I just got a new horse (piebald cob mare) and she has A LOT of feather. Will this stop me using boots and bandages? If I can't use them, how can I protect her tendons etc.? if I can use them, how? Thanks
You don't actually need to use boots and bandages...
Most boots actually restrict full range of motion. They also hold in heat. Too much heat creates cell-death. Which, obviously, does damage to the legs.
My friend's gelding rode in boots all his life. (Hunter school horse for 17years. Yikes! He's now immune to all sedatives and tranquilizers commonly used on equines, but that's another story). He has white scars on his legs from where the straps on his boots created too much pressure and turned the hair white over the years.
If you're doing high level eventing, or jumping, or cutting, or you have a clumsy young horse, then yeah, throw some polos on. If not, you don't need boots or polos.
Boot and polos are a good source of protection and support, in my opinion.
I prefer polos to boots. I would say, make sure the legs are very clean and well brushed before putting them on. You put them on the same as any other horse but just have to really make sure the extra hair isnt bunched in one spot to cause a pressure point.
Only joking! :) We have a lot of 'hairy cob' types in the UK. Loads of their owners use boots for jumping and I can't say I've ever come across one who's had problems. If you do up the straps at normal tension the hair just acts as extra cushioning, and in fact it may help because you'll get extra airflow under the boot :)