and inflamation. TB that have the kind of action that strike the ground hard will have this problem more that a TB who is light on his feet and has a graceful stride. Sprinters will have more problems than routers, as their pace is faster to cause the same.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:13 am 
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Freezing feet is not the same as standing in ice or blistering. You paint the bottom of the foot with "Hoof Freeze" several times in the hours preceding a race as mentioned by Doublete in order to deaden sensation on the sole of the foot. The effect is temporary and does not completely deaden the sensation.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 8:08 am 
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I also had a trainer that packed with turpentine/iodine/something like that the night before the race and left it packed until the horse was then stood in ice. Supposedly the effect of the 'freeze' lasted until the race.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 2:24 pm 
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I heard from a trainer that when a horse runs a distance on a sandy track that their racing plates get really hot, as would their frogs. I kind of thought, sure right. So I touched the racing plates of a horse coming off of the track and sure enough they were HOT. He said he used hoof freeze on all of his horses. Check it out...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 2:53 pm 
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IMO, feet freezing is just another way to mask a horse's pain so he can't tell you when he's hurting. The gallant horse will run through the pain and thereby aggravate whatever ailment he has. The accumulative effect of this practice is to debilitate the horse. When his racing career has ended and he goes off to the breeding shed, guess what he's likely to produce? Horses with the same weakness, who will likely be treated in the same or even more extreme measure when they reach the track.

Masking pain is a downward spiral that results in further weakening of the breed. For every foot freezing, bute pill and nerve blocking given to the racehorse, we further the illusion that horse racing is a clean sport.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 4:39 pm 
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I kind of disagree Michael. I think most trainers would freeze the hoofs as a preventative or protective measure, rather than to mask the pain of a horse that definately has a foot problem EG; abcess or cracks etc. If the track is stinging their feet, then the feet need to be toughened up. Even the vet will say to try some turp and iodine to toughen them up. Some horses are tenderfooted, as are some humans. I don't believe that in all cases it is some sort of conformation defect, that will be passed on. When I lived in Hawaii as a teenager, everyone seemed to go barefooted. After walking on hot sand, sidewalks, and streets, the bottom of my feet were conditioned to walk over gravel. Now I couldn't walk out on the deck with out shoes on. LOL Since you are not there with the trainer, you probably don't really know all the prep things he does for the benefit of the horse, before he runs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:30 pm 
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Michael- I would also disagree with you and agree with Ramona. Many horses simply have thin feet and no matter what sorts of shoes and pads you put on, the track is really going to 'sting' when they're racing all out in those last few strides. So instead of letting the horse fend for itself, the hoof freeze helps tighten up those hooves so they aren't like butter.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 4:22 pm 
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Location: Alhambra-Calif.
Bee Pollen will prevent quarter cracks and will keep the feet and hoofs in excellent condition. Bee Pollen has amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. Many of the older trainers used Bee Pollen to keep the hoofs in super condition. You will notice that the TB hair will develop a lustre or brilliant sheen, and the fire will return in their eyes.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 5:25 pm 
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Yearling

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:31 am
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Quote:
After walking on hot sand, sidewalks, and streets, the bottom of my feet were conditioned to walk over gravel. Now I couldn't walk out on the deck with out shoes on. LOL Since you are not there with the trainer, you probably don't really know all the prep things he does for the benefit of the horse, before he runs.


Well you sorta hit the nail on the head there. In order for those thin tender soles to toughen up the horse must be allowed to have their feet conditioned to a variety of surfaces. When these horses have shoes slapped on them as yearlings and their soles never having the chance to callous its no wonder they get tender footed. What is of even more importance the process of numbing and cutting off the blood supply to that area so they are "more comfortable" starts a domino effect ... no hoof, no horse...if the horse doesn't feel his feet properly it could lead to even bigger injuries from stumbling and missteps. By all means use a thin leather pad to take the sting out...but "numbing" is such a bad idea even if its just a "preventative" (have you ever tried to walk on numb feet? its pretty hard not to stumble isn't it?)

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So instead of letting the horse fend for itself, the hoof freeze helps tighten up those hooves so they aren't like butter.


brittle /soft walls are completely different then tender soles and no amount of hoof freeze will hold a bad hoof together =D Best thing you can do for a horse that has really bad feet is to let it fend for itself out in the pasture...the majority of the time it toughens those feet right up.


All this said if a horse has got bad feet don't breed it!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 5:35 pm 
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Ramona, I know just what you are saying. I was even at the beach the other day, and a woman was hobbling out of the water, as there was a stony strip, bout a foot wide, between the sand in the water, and the lovely sand on the beach. She was saying "Boy, used to be my feet were tough, now I can't even walk on this shingle. I'm going to have to walk barefoot more often."

I thought of that, too, when I read the posts. I guess what i am thinking of most, though, is the idea of this: What if someone aftificially toughened my feet to endure the rough footing of the day, on a, say, outing on the salt marsh, so I could go birding.

Dern, I'd be sore the next day. As a human, I might even have bruised my tendons running under my heel, supporting my arch. If I did build up to this kind of footing slowly, good for me. But the damage done during an enforced bruising would be tough to heal from.

Here's another point. Any time you are sore, you move, and carry yourself differently to compensate for that pain. How many friends do any of you have who have broken a let, pulled a tendon, wrenched an ankel, only to find, two weeks later, a ligement on the opposite leg is torn? Or, more likely, a strain on the other side of the upper back is spasmed? The compensation gait can be equally as stressfull, sometimes more damaging , than the original injury.

Michael has an important point. Masking pain, for the sake of hardening, can create damage.

Thoroughbreds, as any of us who have owned them realize, have been "bred out" of the tough-foootedness of their arab or prewzwalski (sorry, spelling wrong) ancestors.

Thoroughbreds just may well be a bit more tenderfooted than other breeds. Thoughtful consideration, along with slow, easy-does-it conditioning, may be a necessary part of their training.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 5:39 pm 
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Sorry for the spelling errors above, late and night, sort of, here in the east.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:18 pm 
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I hate to say it and be argumentative, but for the most part NO ONE is masking pain. Vets even suggest using this stuff for horses with 'soft' feet. If the track is hard and the concussion is great enough, it is going to start to STING in those last few strides. Who's to say this stuff even works... I still use it on the hope that it will.... But we're definitley not numbing... THAT'S CALLED NERVE BLOCKING.

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