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View Poll Results: Wrapping a leg

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  • Please describe your method of wrapping

    1 50.00%
  • How do you wrap?

    0 0%
  • Do you always wrap to trailer?

    1 50.00%
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2009
    Posts
    94

    Default Wrapping/bandaging

    I had a long discuss with several horse people about wrapping a leg this weekend and I wanted to post a thread and see what the general consensus is on COTH about wrapping.
    A very very long time ago I had a vet show me how to wrap properly and in a way that actually made sense. He showed me on my horse and also on my arms so I could feel exactly what he meant.
    Over the years I have found that wrapping is an ongoing source of contention in barns as everyone seems to have different philosophies. So I am posting to see what everyone else does and why they feel that their way is the right way.
    Here is the way that I was taught:
    When wrapping a leg, always start from the top of the leg and go down. Never start from the middle and go down because the amount of pressure/tension won't be the same. If you start from the middle and go down and then come back up, the pressure from tightening will begin at the middle of the leg and you want that pressure to be even over the entire leg to be wrapped. Also, when you start at the middle and go down, you will only be doubling over one half of the leg and finishing with a single layer at the top, which also causes an uneven amount of pressure as the double layers of wrap will have more pressure than just the single layer.
    I really didn't realize this until he made us wrap our own arms using both methods and I could actually feel the difference of each wrap. So from then on I always start and finish at the top, instead of starting at the middle and finishing at the top. Now that I work in veterinary medicine I see that starting at the top is actually the correct way as every vet, small and large animal, I have worked with wraps this way.
    But what started this discussion was that I was teaching my daughters how to wrap a leg when another boarder came over during the lesson, not knowing I work in vet medicine, and proceeded to tell me that I was wrapping wrong. Then the BO came over and showed us a completely different way. I honestly hate wrapping anyway but I wanted to show the girls how to do it if they ever needed to do. I usually use shipping boots now.
    So what I would like to know from the other COTHers out there in horseyland is how do you wrap and why and do you always wrap to trailer? (I do, even if it's to go 5 minutes away.)



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,325

    Default

    Another topic where passions abound as to the "right" and "wrong" way of doing things, with ZERO actual research or evidence that it matters.

    I learned the "track way", tendons in and all of that nonsense, and always have done it that way, therefore I still do (on the rare occasion when I wrap a leg, which is another topic) but that's because I'm neat, consistent, competent, and fast doing it that way. I'm not convinced it's "better" other than that. If someone else was neat, competent and fast doing it "their way" I wouldn't tell them they were wrong. Especially if my advice was unsolicited!

    I hate to see poorly-applied, sloppy, loose/tight, haphazard wrapping, but if it's done well, I daresay it's done well enough.

    I don't wrap for trailering, but I do use shipping boots. I wrap if a leg is swollen or if there's a wound that needs protecting, that's about it.
    Click here before you buy.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2004
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    4,345

    Default

    Where do you get your bandages long enough to wrap that way? I have a set of 16' bandages which I treasure, but I don't even know where I could get another set. Not being able to overlap the turns properly is so irritating and I think that it doesn't provide the same compression.
    -Grace



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    9,349

    Default

    I start from the middle, go down and then up. Tension is even (or even enough).

    Always have done them that way, never had a problem. Learned as a working student 30-ish years ago.

    I only use shipping boots for longer distances.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2009
    Posts
    944

    Default

    I've always started wrapping in the middle, going down and then back up and then down to the middle. It's how I was taught in PC.

    If I'm going to be trailering longer than an hour I do stable wraps + bell boots on all four legs. For shorter trips I just use the velcro on boots. I *always* have something on their legs though
    Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2000
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    Default

    sorry, another tracker here - start at the bottom third, wrap down, finish up. Tension applied to the bandage is all in the wrist of the bandager, not where you start the wrap! The logic behind this style wrap is that you when you stand a horse up after a work, you are wrapping for support, and all the structures that NEED support are in the lower third of the leg, not the upper third.

