which is best quilts or no bow wraps

Leg quilts vs. No bows for your horse’s leg wraps


Do you have a preference for what type of wraps to use as a standing wrap? It may not matter, or it might!


  • Much of this boils down to personal preference. But, each type of padding and leg wrap has its advantages. It’s ultimately what you use them for, and how they are applied that really matters.


  • A quick note – bandage bow injuries are the result of overtightening the standing wrap or sport boot or polo wrap. A no-bow leg wrap can still cause a bandage bow injury! It’s really about the application.


Quilts are better for your horse:


  • I always suggest for the newbie wrapper two things – have your veterinarian show you how to wrap properly, and practice using quilts. Quilts (or pillow wraps as they are sometimes called) are more “forgiving” and have more give, so it makes them hard to apply too tightly.


  • Quilts come in varying thicknesses, and often varying stitch patterns, as well. Pick what you think you will like and try it out. I tend to lean to the quilts that have a bit more stitching over them, I think it makes the quilt more evenly thick throughout, like the one in the middle shown below.


quilts and leg wraps

Pick your favorite! They also make great cat and dog beds when they get worn out.


  • Quilts are also great for use in a trailer, for some reason my head says “more cush” is more protection for legs. Have no idea if this is true or not.


  • Because quilts are thicker, they can also help knee and hock bandages stay put. For horses with an injury, or that are in need of hock and knee protection, it’s often a battle of wills, expensive first-aid tape, and graduate-level engineering to make a hock wrap stay up. Put a quilted standing wrap below and your hock wrap has a ledge to rest on.


standing wraps in red

I prefer the shiny knit stable bandages over the flannel styles. Flannel is unforgiving, stains easily, and tends to warp in the laundry over time.


Why no-bow leg wraps may work for you:


  • No-bow wraps are also great for standing bandages, they are easier to apply as you are not wrestling so much bulk. They are also at a greater risk of damage to your horse’s leg, as the wrap must not have any folds or wrinkles. These create pressure points.


  • It’s also much easier to over-tighten a no-bow wrap, which puts your horse at risk of a bandage bow. These bowed tendon injuries are the direct result of too much pressure from a wrap.


  • No-bow wraps also take up much less space in your tack trunk or cabinet, so if you are cramped for storage this may be the way to go.


  • I definitely prefer to use the no-bow style of leg wrap, but that’s after much practice!


stacks of quilts at a show barn


What about the actual standing wrap?


  • The outer layer of your leg wrap can be made from a few fabric choices. I prefer the ever-so-slightly elastic version. Sure, they come in a ton of colors, but I like the added give of the fabric. They also launder easily and won’t warp in the wash.


  • Some horse folks love the flannel type of bandage. These have a little bit of give, but not as much as I like if you are just learning.


  • If you find that you are looping your bandage a million times around your horse’s quilt, time for a shorter bandage. This also helps create an evenly pressured bandage and consistent application.


  • Avoid looping your bandage several times or more at the top of your horse’s leg. If you have circled the leg a few times and then just run the rest of the bandage at the top, start over and perhaps shorten the bandage.


  • If you find that your horse likes to nibble at the velcro closure, you can run some masking (NOT DUCT) tape over the velcro.


  • You can also use a no chew spray or hot sauce to flavor the wraps to discourage nibbling. However – some ingredients, like capsaicin, will test positive at shows.


go shopping button for horse products

If you want to easily shop for standing wraps, you can click these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which are not a penny more for you. I couldn’t be more grateful for your support!


No bows


Wilker’s Combo/Quilt Leg Wraps #LW-4 – White – pick your size

Perri’s Standing Bandages, Pack of 4 – so many colors to choose from


Thank you!