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Horse won't wear boots/wraps?

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  • Horse won't wear boots/wraps?

    I will just state a quick disclaimer, I am a very neurotic horsey mom so this might sound a little crazy.

    I've got a great little ottb that had a blown suspensory before I got him. He has never been lame on that leg since I've had him and had a pretty good year in the baby greens last year. since I've had him he's never liked having boots or leg wraps on at all but it wasn't the end of the world for him either. He had some serious complications with his gelding this spring and ended up having to have major surgery. He was on stall rest and has just been put back into almost full blown work this past week. He has now digressed into not wanting any boots or wraps on him at all. He trots around like a prize winning saddlebred until they are removed. It doesn't matter how long they are on he will continue to trot like a goon. The vet has stressed to me how important it is for him to have some support on that front leg so I am at a loss here. My once hack winning child has turned into a sowing machine. If I take the boots off he is back to normal. Is this mental for him? Or should I have the vet come take a look at him? Would it be harmful if I just worked him without any leg support? I love this guy to pieces but If it's not one thing with him it's another. I'm starting to think it's a mental problem and nothing physical.

    Sorry that was very long and I'm sure you guys are just thinking "TAKE THE DAMN WRAPS OFF!" but I just had to ask..
    !

  • #2
    "No boot is going to offer support while you're riding" is a phrase that is VERY common on this thread. Boots/wraps also cause heat build up which can be detrimental to the soft tissues of the leg. Really boots are only good for a horse with some interfering issues or to protect against light bumps and scrapes.

    As far as him acting like such a goof...I've got no clue! One gelding I know kicks like mad when his boots first go on if they aren't adjusted just so or if he has rain rot on his legs. Other than that I don't know any that are so bothered by boots/wraps. Hopefully someone else will be more helpful.

    What type of boots and wraps are you using?

    Comment


    • #3
      There isn't a single boot on the market that can offer "support" to an injury. All they can do is protect against knocks/blows to the leg. Oh, and heat up the leg (which is not a good idea if you're coming off a tendon injury).

      Take them off.
      Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        When I first put boots on my horse he did the same thing. My tb/han turned into a lovely saddlebred at the trot and would jump every canter stride with his front

        He grew out of it. He just needed time to get used to boots. He now moves great with or without boots.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm going to be a broken record, but no boot is going to offer any meaningful support. Excluding direct hits to the leg, boots aren't going to prevent/protect against any kind of injury. If he doesn't normally interfere and you're just going to be riding in a ring/manicured field, don't bother with boots.

          Comment


          • #6
            Disclaimer here...I don't use Sports Medicine Boots but...

            I seem to recall several years back that a vet school tested various boots and polo wraps and found that SMBs DID effectively support tendons and ligaments. I can't remember now if I read it in something like Practical Horseman or read a report or something. Does anybody else remember that?

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok, so if wraps don't offer any support, how come an Ace bandage will stabilize my ankle? An Ace bandage is basically a track wrap. I don't have any fancy studies to support/not support (pun intended) my views, so I'm really not qualified to argue this. But I know that I have tendonitis in my elbow, and I've wrapped it before with a standing wrap and it felt better. Do my open front hard plastic shell boots support anything? No. Do polos support much? Not really. But an Ace bandage material does support. Just ask my elbow.


              OP, if you want to follow through on the wrap thing, I think what I would try is wrapping him in his stall and feeding him. Then take them off. I think I'd start with putting them on and then not asking him to move around much and let him get used to the feel of a muppet trying to swallow his legs. (I mean, really, polos have got to feel like that to some horses, right?)

              I do think that if you try this, and he keeps acting like a Hackney pony, your vet might decide that the possibility of him hurting himself bouncing around might outweigh any help the wraps might provide. But that's something your vet would have to determine. And I'd also make sure the vet is aware that the horse is a hunter, and he has to show without boots/wraps. So supporting the legs and then going nekkid might be worse than nothing at all.

              Comment


              • #8
                My boy had a suspensory injury, and if you put wraps to front he goes lame. Take them off and he's ready to go jump around.
                His back legs, which have never been injured, are another story. Put on back boots/wraps and he'll swap out his lead, over and over again. So no boots for him!
                No boots is fine, maybe for turnout, but if your boy isn't nutzo spider-legs u/s you should be fine.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Seven-up View Post
                  Ok, so if wraps don't offer any support, how come an Ace bandage will stabilize my ankle? An Ace bandage is basically a track wrap. I don't have any fancy studies to support/not support (pun intended) my views, so I'm really not qualified to argue this. But I know that I have tendonitis in my elbow, and I've wrapped it before with a standing wrap and it felt better. Do my open front hard plastic shell boots support anything? No. Do polos support much? Not really. But an Ace bandage material does support. Just ask my elbow.
                  For starters, your ankle is probably not very much smaller than your horse's. And I bet you don't weigh 1200 pounds.