    That said, ain't no bandage truly providing support to a 1200lb animal, so other than tradition, there is not much reason for this argument over the other method, and I'm afraid any defense for either method other than "it's my horse and this is how I want it done" is probably fatally flawed. That said, it just about kills me to put on eskadron polos which can only successfully be put on top down, bottom up.

    Aside from the fact that I prefer the tracker method (as do, surprisingly enough, all track vets I ever encountered), my biggest pet peeve is leaving more than the tiniest bit of quilt sticking out top or bottom. Any determined horse can screw up a bandage job (and their leg) by grabbing the quilt, but you shouldn't make it too tempting for the rest of them to play YANK! with the quilt under the wrap.
    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2009
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    880

    Default

    I've been wrapping my horse daily now for a suspensory injury so I've been wrapping plastic wrap over the vet's DMSO mix, then stable wraps over no-bows. I begin and the top and also end at the top. It just always seemed like what made the most sense and I couldn't see myself wrapping any other way.

    As for hauling- I don't always wrap or put boots on because my guy always manages to pull his back boots off before stepping foot on the trailer. They just seem like they'll cause more trouble than what it's worth. The last time I hauled him I think I just had bell boots on him and maybe the front shipping boots. That time he was the only horse in the trailer.
    Quote Originally Posted by RugBug View Post
    Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2009
    Location
    Columbia,SC
    Posts
    415

    Default

    i start at the top, wrap down and then back up. they sell x-longs in the dover catalog that can do this with ease, and cover up to 18" cannon bones. If I cant make the track wraps work with even spacing like this on an exceptionally big boned long legged horse, I go old school and use flannels.
    even pressure all the way around, none of this "pull across the front, lay across the back" business... and always wrap away from the heart (easiest way for me to remember)
    ALSO! the wrap HAS to finish at the top of the bandage, and across the front of the cannon bone, or on the outside of the leg. (this might be a bit of anal overkill for me... but... i have never had a bandage bow, or even pressure marks on the skin from my bandages.
    about 1/4" padding exposed top and bottom. I know some people like no-bows, but after a few washings, ive found that they loose their padding too much for my taste, so I always get thick quilts.

    shipping: i use shipping boots. I can do shipping bandages, but the boots cover more of the leg! and are safer in an accident really...



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Location
    Rising Sun, MD
    Posts
    5,127

    Default

    Track method here to- and I prefer the no-bows to the pillow wraps.
    I never wrap or boot for shipping, maybe bells if I had a horse that was shod and had a tendency to step on himself
    I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time -Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
    If I were your appendages, I'd hold open your eyes so you would see- Incubus



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2000
    Location
    Goochland, VA
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    8,619

    Default

    I'm with DMK, EXCEPT that I also let the wrap length determine where I start. I can't abide not ending at the very top, so when wrapping other people's horses with less than (my) ideal length of wraps, I guesstimate and begin wrapping where I think I will be able to end at the top. I run across a WIDE variety of bandage lengths.

    I know that our race track grooms have traditionally been where the best old timers learned to wrap, myself included, and I have always thought this made perfect sense, as these grooms must have leg care DOWN PAT. Go to the best is my motto.
    Laurie



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2008
    Posts
    724

    Default

    I start at the middle and end at the top. Tendons in.

    When trailering I use either boots or bandages.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2008
    Posts
    724

    Default

    OP, how do you polo?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2007
    Location
    Jersey girl!
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    1,311

    Default

    I wrap from top down with tendons in. I have to say, I could not imagine doing it any other way. I do not wrap unless there is swelling/heat, an open wound, or if my horse is going to be in after an extremely hard work out; and I am afraid it will cause swelling.

    As far as shipping, I use shipping boots that cover everything.
    Celtic Charisma (R.I.P) ~ http://flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses/2387275281
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
    Posts
    5,566

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DMK View Post
    sorry, another tracker here - start at the bottom third, wrap down, finish up. Tension applied to the bandage is all in the wrist of the bandager, not where you start the wrap! The logic behind this style wrap is that you when you stand a horse up after a work, you are wrapping for support, and all the structures that NEED support are in the lower third of the leg, not the upper third.
    That's how I learned, too. And vet that I knew years ago would add that the tension at the botton of the wrap keeps it from slipping down.

