Not Just for Humans Anymore
The world of equine care is constantly expanding. One of the newest technologies and products we are finding at tack stores is compressions stockings. While compression stockings are relatively new technology in the horse world, their worth has been proven in human applications.
In this article, we will be discussing the pros and cons of horse compression stockings and what to look for when purchasing them.
Compression Stocking Basics:
What is a compression stocking
The idea of compression stockings (also called compression sleeves) for horses is a new concept. Still, the purpose is the same—to promote circulation and lymphatic drainage.
These differ from leg wraps in that they are one solid piece and are pulled on instead of wrapped around the horse’s leg.
There has been some research that shows the use of compression stockings helps horses who chronically “stock up” (exhibit excess fluid in the lower leg when stalled). Compression stockings also help promote blood flow and, because of their breathable fabric, can prevent overheating in the lower leg.
When might you use a compression sock/sleeve?
Compression stockings are recommended for use during transportation or after a strenuous workout. That said, they should only be used for a few hours at a time and should not be used overnight (unless otherwise recommended by your vet) or without supervision.
Do compression stockings work?
Though there is research indicating that compression leg wraps are successful in reducing swelling and promoting circulation, this is a relatively newly researched area.
The compression sock websites like HealEquine and EquiCrown are full of personal anecdotes touting the product.
What to Look for When Shopping for Compression Stockings
When looking to buy a compression sock, knowing what size to order is important. To ensure proper fit, follow the guidelines on the size chart or go to the manufacturer’s website for more info. Most companies have fantastic customer service and will happily answer any of your questions.
Here are a few more things to think about when buying compression stockings:
- Anti-Microbial Fabric vs. Regular Fabric
- Length of Stocking
Top Compression Stocking Options
|Category||Turnout Boot Name/Brand||Price Point||Key Features|
|Best Overall|| XLR8 G-Force
|5 Carrots||Germanium and Copper add infrared therapy. Multiple styles available.|
|Hidez Compression Socks||Original||5 Carrots||Full set (front and hind), extra long|
|Equiflex Compression Socks||Flexsleeve||2 Carrots||Vet approved, Machine Washer/Dryer safe|
|Best for the Budget||EquiFit HorseSox||1 Carrot||Trusted brand, great price-point|
1 Carrot ($10-30), 2 Carrots ($30-60), 3 Carrots ($60-90), 4 Carrots ($90-120), 5 Carrots ($120+)
XLR8 G-Force Germanium+Compression
These are made from a proprietary mixture of Germanium, Copper, and Ceramics that adds infrared therapy to the compression sock.
- Zipper and Velcro for a secure fit
- Gradient Compression
- Lightweight and breathable
- Also carries “Ice” version—cold compression
- Only three sizes
Where to buy it: Riding Warehouse, XLR8 website
Hidez Original Compression Socks
The extra long compression socks cover the majority of the leg—which ensures maximum coverage and circulation.
- Price includes full set
- Can also prevent bug bites
- Zipper ensures easy on/off
- Due to size, harder to store than smaller socks
Where to buy it: Schneiders, Hidez
Equi Flexsleeve Horse Compression Socks
An affordable option for a pair of compression socks, with no-bow design, and moisture wicking fabric.
- Vet approved
- Lots of color options
- Made in the USA
- ‘Multiple size options—best option for draft breeds
- Taking them off can be tricky
- Not as long as other brands, will only cover the bottom half
Where to buy it: Riding Warehouse, EquiFlex.com
EquiFit HorseSox Individual Pack
Widely available and at a great price point, this is a good choice if you’re just trying out compression socks to see how your horse likes them.
- Affordable and durable
- Easy to store and maintain
- Only two sizes
- Only come in one color (black)
Where to buy it: EquiFit
Adding compression socks to your post-ride routine or when preparing your horse for travel, can help increase circulation and prevent swelling. Though the idea is new to the horse world, the science behind the idea has been around for years.
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