Equine Therapy – Hydrotherapy & Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy & Hydrotherapy

We all want to avoid costly vet visits and keep our horses performing at their best, but therapy isn’t always at the forefront of our mind. Although therapy is defined as ‘treatments intended to relieve and heal’ they can also be a great form of preventative care.

We’ve all been advised to cold hose our horse’s legs. This is particularly common practice following strenuous exercise or a knock in the field. The question is, do you know why? Cold hosing is just one example of how we can combine cryotherapy and hydrotherapy. These are potentially the simplest and most effective forms of therapy. Luckily for us, they can also be extremely cost effective.


Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is defined as ‘the use of extreme cold during medical treatments’. This form of therapy works by decreasing blood flow to the target area. This helps to reduce inflammation and swelling.


Formerly known as hydropathy, hydrotherapy is defined as ‘using water for the treatment of medical conditions’. Water can be used to wash away dirt and debris from lesions. This helps to reduce the risk of infection. It can also be used to cool and massage the treatment area.

The Science

The application of cold water to living tissues results in three main effects; analgesia, hypometabolism and vascular response. Although this sounds complicated it’s not as bad as you might think.


Analgesia is essentially the reduction or eradication of pain. Cold water can potentially decrease nerve conduction velocity. This is a complicated way of saying that it can slow down electrical impulses. Electrical impulses are signals that travel from the site of the injury to the horse’s central nervous system. These tell the horse that they’re in pain.


During cryotherapy cold water reduces the metabolic rate of the targeted cells. Basically, the cold decreases the amount of oxygen and glucose that the cells need to survive. This can sometimes help to prevent the effects of oxygen deprivation, known as hypoxic damage.

Vascular Response – Vasoconstriction

Vasoconstriction is a fancy way of saying narrowing of the blood vessels. This occurs when the smooth muscle cells that line the walls of blood vessels tighten. When the blood vessels are narrower less blood passes through them. This process can in some cases help to reduce excess bleeding and oedema.

What Happens? The Natural Process

When a horse injures themselves the natural healing process commences. Damaged cells release a fluid made up of enzymes and proteins. This fluid provides protective cushioning to the injured area and attracts lymphocytes. Also known as white blood cells lymphocytes fight infection. This process also triggers the secretion of prostaglandins. These are the hormones responsible for pain. During this process extra fluid also known as oedema can build up. If this happens it can become difficult for healthy cells to get oxygen from the blood, leading to hypoxia. Hypoxia can cause the previously undamaged cells around the injury to die. The lack of oxygen in the area can also result in a longer healing process.

What Happens? Using Cryotherapy

If your horse injures himself apply cold water to the area as quickly as possible. The application of cold water can cause the muscle cells lining the blood vessels to constrict. This makes the blood vessels less permeable, potentially limiting the build-up of enzymes and proteins. This sometimes prevents additional oedema, helping to ensure that the healthy surrounding tissue receives an adequate supply of oxygen. Additionally, cold water can help to decrease pressure caused by swelling and slow down the electrical impulses to the brain that signal pain.

When To Use

Cryotherapy is most effective within 36 hours of an injury or strenuous activity occurring. Cryotherapy is a great way to tackle injuries, which are related to tendons or ligaments. Examples of when it can be used include after kicks or bites, tendon injuries, splints or heavy road work. A good rule of thumb is to check the site of the injury or strain for heat. If the area is swollen, painful to touch and abnormally warm then cold therapy may be an appropriate treatment option.

When Not To Use

Cryotherapy should not be used if your horse is suffering from muscular soreness. If the strained area is muscular and has no abnormal heat or swelling the application of cold may cause more harm than good. In some respects, your horse’s body is just like yours. If your horse’s muscles are aching or tight they can be better treated using heat. Thermotherapy encourages vasodilation. Vasodilation is the widening of the blood vessels. This allows more oxygen rich blood to get to the muscles, aiding recovery.

