To wrap or not to wrap? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-26-2013, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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To wrap or not to wrap?

Ok, so I have always ridden lesson horses and the grooms have always had the horses in wraps or splint boots if needed.

Now I have my own horse, she is coming to my barn on Sunday, she is an OTTB, and we will be doing at least a good month of in hand work before I start riding her. She hasn't raced in 2 years and has had some training already, so she isn't completely green to riding.

She is barefoot, has no injuries or issues and does not step on her feet. My question is when do I wrap? Do I need to wrap? When do I use boots? Do I use splint boots or bell boot, etc. How do I know what to use and when?
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-26-2013, 07:17 PM
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I don't put anything on my horse's legs. If she brushes her legs together or overreaches then I would, but most horses don't and there is no need for leg protection (as it's doing nothing). Splint boots are used when horses brush their legs together (that's why they have the padded area inside). They are also some of the cheapest boots so a lot of people use them for protection while jumping, or riding out where sticks could nick them. Bell boots are for when a horse overreaches and clips the back of their hoof.

You might want to put it on while jumping, but again you'll notice a lot of jumpers use open front boots which still allow a horse to feel a knock (and protect the back of the leg from overstepping) so it's really a choice thing.

As far as wrapping, you can do damage if you get it wrong, or if it unravels while riding and considering it probably has less protection than many actual boots on the market, well I don't think there is any use.

But that's just my opinion, and I know lots of people love leg protection.

Last edited by Saskia; 06-26-2013 at 07:21 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-26-2013, 07:25 PM
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Depends on what youre doing with her-- if she dont over reach (back feet knock against fronts) then she dont need bell boots- or protection from that.. you can use them for training if the feet will hit if you want though.

if youre gonna be doing something that causes any kind of strain on the legs you can use boots to protect the legs from injury.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-26-2013, 08:15 PM
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Generally speaking, I only wrap/boot if there is a problem that comes up like over-reaching...or if I'm working on something that would make them more likely to knock themselves (reining spins, rollbacks, etc). For general riding and schooling, I leave legs naked. Keeps their legs cooler.
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-26-2013, 10:49 PM
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I always/most of the time put boots on my horses. Even if I'm just roundpenning them.

I use Sports Medicine Boots, my front pair are Legacy and my back pair is Professional's Choice. I have a pair of polos but my horses won't stand still long enough for me to wrap and plus no one has ever taught me. I like boots a lot better.

I rarely use bell boots, I had a mare that NEVER over reached, but one day she did while we were road riding and cut her heel up prettty good. Bell boots cost maybe $20? I would say worth it.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-26-2013, 11:51 PM
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I normally put open front jump boots on my OTTB whenever I ride as he injured his suspensory ligament when racing. He is sound and his previous injury does not bother him at all, but for my own peace of mind I ride him with them on, just in case. I would rather he damage the boots than himself.

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post #7 of 10 Old 06-27-2013, 05:30 PM
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I wrap my horse because he's gaited and has a large over stride that causes him to sometimes knick his front legs.
While not all horses have this over stride problem, I also liked wrapping when he first started training. The extra support doesn't 'hurt' and it was good for my untouched 5 year old to learn how to stand patiently while I wrapped them. I still wrap him for strenuous arena work (working on flying lead changes and a relaxed canter) because the sand is deep.

I always say it can't hurt. There are people who wrap every ride, and people who have never wrapped in their life.

"Putting pads on a gaited horse is like putting a mask on a beautiful woman."
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-27-2013, 05:43 PM
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SOme people are anti-wrap and others will wrap religiously, or use boots. In my case, I am the paranoid mom. My horses have been trained in both jumping and dressage. I was always worried about suspensories for the most part so routinely wrapped for fence work (or used boots when they came along). Any higher level dressage work I also used wraps/protective boots, again, paranoia more than necessity. I used bell boots on my last horse as he had a mild case of navicular and was in a shoe that extended a little past his heel. He also had a strong overreach so bells just made sense. I did use Professional's Choice boots all around as he did have the tendency to nick himself when we were learning new movements...after awhile it just became routine.

In answer, there is no great answer unless you have a specific issue you need to prevent. One thing that is VERY important however is that boots or wraps not applied correctly can do more harm than good and can cause injury in and of themselves. If you decide to wrap/boot, make sure someone who knows the process teaches you how to properly apply them. It would be better to go without than to place them incorrectly.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-28-2013, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tlkng1 View Post
In answer, there is no great answer unless you have a specific issue you need to prevent. One thing that is VERY important however is that boots or wraps not applied correctly can do more harm than good and can cause injury in and of themselves. If you decide to wrap/boot, make sure someone who knows the process teaches you how to properly apply them. It would be better to go without than to place them incorrectly.
Yes x 1000. If polo wraps are put on unevenly it creates odd pressure points on the horse's leg - causing more problems than any good. You also need to make sure you're applying pressure evenly so you also avoid the same problem. My grandpa raced STBs for years & was super OCD about how the wraps get done. So I learned it the right way lol. Even the woman who taught my equine science was impressed how well done my wraps were. My mare got wrapped every time we went on the trails or did jumping. Then I bought my first pair of sports medicine boots and never went back...

The choice to boot up or not to boot up is ultimately yours & the horse. My gelding got booted up (in splint boots) for EVERY right because he had a tendency to trip & knock himself. He didn't need bell boots, just something to give his leg extra protection. My new mare Cally gets SMB boots put on EVERY time as well. She's older, requires injections, and we're jumping. They give me the peace of mind they're giving some extra support to help the old gal out. Dani? I used to every time we rode. Now I don't bother unless we're working really hard or jumping. She's got some SMBs as well. Whew sorry kinda went into a story there... But I'd just wait, watch how she moves, & decide for yourself. Dani wore SMBs a lot when she was younger (every ride) just because they made me feel like they were preserving her leg from extra stress *shrug* Whether they do or I'm just buying into the media promises, they were always on.
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-28-2013, 03:19 AM
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I agree with tlkg1 and sketchyhorse about knowing how to wrap or apply boots correctly.

On the polo horses we wrap when practicing or playing. When using them on cattle, just hacking, or hunting, we don't.
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