Standing wraps on horses – wrap one leg, or wrap both legs for an injury?
If a horse needs leg support, should you use standing wraps on one leg or both? AH – this is a debate on par with horseshoes, blankets, and clipping! So I decided to ask someone with tons of experience in the matter. So I picked Dr. Orsini, a laminitis specialist at the New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania.
- Sometimes you need to wrap both legs, sometimes you can only wrap one.
- Dr. Orsini boiled it down to this simple formula – for a muscular or skeletal issue, you should wrap both the affected and the unaffected leg.
- For superficial things like cuts, wounds, etc, you can likely skip wrapping both legs and focus on the leg with the issue.
- Dr. Orsini also mentioned that if you have a weight-bearing issue – the uninjured leg will take more weight and can develop into supporting limb laminitis.
- Proactive icing of both legs and hooves, along with diligent veterinary visits, are warranted in cases like that. And by icing, we mean ice for 24-48 hours or more to help prevent laminitis.
These wraps are after almost 24 hours of travel – trailer, plane, and another trailer!
Considerations when wrapping your horse’s leg or legs:
- Spend the time talking to your vet about how long your horse’s affected leg needs to be wrapped. Can it get some air?
- What about the other unaffected leg? Do you need to do any other supportive care for the unaffected leg?
- Also, determine a wrapping schedule and decide how many legs need to be wrapped.
- Is your horse going to be on stall rest? Some horses stock up, and wrapping as a preventative measure is a good idea, especially on the hind legs. So, you might be wrapping all of the legs. Yeah for spaghetti laundry!
- Is your horse getting tangled up as he chews on his wraps? Well, aside from hanging the biggest hay net in the universe as a distraction, you may want to skip wrapping both legs as the unwrapping process might be more destructive. And find a deterrent, like strong soap, to coat the wrap. You can also use hot sauce, but the active ingredients of capsaicin will test positive at shows.
The first time I posted this picture to social media – you guys were MAD! Turns out, it’s totally OK in some situations.
- What’s the weather like? Well, if you are in the middle of a hot humid heatwave, wrapping legs is likely the last thing you want to do unless necessary, like maybe overnight. If your horse has in-and-out privileges, wraps might not work well if rain is in the forecast. Plan accordingly.
Quilts vs. no-bows – the wrapping technique is the same.
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Perri’s Standing Bandages, Pack of 4 – so many colors to choose from