In some cases, thermotherapy can be applied to older tendon and ligament injuries. It is only appropriate to use thermotherapy once any swelling, soreness and heat has subsided. Once the initial swelling response has been stemmed using cryotherapy the remaining stages of the healing process can be encouraged using heat.

Therapy at Home

If you think your horse could benefit from cryotherapy or hydrotherapy or thermotherapy please consult your vet. If you decide to try it here are some of our top therapy products to help you get started.

LeMieux ProCool Cold Water Boots – £39.95

The LeMieux ProCool Cold Water Boots are great for use after strenuous work or during recovery from an injury. They contain absorbent water reactive crystals, which when soaked help to lower the temperature of the horses lower limb.

Arma Hot/Cold Relief Boots – £35.99

When used for cryotherapy arma Hot/Cold relief boots boots can help to aid recovery after strenuous work, reduce swelling, limit internal bleeding, prevent inflammation and combat heat.

Horseware® Ice-Vibe® Boots – £154.95

Horseware Ice-Vibe Boots are dual action therapy boots, providing both a cooling effect and a massage effect. Ice packs in the boots cool the treatment area potentially reducing swelling while the vibrations encourage increased blood flow to the tendons and ligaments, which may aid the healing process.

Here’s a bit more information about how you can use them day to day.

Arma Hot/Cold Relief Boots – £35.99

When cold the Arma Hot/Cold relief boots can aid recovery after strenuous work, reducing swelling, limiting internal bleeding and preventing inflammation.

When used hot the relief boots can help to improve the circulation of blood in the horse’s lower leg. This can help to speed up the healing process.

Over To You

Have you ever used these therapy methods on your horse? We’d love to hear all about your experiences. If not, we hope this blog has inspired you to try them! Please contact your vet if you’re unsure about the suitability of these therapy techniques for your horse. If you have any further questions please leave us a comment or give our customer service team a call.

Shed and Shine – Spring Grooming

Spring Grooming

Has winter left your horse looking less than their best? We’ve put together a selection of top tips and essential grooming products to help you get your horse gleaming this spring!

Spring Shedding

Shedding season is upon us! Is your horse still in their winter woolies? Your not alone! Good news though, we’re here to help. First of all, here’s a bit more information about some of our favourite grooming tools, perfect for when they’re shedding!

Shedding Must-Haves

1. Shires Metal Sweat/Shedding Blade  – £3.99

A truly versatile addition to your grooming kit, you’ll soon wonder how you coped without it! You can use this tool in two ways, the smooth edge removes excess water and the  serrated edge removes loose hair and brings dirt and grease to the surface.

2. HandsOn Grooming Glove – £17.99

Does your horse love a good scratch? If so this is the perfect grooming tool for you! The HandsOn Grooming Glove is a great alternative to a traditional rubber curry comb.  Bristles  on the palm and down the fingers help to remove stubborn stains and excess hair. Best of all they are suitable for both wet and dry use.

3. Lincoln Ultimate Groomer – £16.99

Looking for the ultimate grooming tool?  Quick, easy and effective, the Lincoln Ultimate Groomer is the one for you! This impressive grooming tool effectively removes the winter coat and dirt while promoting improved circulation and hair growth.

4. SoloGroom SoloComb – £13.99

Dreading pulling your horse’s mane and tail? Don’t worry, this is the perfect tool for making it a lot less stressful! The SoloGroom SoloComb is a great alternative to the traditional pulling comb. Easy to use and painless for your horse, it’s a win-win. Designed to stand the test of time, the body of the comb is hard wearing and the cutting blade is easy to replace.

5. Oster Rake Coarse 10 Teeth – £19.99

Looking to improve the condition of your horses coat, skin, mane and tail? The Oster rake is a versatile thinning tool, which can be used all over the horse. When used on the body it is great for removing dead undercoat. Additionally, it can be used on the mane and tail for shaping and thinning without causing pain or loosing that hand finished look.

6. LeMieux Close Shave Disposable Equine Razor – £1.99

Is your horse sporting an impressive winter moustache? The LeMieux Close Shave Disposable Equine Razor is just what you need! Safe by design it’s perfect for removing unwanted hair from your horse’s face, muzzle and legs.

