Whether training a horse, riding trails for pleasure or spending an afternoon playing polo, applying wraps and boots to protect the horse’s legs is crucial. In addition, choosing the correct wrap or boot for the planned activity is vital to ensuring the horse’s legs are properly protected. The information below provides insight into the various wraps and boots that are available as well as the reason for each.
How to Choose the Correct Leg Protection
A variety of wraps are available. As long as the rider’s wrap choice is based on the upcoming activity and the wraps are applied properly, the horse’s legs will be protected. However, when used improperly, leg wraps can cause harm. For this reason, understanding their differences, the purpose for each wrap and the correct application method is essential.
Applying Boots or Wrapping Legs Before Activity Can Prevent Injuries
The type of boot or wrap a rider should use depends on the activity for which it is being applied.
Leg Wraps for Horses
- Are recommended for use during training sessions.
- Minimize the risk of injury.
- Are designed to protect the horse from sustaining cuts.
- Protect the tendons, joints and tendon attachments.
- Are used during intense workouts, especially for older horses.
- Must always be used with pads.
- Are for injured and older horses.
- Do not provide enough protection and offer limited flexibility; therefore, these wraps should not be used during training.
- Are used to improve the effectiveness of an ointment.
- Can be used to warm the legs.
Elastic Fleece Wraps:
- Are versatile, which makes this kind of wrap a popular choice.
- Do not require a pad.
- Are a good option for horses whose legs become inflamed as the weather changes.
- Can cause the horse’s legs to become warm; therefore, they are not recommended for use in high-temperature areas.
- Can effectively protect the horse’s legs from sustaining mild injuries.
- Are the most recognized form of leg protection for horses.
- Gently support the horse’s leg while keeping the ligaments and tendons properly aligned.
- Help prevent injury during groundwork sessions and while the horse is ridden.
- Protect against dirt and debris, making these wraps a good option when a horse has an abrasion or cut on the lower leg.
Track Wraps (aka Turf Knits and Cold Water Bandages):
- Flexible knitted wraps used frequently for racehorses.
- Can be placed in ice-cold water before application.
Standing Wraps (aka standing or stable wraps):
Standing wraps are frequently used at horse shows and following strenuous workouts. The goal is to keep the horse’s legs from becoming inflamed.
What to Use When Wrapping for Injury
Quilted wraps, pillow wraps, cotton wraps and no-bow wraps are thick, and meant to be worn beneath stall wraps.
Quilted, pillow, cotton and no-bow wraps should only be worn when the horse is barely moving or just standing still. They are designed to reduce inflammation and provide support for the leg. In addition, these leg wraps for swelling are applied when a horse is recovering from a ligament or tendon injury.
Types of Horse Protection Boots
The boot a rider uses depends on its intended use.
- While jumping a fence, horses can strike their front legs with their back. In this scenario, jumping boots provide protection; however, these boots offer little protection when it comes to the tendons and ligaments.
- Are designed to cover the tendon on the inside of the leg protecting it from interference.
- Provide no leg support.
- Are only effective as a barrier.
- Protect the hind ankles.
- Prevent heel burning.
- Are frequently used during reining, but are also useful for ropers and barrel racers.
- Are usually used during speed events because they provide ligament and tendon support.
- Limit fetlock extension to provide support to the lower leg.
- Offer limb protection during exercise and vigorous training.
- Are beneficial for horses participating in a variety of sports, including polo and reining.
- Prevent the back feet from damaging the front tendons.
By correctly using boots and wraps, riders can reduce the likelihood of their horse sustaining an injury. Since we recognize how important it is for owners to learn these skills, besides offering boarding services, we offer a work-to-ride program. This horsemanship program offers insight into proper leg-wrapping techniques as well as boot application tips. To learn more about our unique horsemanship program, contact 101 Polo Club at 602-679-8431 or, if you prefer to reach out to us online, please click here.
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