Can Localized Cryotherapy be an Effective Treatment for Saddle Sores?  


Caused most often by inappropriate tack, saddle sores can be a very painful condition for a horse and can have serious health consequences if left untreated. Using a case study from one of our users, we explore how cryotherapy is an effective treatment for saddle sores.

What are Saddle Sores?

If a horse’s tack is too big or too small, dirty, or an improper riding posture is used, material from the saddle or harness begins to rub on the skin causing friction and irritation. For riding horses, this is usually the skin underneath the saddle. For horses who are harnessed, it’s usually in the shoulder region.

A loss of hair, red and irritated skin, and open cuts or abscesses are some common symptoms of saddle sores. And while they may not sound like serious injuries, if they aren’t treated correctly, they can develop into much worse conditions as the tissue becomes further damaged. A secondary infection could occur and circulation in the affected area could significantly reduce.

Common Treatments for Saddle Sores:

Rest. Don’t ride your horse if they have saddle sores. The sores need time to heal – continuing to let the saddle rub on the broken skin will only aggravate the injury and prevent recovery.

Clean the sores. Regularly use water and antiseptic saddle soap to remove dirt and prevent further infection.

If sores are particularly bad or worsen over time, it’s advisable to visit a veterinarian as antibiotics may be needed or other medical interventions.

Localised cryotherapy for Treating Saddle Sores

In addition to the above care, applying localized cryotherapy treatments can be an effective and non-invasive treatment for saddle sores. 

Our agent in Malaysia (@cryorejuvenate) used INSTANTCRYO™ to aid in the recovery of saddle sores that had ruptured the skin forming very sore open wounds. For 6 weeks regular INSTANTCRYO™ treatments were performed directly on the affected areas. The horse was not ridden for the entirety of the 6 weeks.

As shown in the images below, the treatments significantly quickened the recovery of the sore, reducing redness and inflammation and stimulating the repair of the damaged skin. The bacteriostatic property of cold therapy also helped prevent further infection from developing.


Cryotherapy device used as a treatment for saddle sore on a horse

Visit @instantcryo_ecb to see how else our customers are using INSTANTCRYO™ to improve the health and well-being of horses.

Find out more about INSTANTCRYO™ for equine here. If you’re interested in buying or would like more information, please contact us here.