[QUOTE=traildancer;2521562]I once found a live yellow jacket between the wrap and the leg. Finally figured out why Sailor kept stomping!
My opinion is that using the horse will strengthen bone/muscle/tendon/ligament. And the more experience the horse gets in rugged terrain, the more he will be aware of his feet and legs and where to put them.[/QUOTE]
A lot of "show" or "arena" people tend to look down on trail riding/trail horses because they THINK it is just lollygagging down a nice little path in the woods. They think it's something horses might be able to do as a "second career" if their show career doesn't work out for them. . .if they're not physically sound enough for arena work.
I think a lot of those people would be surprised to learn just how important it is for trail horses to be aware of his own legs and feet. . .to know how to take care of himself. It's not like trotting over smooth wooden poles in an arena, or around cones or barrels, or jumping things that are designed to give way or fall if they're hit too hard.
The horse has to learn how to think his way through things, for his own self-preservation. He doesn't want to stumble or fall or hurt himself any more than you do. My little black horse is 15 years old this month and has been my trail horse since he was three, and it's been VERY rare that he's ever come back from a ride with scrapes, nicks, cuts, rubs, etc. on his legs. Most of those have been from thornbushes - I have my fair share of scars from those things, too. He's more likely to bang himself up playing stupid grabby-face games with his buddies out at pasture.
Maybe it's just because of the trails I ride, but I couldn't imagine stopping at every stream crossing just to remove leg wraps so they don't get bogged down with water, then stopping again on the other time to put them back on (the legs would be wet, anyway, so the wraps would still likely absorb some of that water anyway).
"Parelli horsemanship is just like painting by the numbers. You need absolutely no skill. You just put this color here and this color there, and when you're done, you have ... a mess no one wants." mp