07-25-2012, 11:33 AM
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I agree, scrub with a curry or mit but in my experience you never quite get it all out. Also, you saddle blankets, etc will put soil back onto the horse if they are not cleaned thoroughly too...which is tough with western tack as most saddle blankets are't really washable.
There are many different types of leg wraps/boots. Popular are Polo Wraps. They are relatively cheap and colorful but be warned, if you don't know how to put them on correctly, have someone show you how that really knows. Incorrectly applied Polo Wraps can cause more harm than good (including tendon damage). Any other "bandage" type wrap I would stay away from for riding as most are not made for riding and can also cause injury.
Boots are a little more pricey, but more forgiving where it comes to application. SMB's come in many many nice colors and patterns, are easy to put on and last a long time as well as give tendon support. I have also tried the Legacy boots and they are harder to get on just right as they have a ridge that goes along the tendon. I could never get it right and the ridge just irritated the heck out of my horse so they ended up being given away.
Another fun thing is to braid ribbons through the main and tail. You can do a ribbon browband (if you google "ribbon browband" you can come across a lot of pages that tell you how to make them yourself. If you are crafty you could go to the craft store and find some fun stuff to put on your saddle rug too.
Remember, you want to try out anything new (like the boots/leg wraps) several times before the parade so your horse gets used to them. You don't want to suddenly put a bunch of new stuff on and them make him walk down a street with a lot of commotion, cheering, unfamiliar noises and things painted on the ground all at once, it might mentally send your horse over the edge.
If you can, find a quiet street with arrows, stripes etc to get your horse used to them. Thos big left turn arrows are VERY SCARY when a horse has never seen them before LOL.