Suggestions for protective boots or wraps that can be worn for lengthy times..?
My 4 yr old OTTB has conformation (& perhaps old injury) issues that cause him to repeatedly knock his fetlock/ inside sesamoid area hard enough to braw blood. I have him outdoors as much as I can and would like to put something on him that can be worn all day in most weather that will help protect his ankle.
When he was at the track I'm sure he wore polos/wraps to train, vetrap to run, and standing bandages when in his stall. But now he won't be staying in a stall 22-23 hours a day and he needs safe, non-irritating and dependable protection. Some of the SMBs look like they might rub or be kinda high profile which might accentuate the hitting problem..?
I live in western central NY. Spring & fall can be mucky at times. Winters are cold. Oh yeah - he's a chestnut with 3 white socks (double whammy)...
I'd love to hear your suggestions.
Smbs are horrid and a tendon injury waiting to happen. They trap water, dirt, and heat. Steer clear.
Get something that breathes as excessive heat is bad for the legs. Trizone has a splint boot that iss waffle weave material that protects but doesnt hold heat or water. Hold up well and may be an option.
How long would they be on? I know you said all day but is that 24/7 or 12 hrs or 6?
I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.
Personally, I've never seen a horse stay out 24/7 in boots successfully. It always leads to rubs, bumps, fungus, etc. However, I've seen horses go out for 10 hours per day in the fleece-lined dressage sport boots very successfully. You need two pairs so one can hang dry each day while the horse wears the other. I've also seen people turn out in Woof boots successfully- although I don't like the heat that the neoprene retains.
I keep rubber gum bell boots on my TB 24/7, but I flip them upside down to protect him from getting bedsores on the fronts of his ankles. They work great... Soft enough to move around and not give him sores, but give just enough cushion to protect that spot. I use the pull on kind so there are no rough spots to rub. If I don't use them, he gets terrible sores on the fronts of his ankles from rolling outside on the hard ground. Boots on, no sores. And I just flip them down when I ride. Easy peasy!
Depending on how your horse injures himself, it might work! I can sympathize, mine is a chestnut with 4 whites.
where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?
I'd go with splint boots. Something that doesn't retain water and is as light and breathable as possible. You'll need to make sure they stay clean or they'll probably rub. Medicated baby powder (such as goldbond) is great to kill fungus and help dry stuff out. I put it in boots and on legs daily and it's been great for keeping legs nice and healthy.
NOT neoprene, whatever you do! I put my leg-knocking-TB out in sheepskin lined boots and pull-on bell boots. He's generally out from about 7:30 am-4 or 5 pm. SO FAR, he's been fine in these. He wears his bell boots 24/7, the galloping boots come off for the night. I also wash them every 2 days in hot water with Tide free and clear with 2nd rinse.
Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.
I keep rubber gum bell boots on my TB 24/7, but I flip them upside down to protect him from getting bedsores on the fronts of his ankles.
This is what I was going to suggest. I would never leave full boots on my horse for extended periods of time. I suppose you could always do standing wraps, since they're meant to stay on for up to 24 hours, but I'd be petrified the track bandages would come undone and cause a disaster.
My bet is that he'll outgrow it sooner or later. Do the "upside down bell boot" method if you must, but chances are he's not doing major damage with occasional nicks and scrapes and he will probably not do it forever. Does he have any issues a good farrier could work on to make him less likely to knock himself?
I took him from the track less than 2 weeks ago as he needed a home (the track closes for the season this week).
I tend to bring one or two ex-racers home every year to try & find them a place to go. However I remember seeing this fellow as a 3 yr old the first time he ran, and I've kept him on my radar ever since. This one's such a sweetheart. He's no event horse prospect, but he's special for sure.
As for his conformation: He's a big kind of coarse fellow but attractive in his own way. He has a a big-boned build and is MARKEDLY over at the knees. He has a good sized right ankle that his earlier handlers say he had as a youngster before he ever ran (looks like a slight osselet but he's sound on it). His left ankle is the one that he hits hard. The hair is gone in the spot that he hits and the skin feels like tender scar tissue (at least it did before he opened it up again).
I'd had all 4 shoes removed before he left the track, and had them tidy up his feet with a neutral balanced trim. He was sent to me with standing bandages on and Blue Kote spray on the boo-boo area. The first couple of days when i turned him out I put polos & bell boots on him. He bucked & played at first but he's a naturally mellow, benign fellow and after it appeared that he was mostly going to graze and hang out, I quit putting the polos on him as he'd be left out all day while I was at work. He gets turned out with a yearling filly of similar temperament. I haven't seen him being silly in turnout but sure enough, he knocked that spot open again. Last night I put Wonderdust on it and left it open. This morning I fashioned a protective donut piece made from vetrap & trimmed panty shields fitted underneath a professional choice fleece/elastic wrap. With the little donut shield over the wound, the wrap didn't actually touch it & rub it. It looked okay when I took the wrap off tonight but I'll be looking for a better long term solution. Once the wound is healed again I was thinking of trying something just for the ankle/fetlock - like striking or brushing boots. I think the last time I used them was on a school horse that I took lessons on many many years ago. Not even sure if those were splint boots or what..?
I only have velcro bell boots but I think I'll pick up some gum bells and see how that might work. I'll also confer with my farrier & see what he thinks. Thanks for the input. I'll be re-reading through the suggestions several times I imagine!
It's a bad idea to boot a horse that lives out 24/7 and an even worse idea to wrap one. That's just asking for skin disease, and if the horse ever cut itself or if it's leg swelled up for some reason, and wasn't noticed for a day or two, that can cause severe damage to the skin, tendons and ligaments. The tissue under the boot swells and can't go anywhere and you essentially cut off blood supply to the limb, causing necrosis and death of tissues. Just don't do it.
You could try a donut-shaped fetlock ring (under CAREFUL supervision), and if that isn't enough, you can try a boil boot, which also buckles around the fetlock. Make sure to leave them loose enough that you can slip your hand underneath. Make sure you check them DAILY.
Lauren12 he's not out 24/7 but he does go out most of the day unless the weather is horrid. Don't think a fetlock ring or boil boot would be suitable, but thanks for the thought. The "donut" I mentioned was just a temporary little patch I made to put under the wrap (directly on the sesamoid area - not touching the tendon). It's amazing what you can make with sealtex, vetwrap. Unfortunately it's hard to describe the issue without posting a picture (lol).
Whatever you use, put some Monkey Butt or similar type of powder underneath to stave off the funk. I use Keratex Mud Shield Powder on my chestnut TB. He wears fetlock boots to protect the fronts of his ankles because he falls asleep standing up and then falls down.
Oops, I took "he won't be in a stall 22-23 hours a day" as meaning he was living out.
If you have to, I'd use some kind of boots, NOT wraps, which can come undone and strangle legs (not to mention causing MAJOR freak-outs when the horse is being "chased" by the tail end of the wrap lol). I think there's pros and cons for any type of boot - neoprene and sheepskin both trap heat and water and can cause nasty skin disease.
If it were mine I'd probably put a big wad of 4x4 gauze on the affected area, and lightly apply Elastikon around and a little bit above and below it. That'll stick to the hair and keep the area protected without affecting the rest of the leg. You would have to change that daily or every other day though.
To me the upside down bellboot is perfect for precisely this sort of interference and doesn't carry the risks of wraps/splint boots unsupervised. The bell boot will just rip if it shifts and he steps on it. I'd give that a try first. You might be surprised.