                  Someone referred to a study about SMB's. I think that was their study. Think of it this way: a quarter inch of neoprene versus 1200 pounds, not even factoring in movement and momentum. No way that's going to make a real difference.

                  To the OP: Set your boy free of pesky boots and wraps! Besides, what vet really believes that wraps provide real support?
                  madeline
                  * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Go Fish View Post
                    Disclaimer here...I don't use Sports Medicine Boots but...

                    I seem to recall several years back that a vet school tested various boots and polo wraps and found that SMBs DID effectively support tendons and ligaments. I can't remember now if I read it in something like Practical Horseman or read a report or something. Does anybody else remember that?
                    Yes, and guess who sponsored that study? SMB.

                    They didn't judge that it provided effective tendon support. If you read carefully, they only judged that that goofy strap on the bottom of their most expensive models *somewhat* limits fetlock extension. But like others have said, it's one strip of neoprene versus an entire horse. If the horse cares to overextend his fetlock in an SMB, he certainly can. And there are plenty of other things he could do besides that to reinjure himself. Like raise the temperature of his leg by dozens of degrees by cooking it inside an SMB boot.

                    Seven-up, the ace bandage works for two reasons: it provides mild compression and mild heat, mostly to your surrounding soft tissues. Neither of which are things that are particularly beneficial when treating an equine tendon injury.
                    Last edited by jn4jenny; Oct. 28, 2009, 08:47 AM.
                    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Seven-up View Post
                      Ok, so if wraps don't offer any support, how come an Ace bandage will stabilize my ankle? An Ace bandage is basically a track wrap. I don't have any fancy studies to support/not support (pun intended) my views, so I'm really not qualified to argue this. But I know that I have tendonitis in my elbow, and I've wrapped it before with a standing wrap and it felt better. Do my open front hard plastic shell boots support anything? No. Do polos support much? Not really. But an Ace bandage material does support. Just ask my elbow.


                      .
                      Because you're not really asking the ACE bandage to really do anything. Unless you're doing crazy acrobatics, all it's doing is providing a little compression that helps you a smidge. When a horse gets hurt, it's generally because he 1) hits something OR 2) overextends soft tissue. When a 1200lb+ horse is jumping a 3'+ jump out of a working canter, the amount of pressure/force/torque on his body isn't comperable AT ALL to your elbow with an ace bandage wrapped around it.

                      I'm always surprised by the number of people who think that a polo wrap will actually prevent their horse from sustaining a serious soft-tissue injury.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Another vote here for ditching boots and wraps...
                        The best thing you could do to keep tendons "happy" is feeding correctly, keeping horse on good working schedule and making sure they move a lot (handwalking if rehabbing or stalled,) turning out, etc. The other important thing is good and long warm up.

                        One of my horses is a great test subject for boots and polos in terms of retaining heat. I tried SMBs and his legs were hot and dripping sweat underneath after 30 mins of mild working session. Needless to say, I never used them again. The only things I tried which keep his legs dry are Lami cell elastic wraps, which I use for flatwork and open-front Escadrons for jumping. He does not need either one of them, and I do not have any illusions on type of imaginary support they give, but he is young and clumsy, so it keeps him nicks- free.

                        My other horse had DDFT surgery on both front feet 3 months ago. He has not worn anything and I would not put anything on him. Why try to heat up rehabbing injury and make him prone for reinjuries? If anything I would cold hose him after workout.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Seven-up View Post
                          Ok, so if wraps don't offer any support, how come an Ace bandage will stabilize my ankle? An Ace bandage is basically a track wrap. I don't have any fancy studies to support/not support (pun intended) my views, so I'm really not qualified to argue this. But I know that I have tendonitis in my elbow, and I've wrapped it before with a standing wrap and it felt better. Do my open front hard plastic shell boots support anything? No. Do polos support much? Not really. But an Ace bandage material does support. Just ask my elbow.
                          Completely different anatomy. Think about what "support" means in the context of the suspensory apparatus. Basically, you are asking the wrap or boot to prevent the fetlock from extending when the horse lands on it. So it's a little bit of elastic against hundreds of pounds of force.

                          There are some studies that show that athletic taping can prevent ankle sprains. But "support" in the context of human sprains means preventing the ankle from collapsing laterally. The forces it's fighting are much, much weaker and the movement isn't an ordinary, necessary part of your locomotion, which is why trainers can tape to essentially prevent all lateral movement. I haven't seen any research showing that ace bandages prevent soft tissue injuries in athletes.