Wash Away Winter

Now that you’ve helped your horse to shed any excess winter hair it’s a great time to give them a bath! This will help you to remove any remaining deep rooted dirt, grease and stains.

Spectacular Shampoos

1. Wahl Showman Shampoos – £7.50

Whether you’re horse is white, black or chestnut Wahl have got you covered! Wahl Shampoo is made using an highly concentrated, effective and balanced formula. It’s great for removing dirt, grease and stains. It leaves your horse’s coat shiny and glossy by refreshing the natural pigment within the hair.

2. Carr & Day & Martin® Gallop® Stain Removing Shampoo – £7.99

Do you own a grey or coloured horse? There’s nothing worse than  stubborn stains that you just can’t get rid of! Carr & Day & Martin® Gallop® Stain Removing Shampoo is a solution to your problems. The extra thick, purple, concentrated shampoo has powerful stain, grease, dust and dirt removing properties. It’s ideal for problem areas like hocks, knees and feathers.

3. NAF Five Star Show Off Shampoo – £7.99

Stand out in the show ring with NAF Five Star Show Off Shampoo! Not only does it remove dirt and grease, it’s also designed to deeply condition your horses coat, leaving them with dazzling shine and enhanced colour.

Finishing Touches

Now that your horse is free from unwanted hair and squeaky clean it’s time for the finishing touches!

Mane, Tail & Coat

  1. Shapleys Magic Sheen – £15.95

Shapleys Magic Sheen is the perfect way to give your horse’s coat, mane and tail a healthy shine. The gentle formula is safe for every day use and won’t dry out your horse’s hair. Magic Sheen repels dirt and grease for up to one week, making grooming quicker and easier.

2. Carr & Day & Martin® Dreamcoat Ultimate Coat Finish – 10.99

Do you want to achieve the ultimate shine? Get your hands on Carr & Day & Martin® Dreamcoat Ultimate Coat Finish! It’s unique formula creates a high shine, glossy finish that highlights the horse’s muscle definition, without leaving a slippy residue.  You can also apply it to your horse’s mane and tail to add shine and prevent knots.

Finishing Touches

3. NAF Five Star Shine On Grooming Spray – £9.99

Need a little extra shine for an upcoming show? NAF Five Star Shine On Grooming Spray is a fine mist, designed to make your horses coat gleam like glass and feel like silk. Additionally, it leaves their mane and tail silky soft and tangle free!

Hoof Care

No hoof, no horse! With summer on its way dry ground can lead to damaged, cracked hooves. Get ahead of the game, prepare your horses hooves early. Whether you’re looking for a moisturising hoof balm or high shine show worthy polish, we’ve got just what you need.

1. Supreme Products Hoof Paint – £10.99

Whether your horses hooves are black or white supreme products have got you covered!  Supreme Products Hoof Paint is an easy to use, super shiny paint, which will make their hooves glisten on show day. When applied to dry, clean hooves, the paint stays shiny in most conditions. The formula is water based, so it doesn’t seal the hooves and doesn’t need chemical removal.

2. Carr & Day & Martin® Cornucrescine Hoof Oil

Keep your horses feet moisturised to help prevent cracks, splits and damage in dry conditions. Carr & Day & Martin® Cornucrescine Daily Moisturiser has a water based formula, it penetrates deep into the hoof to aid moisture replacement. Cornucrescine Daily Moisturiser is free from oils and greases, when used daily it can help maintain optimum hoof moisture.

Looking for something show ring worthy? Carr & Day & Martin® Cornucrescine Tea Tree Hoof Oil maintains and protects the hoof while leaving a long-lasting show ring shine. As the name suggests it’s rich in tea tree oil, known for its antibacterial and anti fungal properties. This will help to prevent infection and keep the hoof healthy.

