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We Are Flying Solo

April 25, 2010

I Heart Technology

Now that we are at Novice, I wanted to start bringing a little extra care & management to my horse's legs after jumping, as those extra 3" translated into a lot more work for Solo's body, especially post-XC what with the addition of these drops & banks & such.

I pondered ice boots--too annoying what with having to have ice on hand & inability to provide even pressure to the legs--and then poultices--just too messy--and then just cold spongeing--too short term to have much effect--and was left without a solution I liked. I wanted something easy to pack, easy to use by myself, easy to maintain, & I didn't want to pay $1,000,000.00 for it.

I decided to try ColdFlex, which I picked up from SmartPak (I love you SmaaaartPak, oh yes I doooo...oh wait, I digress...). I gave it a go after our XC run at Longleaf last Saturday. In short, I FREAKING LOVE THESE THINGS! Best. Invention. Ever.  You can see Solo sporting them in high style there on the left.

Basically, it's a polo wrap that feels like it's made of silicone.  It has gelled water imbedded in it.  All you do is wrap it around your body part of choice.  I could only talk myself into buying two to start out, so after much anguished deliberation, I decided to wrap front legs as they take the brunt of jumping impacts. 

Once you wrap, you put a turn of vetwrap around the loose end -- the gel wrap sticks to itself sort of, but it's not very secure, the vetwrap holds it better (You can't see the vetwrap in the pic on the right, but it's at the top.  It's just the exact same shade of blue as the gel wrap.  Of course.).  Then sponge some water over the wrap & stand back.  Evaporation magic begins.

The directions say you can leave them on for as long as eight hours as long as you reapply water roughly every two hours. I left them on for about 45 minutes to an hour -- you cannot cover them up, as that would block the evaporative cooling & I did not want him to wear them on the trailer & tear them up. They appear to be about as durable to impact as jello.

I sponged them once after about 20 minutes just because I am paranoid like that. I rolled them back up and repackaged them (key fact: you can NEVER let them dry out, EVER EVER), they come in these handy plastic tubs for storing.

And those tendons were cold & tight & beautiful!! No mess, no ice, no hoses, no goop! Even compression & efficient cooling all in one with practically zero effort.  I think mum was a little perplexed as to why I was whooping around excited, but it was so EASY!

According to the manufacturer you can reuse them about 25 times before they are worn out & need to be replaced. I feel like I got my money's worth out of one time, so if I can use them for 25 more horse trials, I am totally beyond satisfied! Once again, chemistry improves life & technology rocks my world!

Two hooves up from Solo!!


  1. I love the idea of those things! I'm buying them for Pete for Biltmore. The clay poultice is very very messy.

  2. I've been wondering if these work - did they get/stay cold enough? That was where I was worried they would fail.

  3. His legs were totally cold to the touch, molly. The compression adds to the effect.

  4. Very cool, I'm going to be looking at something like that when we get to higher jumps, so it's good to know that at least one brand works. Though it might be wierd at first, being raised as a clay poultice gal through and through.

  5. Oooo I might have to invest in some of those. Cause the whole standing in a mucktub thing is KIND of a pain in my butt.

  6. Andrea, I figured it HAS to be better than a bucket! You CAN refrigerate them, just no freezing!