Trailering a Horse With Boots/Polos?
I hope this is the appropriate place to post this.
My mare has issues getting out of a trailer. We have a wood floor but there is no snow/ice and I have it heavily bedded down with hay and I bought a temporary rubber mat that I could put down until we re-do the floor in the spring.
But when she gets out she either hits her front leg with a back leg or hurt her back leg some how. Working on trailering I have been having her in her Prof. Choice Sports Boots, and to a lesson that was 1.5 miles away I just put those boots on her front legs and trailered her there.
On saturday though we are going to a barrel racing clinic. So its going to be a 45min. (ish) trailer ride to there. I'm having a trainer and farrier show me how to apply polo wraps. I plan on doing just the front legs in polos, because when I tried to put boots on her back legs she always picks them up and moves them around. If she can't keep her foot down long enough for boots I doubt she will for polos. At our local tack store they had a pair of shipping boots but they were to short to fit her and I don't have enough time to order shipping boots.
Would it be a really bad idea putting my Sports Boots on her back legs? Or splint boots? I really don't want to get there, and then unload her and she ends up injuring herself.
We have a stock trailer and she gets pretty hyper in the trailer when you get somewhere and this will only be her 2nd time around new horses and it would be a bit dangerous to get in the trailer with her and put boots on.
Standing wraps might be a better bet. They offer support and protection. In the future I suggest you work on her with wrapping her legs and work on her trailering. I've never had a horse hurt themselves frequently in the trailer, she needs to learn to calm down a little, I think. Is she rushing in / out?
I don't know about splint boots, etc. so I wont comment there. I do recommend standing wraps over polos, however.
When putting things on for trailering, keep in mind that it coming off or slipping and her stepping on it and getting stuck are not good options- this is an issue when polo-ing/standing wraps/ shipping boots. Also if you aren't practived at putting polos on, wait to put on standing bandages on until you are super solid at polos- polos you can't really injure their legs because its hard to get fleece super tight, but standing wraps can cause more harm than good if not applied properly (I have seen WAY too many bandage bows from well intentioned owners)
If she wont let you put boots on behind, she isn't going to let you put polos on. You need to really work with her on that- that is a disrespectful thing, she should be able to have her back legs handled.
For a 1.5 mile trailer ride, I would put on bell boots to protect her heels/shoes if she has them, and if she is being silly when unloading, go ahead and put sport boots on front and hind. I wouldn't leave those boots on for a several hour trailer ride because they don't breathe and the heat can damage her legs, but for such a short distance there shouldn't be a problem.
The easiest/best fix would be to improve the behaviours that are causing these injuries- maybe practice loading and unloading and not going anywhere so she doesn't get so amped up.
Best of luck!
I use mats in my trailer permanently. I clean my trailer after every use, clean my trailer's rubber mats and then store them in the aisle of my barn for easy retrieval, and to keep them out of the weather.
I have a wood floor and I keep it from rotting out by keeping it clean and dry. Keeping the mats INSIDE all of the time would trap moisture and ammonia.
Regarding the wraps, you need to learn to wrap polos over quilts correctly. It's a little bit of an art, but I prefer to use them for long distance trips. For the hour to the farrier I used shipping boots. Shipping boots needs to be put on AS TIGHT AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE, bc they will slip down and be a bother.
You should work with your horse's back legs. Start with using a rope, loop it around the back foot and lift. Repeat until it's boring. Then use the rope further up--you need to desensitize your horse to anything around the back leg.
I've told the story before about my friend who insisted that we NOT wrap our horses on the way to trail riding via our Vet for Coggins for an upcoming trip. Her sweet mare unloaded herself before she was untied, then she (owner) pulled her forward and the mare sliced a 14 inch flap from the front of the cannon bone, on the metal below the exit on my stock trailer. Fortunately it happened at the Vet's so she was cared for and recovered. I will now not EVER transport with either shipping boots or quilts and polos. I'd rather ruin some wraps than my animal's legs.
Not trying to hijack your thread, but would splint boots be acceptable to trailer in? I have some rear splint boots for Henny and they fit him perfectly. He really likes to move around in the trailer, so I'd like to avoid any possible injuries. I also have some shipping boots but I'm not sure if they will fit him yet.
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Everybody has their own preferences and reasons but SOMETHING rather than NOTHING to protect the cannon bones. If you horse is quiet when trailering and you drive correctly, there should be no problem with using splint boots. However, shipping boots are really inexpensive, when compared to the cost of Splint boots.
To the OP, there are many You Tube videos regarding correctly wrapping with polos. I think David O'Connor has one. Better to see than to explain it.
I do know that shipping boots can slip really easily. Henny will literally pace circles in the trailer sometimes if I leave him loose, so he is not a quiet trailer-er. If I tie him with a divider in, he stands there calmly with no problem. No divider and loose? It's a free for all. Would there be any danger in trailering with splint boots? I have polos, never been used and never wrapped them before. But if I wrap him to go to the vet for his acupuncture, I'll have to unwrap them then rewrap as we leave. I got a super deal on my splint boots for only 10 bucks, while my shipping boots were almost twice as expensive.
ALL of us have to unwrap then rewrap at the Vet's. Can't get around that. Use the splint boots.
Here's an article detailing the benefits/cons of each kind of boot/wrap. I found it pretty neat. :)
Boots and Wraps: Giving Your Horse a Leg up on Protecting His Legs | MyHorse Daily – MyHorse Daily
Thanks for the ideas!
She loads fine, but she is scared to get out. She will dance at the edge of the trailer. We have been working on it, but not much improvement.
I can mess around with her back feet, its just she was taught when you go from one foot to the other she is supposed to have her foot waiting for you. Like when you pick up her feet. When you go from a front to a back, the moment you put down the front she has her back up waiting for you. I mess with her feet all the time. But she was just taught to pick them up easily or have them up for you.
So for a 45 minute ish trailer ride would it be ok to transport her in her sport boots? I live in MN so its pretty chilly.
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