So I just bought a set of porter boots and saratogas, to fit my funky legged boy! After searching around, I've found really no instructions on how to put them on! I'm a very good wrapper so no worries there, but is it like a polo, etc... Thanks!
To ride or not to ride-what a stupid question!
Definitely have someone experienced show you how to wrap them properly. Done incorrectly they could pull injure the tendons, slip and cause injury or be just plain ineffective.
IIRC you use like a gamgee cotton underneath (like track people use), buy in bulk to go under the porters themselves. Over the gamgee bandage goes the porter, then finish with either vet wrap or a saratoga. Long ago you had the sew the topmost layer on with a needle/thread but now you can just use electrical tape or something like that to keep the vet wrap or saratoga bandage secure.
I am pretty sure there is a British PC .pdf sheet as part of "how to ride in a 3 day" that is online, but I wasn't able to find it again.
Many UL event riders don't use the Porter method anymore because today's high-tech materials keep the leg just as protected, secure and ventilated than the Porter method ever could. Studies have shown that to operate safely and effectively, the tendon must stay cool.
Cut the porters as instructed, for the front legs, no cutting needed for rear unless they are too tall. Fronts need to be cut in front on the bottom to allow them to bend and give with movement. Wrap the saratogas like any wrap, polo or standing, I tend to wrap around the bottom two or three times before going back up. You can can pull the Saratoga pretty tight when wrapping. I have used porters for over 15 years, especially in back. LOVE THEM. Did you really find real porters or the BOB knock offs??
Better than Gamgee is Tubi-Grip. It is cotton stocking stuff that is used in hospitals under plaster casts. Cut the tubigrip into sections longer than your horse's lower leg. Pull the whole piece of tubigrip all the way up above his knee, smooth his leg hair down and pull the bottom edge of the cotton down carefully to 3" below the bottom of his fetlock. Now you should have a smooth stocking on his leg from about the middle of his knee to below his fetlock. Put the Porter, which you have trimmed to the proper length, onto his leg. Fold the leftover ends of the tubi-grip down over the top and up over the bottom of the Porter and wrap with the Saratoga or Vetrap. If the Saratoga, you'll need a strip or 2 of tape at the top. I found Porters to be a royal pain. My horse has 2 funky shaped legs now and I have found Gel-Eze to be my answer. I cut a strip of it about 4 inches wide and the length of his tendons and slap it on there inside the boot. Magic. http://www.healthykin.com/p-909-tubi...t-bandage.aspx http://www.bitofbritain.com/SearchRe...Search=Gel-Eze
Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.
When I used Porters, I prefered tubi-grip, too. Easier to deal with and absorbs no water (or very little). Also, reuseable to an extent.
Tubi-grip on (cut it long enough that you can fold over the top and bottom of the porter to keep it from sliding), porter on top, wrap Saratoga or Vetwrap over top, tape the end.
I no longer use Porters because A) XC boots have come a long way in the 10 years I've been involved with this sport professionally (which is barely a blink for some others, but it is kinda mind boggling still to think what I considered super-awesome first starting out!) and B) they are a B***H to deal with and just not worth it at one days, which is about all I do! I would do it if I had a special needs horse. Thank God my sensitive horse isn't THAT special!
I have a pair of Richlands. They tore the 2nd time we used them. We got them to replace the Porters that "disappeared" from the tack trunk. BOB has sent a replacement pair so we will see how the these hold up. Hopefully the original pair were just a fluke?
Once you learn to put them on, they are pretty easy and quick to do. It took me a bit to tell the difference between the fronts and the hinds though.
Ask 100 people about boots and you get 110 answers as to what is the perfect boot ;-)