polo wraps vs SMB - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 05:47 PM
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I have seen the stats by Professional's Choice before. But I'm always leery of a company that does their own research, because it is very easy to bias the results of a clinical study.

Thanks for posting that DrumRunner. That's kind of what I was mostly thinking myself. Boots tend to give a little bit more support than polo wraps, but not a clinically significant amount by any means. Still, I think it's good to have some sort of protection on your horse's legs for asking them to do maneuvars with speed.

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post #12 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 05:58 PM
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I'm not so much leery of a company that does their own research..simply because that shows me that they care about their products and the things they put their name on. To me Professional's Choice is the best for many reasons, one being the fact that they DO research their own products and back them 100%, they are constantly coming up with new ideas and way to better their products for their customers, and they have so many options for their customers...When it comes to their boots they've done SO much research to back their product. Yes, they have pretty patterns and a wide choice of colors and things..but they've also looked into what fits best, like the different boot for the front and hind in. To me, that's important. None of the other boots do that, take the legacy for example, Classic Equine has one boot fit for all four legs..That doesn't say much to me. Professional's Choice also has a bigger variety of sizes to please all of their customers and their horses' needs, they have every size from an XS to an XL...Professional's Choice may be one of the most expensive boots, but IMHO, you get what you pay for. Quality doesn't come cheap.

My horses always have boots on when working..No questions asked.
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post #13 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 08:11 PM
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I will be coming back to this thread,its hard for me to say what I want on this dang thing, going to find a computer.
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post #14 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 08:32 PM
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I have always used Professional Choice SMBs... I just love the support, and the thick/tough/durable material. My mare has sets for front and hind, as well as two super cute pink bell boots. My only small pet peeve... the velcro gets constantly stuck on the boot, haha.
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post #15 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
Has anyone hear of a medical study where the compared the support of a sport boot to a polo wrap? (for some hard evidence, anyway)
I do not have any hard evidence like a controlled study, but this was the selling factor for me switching from boots to polos.

A trainer I worked for used to use boots for dry work, cutting and going down the fence. Horses were coming up with injuries, not injuries from dinging up their legs but strains from not enough support.
A vet came out and showed us how to wrap, and never had a problem since. I am talking about tedon and ligament support not protection from banging legs. Because I will agree that boots are better at protecting against dinging up legs. Just want that to be clear.

I tried to find a video on YouTube on the way I wrap, but could only find the conventional method. Anyhow I take the tail of the polo and leave tail a little longer than the length of the cannon bone. I position it at a 45 degree angle across the knee, make my first wrap(my locking wrap) then fold the tail down over my first wrap. The tail runs down the length of the backside of the cannon bone protecting the digital flexor that runs down the backside. Then continue wraping down like you would normally wrap. When it comes to the bottom I take two wraps to form the "sling" under the fetlock joint for support then wrap back up and secure velcro and with tape. The porpose of the tail on the back side gives a little more cushion to the sensitive tendon the back and reduces the horizontal pressurefrom the wrap on a vertical tendon.
I hope that made sense..

It has worked very well and I have never had issues nor the trainer I worked for. However I would be willing to try Iconoclast boots, they look like they might provide more support than boots in the past.
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post #16 of 49 Old 01-22-2012, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by equiniphile View Post
Polo wraps offer no protection to the leg, other than from small nicks. I use Pro Choice SMB Elites.
Not true. They provide support when wrapped correctly.
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post #17 of 49 Old 01-22-2012, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dynamite. View Post
Not true. They provide support when wrapped correctly.
Not true...If you go back a page you'll see where studies have proven that polos offer almost no protection and/or support. More often than not they can cause more damage than good.
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post #18 of 49 Old 01-22-2012, 03:15 PM
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I use SMB2s on the front legs of my gelding. I have a bazillion pairs of polo wraps, and was a huge fanatic until I found sports medicine boots, which are sooo much easier to put on.

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post #19 of 49 Old 01-22-2012, 07:20 PM
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I really do not agree that SMBs offer more support than polos, especially since I've been hardwired NEVER to trust the research fully of a company producing the product (Debate student here)

Anyway. Saying polo wraps offer no support is not correct. When wrapped correctly they offer quite a bit of support. Not saying boots don't offer any. But I would take the polo over anything if the horse wasn't knocking his legs. (I don't have a horse that does this currently) but if I did have a horse who knocked himself, I would be slapping on some pretty tough SMBs/Legacys/Splints, because there is no argument here that its better to knock legs in a boot than it is in a bandage.

This is an article explaining support from polo players, with the wraps and the boots included.

Polo Tip #13: Polo Bandages, Pro Choice, Boots? | PoloGringo.com

Similar question with more diverse answers, pick and choose:

Equestrian Life - Questions: I was wondering what the difference is between using polos and splint boots. I jump,trail ride,some…

Excerpt from horsehealth.co.uk:

"Bandages have gone slightly out of fashion in recent years. This is particularly the case with exercise bandages where boots have become more popular. However, from a support point of few, a well put on bandage can offer far more support to the lower limb than most boots. You can never achieve the closeness of fit with a boot. Stable bandaging and bandaging for injuries are still of great importance. The selection here features some of the most modern therapeutic Gel bandages as well as the traditional fleece Polo bandages and elasticated exercise bandages. "

From Oddsonracing.com:

Bandages used on the front legs generally are used for support, often times with horses that have old tendon injuries. Sometimes bandages are used beneath protective boots. Many times trotters will wear brace bandages behind, and a boot will be placed over top of the bandages for added safety when a horse interferes with that area severely.

After a race is over and the horse is bathed and either walked or left to cool out in his stall, he is often times "done-up" in standing, or stall bandages. These are thicker and offer more support than the brace bandages, and their purpose is to support and protect the legs while the horse is resting in his stall.

Article about leg protection:


Not really relevent but I liked this article, it made me chuckle to myself.

Epic Polo Wrap Fails The Cowgirl Manifesto

From Horseback Riding Lifestyle and Supply Blog

Polo wraps provide the most tendon and ligament protection. They are made of fleece and should be wrapped evenly from the bottom of the knee down to the coronet band. It is common for Dressage and Race horses to be exercised and ridden with polo wraps because they provide the most protection of all of the boots. Polo wraps may provide the most cushioned support but the downside to them is that putting them on a horse’s legs can be meticulous and time consuming. If the legs are not wrapped evenly and correctly they may cause a horse to trip or stumble and seriously injure themselves or the rider.

Alright I'm done. My purpose here isn't really to prove that polo wraps are 100% better than any possible boot and are the gift form the holy gods in leg protection, but I would definately not go anywhere near saying they are never beneficial and offer no support.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #20 of 49 Old 01-22-2012, 07:39 PM
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I'm not going to argue with you because everyone has their own opinions and preferences...But when I asked for studies I mean STUDIES, not questions and answers on a forum or board like this..Even your very first article posted says "boots offer the best protection by far". The rest of the articles say hardly anything about a *performing* horse wearing the polos. Just that they are nice to use for horses with old tendon injuries, horses who are standing in their stalls being 'done up', and using the polos as bandages...There are holes in your "studies" and some aren't really studies at all.

The OP asked what we thought what was best for performance Western Disciplines. Not what dressage people prefer...That's a whole different ball park. There is a VAST difference in the needs of a horse that's reining or barrel racing than a dressage horse or polo ponies.

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Last edited by DrumRunner; 01-22-2012 at 07:46 PM.
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