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Bandaging after exercise: does it really do any good?

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  • Bandaging after exercise: does it really do any good?

    I am a hunter/jumper person, and it seems to be standard practice to bandage horses after strenuous exercise or after a day of showing. I know that many other disciplines do the same.

    My last trainer does not believe in bandaging. He tells me that it is something that we do to make ourselves feel better, not the horses. It makes us *feel* like we are doing something for them. If anything, he thinks that a horse who is bandaged regularly is more likely to start stocking up when not bandaged. Plus, if the legs were going to stock up, he'd rather see it than bandage to hide it.

    I have always believed him, and have not found anything to indicate that bandaging actually makes a horse sounder. Personally, I would rather stick ice on a horse and then put it away bare-legged, unless the horse has a specific problem which requires bandaging (such as needing to poultice or keep medication on an injury).

    I know that tons of people bandage just "because it's done." I am wondering if there is any actual scientific evidence to back this up one way or another. I have looked online, but haven't found any articles on the subject. I would love to hear a vet's opinion or read a study on this.

    Can anyone help me? I have done a forum search but haven't found any answers.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh

  • #2
    If you have a horse that is prone to stocking up then yes, wrapping does help. It works like a compression wrap.
    Liniment and things help to tighten the legs.
    IMO some horses seem to need wrapping more than others and I adjust according to needs. I'd rather turn one out than keep up and wrap but at shows that's not an option. So we wrap at shows usually and turnout at home.
    "are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn...I can yawn, because I ride better than you, Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn, you, not so much..." George Morris in Camden, SC

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Ok, I buy that. But why do people bandage horses who don't regularly stock up? People seem to do it automatically, assuming that there is some inherent good in wrapping. I am trying to see if that is indeed the case.

      Also, if the horse DOES tend to stock up, it is better to bandage them, or just do lots of ice and regular hand walks?
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh

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      • #4
        If my horse is stocked up I won't even put on spilnt boots on him let alone bandages. I would rather work it out with a hack then just do some sore no more or the like liniment afterwards.

        I've been on both sides and on the "Always Wrap" side I have seen horses get scurff from continuious wrapping, bowed tendons from wrapping too tight, and I really do not feel I saw a difference in look or performance.

        I have not wrapped my current horse in the last 8 years that I have owned him ... clean legs all the time. I only hose and liniment after shows. Regular home rides, never.

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        • #5
          My gelding has a tendency to get stocked up after hard work, if he's standing around a lot. However, it goes away quickly with work (5-10 min walk before starting to really hack, etc).

          I only put standing wraps on my guy if he's had a ton of work over fences or on hard ground (xc-schooling, etc) over a period of days, and is being kept in a stall (ex: 3'+ classes at a 4-day horse show, where he is in a 10x10 stall at night).

          At home, I pretty much never wrap. He lives in a 12x12 stall w/ 12x12 paddock attached. When we jump, he still has the ability to walk around at night and stretch out. As long as he has his little paddock, he always seems to come out fine. It's really just the hard-work, multiple days in a row, without a lot of room to move around. where I give him the "extra support" at night to try to keep the stocking up down.

          I agree that a lot of h/j barns (in my experience growing up) over-wrap.

          However, I also met a gal that wraps her horse every night. Her gelding is older, with some significant arthritis. She was having trouble keeping him from getting really stiff. Once she started putting standing wraps on every night, he started coming out sound and not stiff every day. So, she decided it's "just what he needs", and continues to wrap all the time...

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Can anyone link to any studies on this?
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh

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            • #7
              Yeah- any research on this?
              GO TARHEELS!
              COMH
              http://community.webshots.com/user/funnyknuckles
              http://community.webshots.com/user/funnyknuckles2

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