3. Silverfeet Hoof Balm – £11.99

Silverfeet Hoof Balm offers the ultimate in hoof protection and conditioning. It’s made with vegetable oil, beeswax, essential oils and silver ions. Together these ingredients help to maintain hoof health, combat bacteria and reduce unpleasant odours. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. Therefore, it is safe for daily use. Silverfeet has a pleasant smell, is easy to apply, produces a long lasting shine and can be applied to the hoof wall, sole and frog.

Grooming Time!

We hope that you have found these grooming tips useful! If you’re off to pamper your horse we’d love to see the before and after pictures! If you have any questions or additional tips, please leave a comment.

Summer Training Destinations

Summer Training Destinations

Are you fed up of schooling in the arena? Rediscover your passion for riding this summer and unleash your inner explorer by stepping outside of your comfort zone and doing something different! We’ve put together a list of summer training destinations. Whether it’s for fun or improvement purposes there are some great places to explore with your horse.


Who doesn’t love a trip to the beach? The beach is one of our top summer training destinations, not only is it a great place to enjoy the sun with your four legged friend but it can also be a really useful schooling or recovery environment!

Summer Training Destinations


Did you know that 3 times Grand National Winner Red Rum trained daily on Southport Beach? If you can convince your horse to brave the waves it’s thought to have some pretty impressive benefits. Schooling your horse in the water provides buoyancy and supports their limbs. It’s a great way to strengthen their cardiovascular system, muscles, tendons and ligaments in a non-concussive environment as it is thought that this lowers the risk of injury. Working in the sea also encourages your horse to lift his legs up and over the water in a more vertical plane. This action can lead to improved joint flexion. Additionally, working against resistance improves their fitness and encourages more expressive movements when you’re back on dry land.


Have you ever considered hydrotherapy for your horse? As you might expect hydrotherapy is the use of water to aid in the recovery of injury. The majority of hydrotherapy machines have been designed to recreate the benefits of seawater. For horses that have suffered an injury or are in strenuous work seawater is a great alternative to expensive rehabilitation options.

The temperature of seawater triggers vasoconstriction, narrowing of the blood vessels. This can help to reduce the amount of fluid build up and bruising in the area, potentially minimising  any swelling. Cold water can help comfort the horse by encouraging a numbing sensation due to the temperature. If you believe your horse would benefit from the effects of seawater consult your vet for additional information.

Forests and National Parks

Did you know that there are 15 National Parks in the UK? National Parks are home to some of the most breathtaking and treasured landscapes in the country. They’re also a great summer training destination to visit with your horse. National Parks contain hundreds of miles of bridleways and hacking routes, so there’s something for everyone! Whether you are looking for a gentle stroll or open space to blow off steam, it’s the perfect place for you and your horse!


Hill Work

We all know that walking up hills is hard work! This is true for horses too. Hill work is a great way to build up your horse’s muscles and improve his stamina. Hill work uses the horses weight to your advantage. Working on a gradient encourages your horse to carry his weight to his hind quarters, engage his core and work over his top line. Hill work is physically demanding for your horse, it should therefore be introduced slowly. Initially, it’s best to work your horse in walk and trot on long hills with a low gradient. Once your horse’s hill work is more established you can progress to short bursts of intense exercise, for example cantering up steep hills. The purpose of working your horse in this way is to increase his heart rate to improve his cardiovascular health.


Hacking might sound like an odd approach to training but it has some brilliant health and well-being benefits! For your horse there’s nothing less engaging than riding round in circles in the arena. It isn’t surprising that they can become disengaged and look for ways to cause trouble! Hacking is a great way to engage your horse’s brain, many owners find that their horses are much more forward thinking when they’re out and about. A new environment is highly stimulating and a nice change to your routine. Hacking is also a great tool for weight loss, although it is a low intensity form of exercise it is much more in keeping with a horse’s natural roaming habits. A gentile hack can be comfortably maintained for long periods of time and you’ll be surprised how many miles you cover in just a few hours.


Have you ever taken your horse to the gallops? It can be scary but it’s also great fun! Be brave, it’s a great form of training for both you and your horse.

