I use shipping wraps pretty much every time my horse gets on the trailer. I think it is mostly because it makes me feel better and helps keep their legs clean, but I also believe it can help reduce the chance of smaller injuries happening while shipping.
While I like the coverage offered by shipping boots, I find them awkward to store, clean, and for the horses to wear. I haven't really found many that like to wear them.
Every once in a while, if I am going a short distance for a trail ride or something casual, I will ship in bell boots and the boots that I plan to ride in on all fours. But usually only if I am driving on local roads, the trip is short, and it is a casual ride.
Then there are those precious individuals that really don't like anything on their back legs. They ship with wraps only on their fronts. Because I think the risk of injury is less than the damage they can do kicking and stomping to get their back wraps or boots off.
For the babies and some of the smaller ponies, we tend to just do polos, though, because they usually don't have shoes, their legs are so tiny and we probably only have an expectation of keeping their legs clean and warding off minor cuts and scrapes.
I don't wrap, or boot.
I have a friend who uses boots longer distance. Not long ago we went to hack at a local mountain. Horse backed off the ramp, fell onto his knee, and the ridge from the ramp mat split his knee wide open--to the bone. The only good thing(VERY good thing) was vet friend was riding with us, and had her vet truck. Had it been a longer haul he would have had his big tall shipping boots on.
Shipping boots every single time no matter how short the haul.
No exceptions since the time I held a horse that was bleeding buckets because she cut the artery in the back of a front fetlock with her hind shoe when backing down the ramp of a trailer in a bit of a hurry (short trailer ride and no history of trailering issues I am aware of). Standing wraps would not have helped and while I acknowledge this is highly unlikely and unusual, it was so awful when it happened and it is an experience I never ever want to repeat.
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)
I used to use shipping boots but my gelding hates them. He would kick the living daylight out of the trailer. I had others apply them thinking I was putting them on wrong but it turned out he was standing up on his back legs trying to get those shipping boots off. He is a sensitive and expressive chestnut gelding. Without shipping boots he hauls like a dream. We went on a 12 hour haul last summer I was able to untie him and open the doors and he was as quiet as can be, and he arrived with clean tight legs.
So, my guess is that you are implying that wraps serve a different function than boots? Could you elaborate on your initial thoughts??
A well done wrap is protective.
boots come in many styles, some worthless, others are as protective as the best of wraps.
So comparing wraps and boots are comparing apples and oranges.
In " I am hauling" situations, I always use wraps. If I am shipping by commercial tractor trailer, I do not as most companies do not want them wrapped. Too many bad wraps over the years for the driver and crew to deal with.
Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.
My guy doesn't trailer well (ends up stepping on himself a lot) so he always wear bell boots on all four legs to protect his coronet bands. If we're going short distances, I put his shipping wraps on over top the bell boots because the stupid boots don't go all the way down. If we're going longer distances - an hour or longer - I'll wrap his legs but as a stable wrap, ending at the fetlock. I'll rarely forego the bell boots and wrap his legs as shipping wraps - going all the way down and around, the heels.
I was always taught the coronet band and heels were the most delicate and most apt to get injured during trailering so they had to be protected. Yet at shows I always see horses getting off the trailer with legs wrapped in stable bandage format - stopping at fetlocks - and bare hooves. I really don't understand that.
Another here who doesn't wrap or use shipping boots. I have used splint boots (on front) and bell boots. My mare kicks out when she has stuff on her rear legs ..not sure why. If she has something wrapped around her leg she is fine..will just stand there. Put a boot or wrap on her and she will kick the trailer down.