    I'm shocked at how many BNTs don't know how to wrap a horse properly. Good thing we have good grooms who know how to do it correctly.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2000
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    Goochland, VA
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    Default

    Why are you shocked? It is a well known problem in the industry that traditional horsemanship is getting to be a less and less available commodity. There are so many "trainers" out there who did little more than ride and then hang out their shingle as a trainer. Who then teaches the help? What shocks me is that more horses aren't crippled by the lack of skill and knowledge on this very important subject.

    Do you KNOW that your grooms are doing it correctly?
    Laurie



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    36,325

    Default

    I'm shocked at how many BNTs don't know how to wrap a horse properly
    Define "properly" and "correctly". Support your definition. As evidenced by the large majority of replies to this thread, I think it's pretty widely acknowledged that it doesn't really matter how one does it, provided it is not sloppy or a crummy job.
    Click here before you buy.



  17. #17
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    May. 17, 2000
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    oh, delta, i think fish and Laurie are throwing in "sloppy" and "crummy" into the mix. I'm sure they've seen the same things I have.

    And I know you have your Grumpy hat on for this topic, but I will add, in the absence of a double blind controlled study extending into Stage IV Clinical Trials that when a large number of horses are wrapped daily by a large number of people over a long period of time, with the added stress of a higher likelihood of leg issues in the given population, it's possible that they might have toyed around and found a method that works pretty darn good. Just sayin' (and yes, I admit to the fatally flawed lack of the aforementioned studies )
    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2002
    Location
    Maryland
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    4,323

    Default

    I start at the top, go down and back up. I am sure it is not any better or any worse than than starting at the bottom or middle, it is just how I do it and now how my muscle memory works for it. Even if you do not leave any bandage showing at the top, my gelding will often grab his and pull so he gets elastikon wrapped around the top and bottom to eliminate teeth access.
    I always use shipping boots when trailering. When I use wraps for shipping (rarely), they get bell boots too and the wrap covering the pastern. Watching a horse scramble a bit backing off a trailer, clip the back of her pastern on her front foot with her back hoof and sever an artery and standing there holding her while she gushed blood for what felt like an eternity, traumatized me enough that, even if I am only trailering to the xc schooling facility down the street, I put something on, even if it is only their galloping boots and bell boots.
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)



  19. #19
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Default

    Not saying there needs to be a trial, and I will certainly get right on board with "sloppy wrapping is bad wrapping", but simply because everyone from time immemorial has learned the same thing, doesn't mean it's "right". It's just durable.

    The "tendons in" bit is what I'm thinking of, mostly. Yep, that's how I do it because that's how I learned, but it's more than likely based on -- nothing. Things have a way, especially on the racetrack, of becoming dogma because of the hierarchy and the long tradition and the personalities.

    Maybe the collective "they" have actually found that wrapping tendons out is bad, but I doubt it. It is a fine example of racetrack wisdom, almost all of which collapses under the weight of actual evidence. Like "never give a horse water to drink after exercise" and "you'll give that horse a HEART ATTACK if you cold-hose it", etc. etc.

    No grumpy hat. No demand for data. Just musing on conventional wisdom and tribal custom and how they become entrenched. Crappy wrapping is crappy wrapping by anyone's definition. The definition of "correct" is a little more nebulous.
    Click here before you buy.



  20. #20
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    Mar. 14, 2004
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    Left coast, left wing, left field
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    Default

    I'm not a bandager. In fact I owed my vet my first-born child from having her come out to bandage my injured mare. (To be fair, there was wound treatment as well, and for much of it the mare required sedation, so I wasn't JUST having her out to wrap.) And I'm not an ex-Pony Clubber. Soooo, what does "tendons in" or "tendons out" even MEAN?
    Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
    Starman



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