                          I'm a minimalist when it comes to wraps and boots. If my horse doesn't interfere, I consider myself lucky and avoid putting things on his legs that could cause excessive heat, rubs or bandage bows. I do tend to use plastic open front boots for jumping, but I wouldn't hesitate to leave them off if my horse didn't like them.

                          To OP, if your horse hates wraps, let him live without them. All that funny movement is probably more dangerous for his suspensory than any possible lack of support that comes from leaving him bare.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Seven-up View Post
                            Ok, so if wraps don't offer any support, how come an Ace bandage will stabilize my ankle? An Ace bandage is basically a track wrap. I don't have any fancy studies to support/not support (pun intended) my views, so I'm really not qualified to argue this. But I know that I have tendonitis in my elbow, and I've wrapped it before with a standing wrap and it felt better. Do my open front hard plastic shell boots support anything? No. Do polos support much? Not really. But an Ace bandage material does support. Just ask my elbow.
                            With your ankle, what you are trying to do is to stabilize it from unwanted rotation and pronation (flexing left and right). Tape and wraps can be very effective for that. In the case of a horse's leg, there is no anatomical ability for the joints to act other than as a hinge.

                            So, what you are trying to do with these wraps is to limit, or slow, the action of the hinge.

                            A horse is landing on a front leg, moving at speed at the canter, with thousands of pounds of force over only a few square inches. The amount of energy that is created is intense, and a polo wrap or boot cannot restrict that movement without also restricting the ability to move at all. The strength of tendons and ligaments is far greater than a polo wrap or neoprene.

                            In addition, if the wrap or neoprene IS absorbing that energy, then it has to dissipate it in some way, and generally that would be as heat.

                            So I agree with everyone: let the horse have his legs naked. Go slow, work in good footing, and you're better off than with him making strange evasive actions with his legs because the boots bother him.
                            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by twobays View Post
                              Because you're not really asking the ACE bandage to really do anything. Unless you're doing crazy acrobatics, all it's doing is providing a little compression that helps you a smidge. When a horse gets hurt, it's generally because he 1) hits something OR 2) overextends soft tissue. When a 1200lb+ horse is jumping a 3'+ jump out of a working canter, the amount of pressure/force/torque on his body isn't comperable AT ALL to your elbow with an ace bandage wrapped around it.

                              I'm always surprised by the number of people who think that a polo wrap will actually prevent their horse from sustaining a serious soft-tissue injury.
                              Actually, I used to be a gymnast. After a few injuries, taping my wrists and ankles kept me going. Without the support, I couldn't do the same things I could do when taped up to the gills. I guess my joints didn't read the studies.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks guys! I figured that was the right thing to do but needed reassurance. I have had ups and downs with this vet but this is the best possible care in the small area we are at now. They aren't the greatest but my hands are tied until my boy goes back to Texas. He's my first ever TB and although he is quirky in almost EVERYTHING he does, I'm infatuated with him and I'm so happy that I was lucky enough to adopt him!


                                Equus Girl- I do actually cold hose him every time after he is worked. He has never been unsound on it since I adopted him but I'd rather be safe.
                                !

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Seven-up View Post
                                  Actually, I used to be a gymnast. After a few injuries, taping my wrists and ankles kept me going. Without the support, I couldn't do the same things I could do when taped up to the gills. I guess my joints didn't read the studies.
                                  Someone should point out the obvious. Tape is entirely different from an Ace bandage. 100 pound gymnasts are quite different from 1200 pound horses, even though their legs are almost the same size.
                                  madeline
                                  * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Sorry I didn't point out every part of my body that was wrapped or taped. If I did, we'd be here all day. I used plenty of ace bandages too.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Not to hijack... but what do you do if the horse needs to get used to boots but throws a fit before you even get them on?

                                      He is okay w/ front boots. Not thrilled but gets over it pretty fast and will work fine in them. But hind boots? Ugh! He jerks his leg up when you try to put them on. Once you do get them on, he stomps and lifts his leg like you are killing him!

                                      Just to clarify... he doesn't have a leg injury. I want to use them for protection. We do ride on un-even terrain frequently and besides Hunters, I do some low level Eventing. And he can be a little clumsy from time to time and catch himself.

                                      Thanks!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I agree with everyone else about ditching the boots, but I think that's pretty much settled. LSM1212, lots of horses do that to get used to the boots, and will pick their hind legs up really high at first. My horse did that the first couple times and is now fine with them, but I know a couple horses who still pick up their back legs pretty high for a few steps when they're walking out of the cross-tie.

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