It can be very difficult and frustrating to treat leg injuries on a horse. Cold hosing can be somewhat time-consuming, but is generally successful, less costly, and more effective than some other treatments.
Cold hosing is extremely simple. Turn on the water at a medium rate of flow, and simply allow the water to run over the injury site (starting above any sign of swelling).
Benefits to cold hosing include:
- The temperature of the water does not warm up, as it is constantly flowing.
- The cold water helps to stop and reduce swelling
- It's great for cleaning out cuts and scrapes
- Cold hosing can be done anywhere you can get running water, OR have a supply of water and a bucket (to improvise)
- It's inexpensive and generally not difficult
- Cold hosing can be done anywhere on the horse's body
If your horse has a new injury (with or without swelling) it is always important to call your veterinarian ASAP. Generally, they will encourage you to cold hose the site until they can get to you and your equine.