Benefits To Your Horse

For most horses opportunities to blow of steam while under saddle are few and far between! The gallops are a brilliant summer training destination, providing a rare opportunity to take off the breaks without needing to worry about not being able to stop again! Working your horse in gallop is a great way to increase his cardiovascular activity, fitness and stamina using interval training.

Interval training is a common practice amongst athletes. It works by using alternating periods of high intensity exercise and short rests. The aim is to  increase your horse’s heart rate and respiration, then allow it to drop back down to just above resting. The purpose of this is to prevent anaerobic respiration occurring.

Summer Training Destinations - Gallops

Interval Training – The Science

Generally, your horse’s cells get energy using aerobic respiration, a chemical reaction that combines glucose and oxygen. This process creates the waste products water and carbon dioxide. Waste products are then expelled when exhaling.  Anaerobic respiration occurs when large amounts of energy are needed quickly but there isn’t  enough oxygen available.  During anaerobic respiration your horse’s body breaks down glucose without oxygen. The waste product of this chemical reaction is lactic acid. Lactic acid build up causes painful muscle cramps and fatigue.

Interval training allows your horse to better cope with the stress of intense exercise. As the circulatory and respiratory systems adapt they become more effective at delivering oxygen to the muscles. This means that the onset of anaerobic respiration is delayed, preventing fatigue.

Benefits For Riders

No gym trips needed! Did you know that riding a horse in gallop burns approximately 580 calories per hour.

 When working your horse in gallop you should be stood up out of the saddle with your hands lower than usual at the base of his neck. In order to do this you should ride with your stirrups shorter than usual. 

Developing the ability to ride in this way for prolonged periods is a great way to build strength in your calves, thighs and core.

Safety First

For both you and your horse travelling to a new place is very exciting but also a little scary. Unfortunately, this can mean that there is a higher risk of an accident occurring.  Put safety first, by ensuring  that all of your safety equipment meets current standards before you travel. If your equipment is out of date or damaged check out our range of riding hats, body protectors and gloves.  We also stock a range of products to help keep your horse safe, including brushing boots, tendon boots, over reach boots, event grease and more.

Travel Essentials

Before you go, are you stocked up on travel essentials? Make your horse’s journey as comfortable as possible. Browse our range of travel must haves including travel bootsfleece rugs, travel headcollarspoll protection and tail guards.

Where will you visit?

We hope this has given you some ideas for summer training destinations close to you. Do you have any places that you like to visit? Let us know where you like to go with your horse. If there are any places you think we’ve missed let us know, leave a comment below!

Naylors Nantwich 1 Year Anniversary Event!

Join Us To Celebrate The 1 Year Anniversary Of Our Naylors Nantwich Store Opening

It’s been a busy 12 months here at Naylors and time has flown. We’re really excited to be celebrating the 1 year anniversary of our Naylors Nantwich store first opening its doors. We want to share our excitement by inviting you all along to the store between 10th – 12th May. You definitely won’t regret paying us a visit as you make the most of what we have on offer including:

Special discount on EVERYTHING in-store for one weekend only!

Chance to WIN a £200 Naylors gift card in our in-store exclusive prize draw!

Naylors goody bags with the first 25 purchases made in-store on each day of the event!

Naylors Nantwich


Click the button below to find out the address and our store opening times so you can plan your visit!


Super Saver Weekend – Save 15%

Save 15% Off Selected New Season Styles In The Super Saver Weekend

Here at Naylors we’re celebrating the bank holiday weekend in style with our Super Saver Weekend. We’re offering 15% off a whole host of selected new season styles. These aren’t old season designs in the clearance, these are brand new offering from top brands such as Ariat, Barbour, Joules and WeatherBeeta.


There’s something for everyone as we have reductions from all departments. That includes country and equestrian clothing for women, men and children. Of course we can’t forget the range of products for horses and even pet products too! So don’t delay, take a look at what bargains you can find using the button below. You’ve got to be quick, these offers must end at midnight on bank holiday Monday the 6th May!