The low down on Liniment
Filling you in on Which herbal liniment is the best for swelling, bruising, stiffness, sore joints, and tight muscles?
Backaches, puffy legs, muscle tightness, PMS, stiff joints, lumps, bumps, and bruises. Can you feel yourself turning into a helicopter horse parent trying to keep your horse “safe”? I say let them be horses, prevent what you can, and speed up the healing on everything you can’t.
It’s no mystery why there are so many pain relief/healing products out there for our large ailment prone friends. The problem isn’t a lack of options to choose from. It’s knowing which one will work best for each particular issue.
Six herbal liniments were put to the test and the results are in. Check out this handy list to see which ones work the best for everything from muscle tension to joint stiffness.
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Sore-no-more gelotion for mild inflammation and soreness in muscles and joints. This one is like the WD-40 of liniments. It works great to warm up the stiff areas so putting it on before you start working the horse can be super helpful. I find it to be a good catch-all liniment that I use the most. It tends to have a bit of a warming sensation but not full blown “icy hot” burning. You’ll feel it’s mildly warm on your hands long after applying it. Pros: works on a variety of ailments, is mild on the skin, and works a little slower but has long-lasting effects. Gel consistency for handy spot application. Get Sore-no-More gel here.
Sore-no-more liquid liniment excellent for all over relief and waking up the body. Perfect for giving a liniment bath or applying with a sponge to large areas. If you have a horse that is just starting a conditioning program or returning to work this one is a must for keeping the whole body feeling loose and energized. It does have a bit more tingling to it than the Sore-no-more gelotion but not so much that it’s uncomfortable. Pros: works well for large areas or full body application, it increases circulation for faster muscle recovery, most horses find it energizing and refreshing. Get Sore-no-More here.
Equi-Block DT for strong pain relief in hard to treat areas. Reaches further into the deep tissue/joint. Watch for sensitivity on the skin with this one, it’s got some heat to it! The main ingredient is capsaicin -the same thing that makes peppers hot. It’s by far the strongest one and works great for deeper issues such as sore shoulders or chronic joint pain. Pros: strong liniment that lasts a long time between applications that melts away pain issues with heat. Thick gel consistency for specific spot application. You can get your Equi-Block here.
Dr. Milt’s Magnesium Sulfate liniment for muscle and nerve relaxation. Great for horses that tend to have over stimulated systems or get issues with muscle cramps. This one is my go to when I have a mare that is having a rough cycle. Massaging a dab into the lower back can really help with relaxation. It’s not one that has the tingling/burning sensation but is more soothing (like the feeling of taking an Epsom salt bath). Pros: promotes muscle relaxation, it’s great for sensitive horses and you don’t have to worry about using too much or skin irritation. Gel consistency for handy spot application.
Ez-willow gel for quick relief on targeted areas such as stiff joints. This liniment is a bit stronger against the skin. With it being a bit stronger I tend to see results faster when it comes to taking down swelling and puffiness in the legs. Pros: it helps with excess fluid and joint issues. Thick gel consistency for specific spot application. You can get your Ez-willow here.
Arnicare gel for bruising and swelling. So this one is actually a people product but I’ve used it on my self and my horse with great results. It’s perfect to apply when you see an incident happen to prevent major bruising. Next time your horse has fresh goose egg from pasture antics a quick squirt of Arnicare will take it down in no time. Pros: great for preventing and healing bruises quickly. Gel consistency for handy spot application. Grab some Arnicare gel here.
*If you’re competing with your horse check organization regulations to be sure you are not using liniments with banned substances on your performance horse.
Quick tip: Gel liniment is the handiest to use for convenient spot treatments on horses but can be a bit tricky getting it applied evenly. A hand way to prevent overdoing it in some areas and missing others is to brush a little bit of water on your horse’s coat on the area you want to apply it then rub on the gel. With the hair being wetted down slightly first the gel will be easier to disperse and you won’t need to use as much.