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Dumb leg question...

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  • Dumb leg question...

    What do you think is best for legs while riding: bare, boots, or polo wraps?

    I haven't had any problems with my guy or anything, I just want to do my best to keep it that way. He is 9, gets ridden 3-4 days a week (usually closer to 3), jumping once or twice of those times. Right now, we're doing 2'-2'6" aiming to eventually do the adult amateurs. I doubt either of us will ever go higher, possibly local 3'6" as pipe dream for One Day.

    Just curious if you guys think I need to think about supporting his legs.
    "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"

  • #2
    I have an 11 year old that is not jumped over 3ft twice a week and I ride him the same or a little bit more a week. I protect his legs with the eskradon boots just because. I would use boots(or even wraps-but they are more time consuming) just to take that extra step because accidents do happen and they could save his legs!


    • #3
      Nothing you strap to his legs are going to support them. If he brushes, then I'd go with a pair of brushing boots. If not, leave his legs bare for flatwork.

      Jumping- what are you worried about? Him whacking himself? If so, I'd looks for a pair of boots to protect that area (Tendon boots with a guard, brushing boots with guards)
      Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


      • Original Poster

        I'm just thinking of the cumulative landing stress of being an O/F horse for (hopefully) a career/lifetime. I thought wraps and some boots were to help take some of the shock, like an Ace bandage. He doesn't hit himself on the flat or O/F.
        "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"


        • #5
          If he can go bare for flatwork, go bare. Just one less thing to spend money on/wash/worry about rubbing.

          I do like to use some kind of front boots for jumping, just to protect the tendons from lacerations if there's an awkward landing. And I do boot all around when I use studs, for similar reasons.


          • #6
            I use front boots just as a precaution for if my mare interferes. My trainer requires nearly all horses to jump with boots so it's become a habit to put them on for flatwork too. I bought a pair of Roma open front that look nice, hold up well, and are way cheaper than eskadrons. I'd go for those if you need some boots but don't want to spend too much.


            • #7
              We don't use boots for any horses except for the ones that interfere really badly. If you feel you must boot, I really like T-boots.


              • #8
                You're going to get a hundred different answers, so do your research and talk to vets.

                Personally, my oldest are a 10yo Dutch x and a 15yo Quarab - both have done everything from mountains to jumping (and cattle/ranch work for the Quarab) and have been fully sound throughout their lives (I have had both since foals). I would highly recommend open-front etc jumping boots just to protect tendons during a landing, etc, but those are NOT for support, they are used for potential impact. I never have and never will (even on my 6yo up-and-coming show jumper TB or my 3yo Hano sj prospect once I start her u/s) use support wraps or boots on any of my horses unless they are doing something above and beyond their normal work. To that end however, all my horses are turned out on pasture (so plenty of playtime to build up those legs) and I bring them along slowly in an exercise program. My line of thinking (derived from my own personal research) is that by wrapping for support on a daily basis, you are potentially not allowing the horse's legs to build up their own strength and thus prevent injury (thus possibly making him more injury-prone); build up your horse slowly and his legs should strengthen along with the rest of his body, then use supportive boots only when he is doing something over and above the norm where he is at greater risk of straining himself. Ask some vets though!
                ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


                • #9
                  I think it depends on the horse, his or her history and what you are doing that day. I have one horse that cannot go w/o bell boots expecially in turn out because he steps on his heels w/ his hinds and cuts himself.

                  Another horse I don't boot too much unless I am jumping. This horse I like the leather open front Beval type boots. And even in turn out he is nakid.

                  If just flatting one of my horses I like a Dover elastic/velcro boot. When jumping this horse I like polos. He has some ankle issues and I feel this helps a bit w/ support for schooling... just like putting an ace bandage on your wrist or knee if you have a weakness when doing harder work.... This horse "cannot" wear those Escadron boots... he gets lumps where the strap goes....

                  I think if schooling jumping I would put some sort of protection in case of a miss-guided leg or jump pole.... lol

                  I do ice and wrap legs if I jumped or worked horses hard... I think finding a balance between too much and not enough and consider work done and horse ridden.

                  Probably didn't help you much, but that's just my take... kind of like a bit.... each horse requires different things......
                  Live in the sunshine.
                  Swim in the sea.
                  Drink the wild air.


                  • Original Poster


                    Ok. Sounds like he's all right naked and I don't have to spend any more money. I was just curious b/c I'd kind of like him around a while.
                    "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"


                    • #11
                      It really is hard to say. I used to agonize over booting my old horse. I still worry about it. But it's all about what fits into your program. Along with no boots we don't wrap (after work or for shipping). We sorta do the old school, country boy, hands off program. Working pretty well so far as they've got a number of older horses who are still sound. Horses that legitimately need boots get them, and if they have studs in they may get them too.

                      Interestingly, when I had this horse in a different program that used boots and wraps he stocked up when stalled for too long. In our new no booting/no wrapping program he's never stocked up. So the no booting thing seems to be working well for him. I DO use bell boots sometimes.


                      • #12
                        I either polo wrap or put boots on my horse's legs every time I ride him. Is it for support? No, because neither provide any support, just some protection from brushing. I mainly put them on because I think they make his legs look prettier


                        • #13
                          I think a polo offers a bit of support. Wrap your leg with one and go around your ankle like you would your horses pastern joint... there is a bit of support..

                          But in the end - - whatever floats ones boat... lol.....
                          Live in the sunshine.
                          Swim in the sea.
                          Drink the wild air.


                          • #14
                            IIRC, there were a few studies done some years back looking for evidence a so called "support" boot could actually support a tendon in heavy work. The results were inconclusive at the very best and did not support advertising claims and paid endorsements touting this or that brand of "support" boot as preventing soft tissue strains/sprains/tears.

                            I sometimes do use an open front boot or polos just to prevent the much more common scrapes and bruises from simple contact with themselves and foreign objects. Barn usually turns out in bell boots and simple splint boots for the same reason.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                            • #15
                              Horseloverz is having a dollar days sale. They have some decent waxed leather open front boots and splint boots on sale for $5. They aren't the most awesome you will ever see, but do a decent job and are pretty good looking.


                              • #16
                                My horses don't get booted up unless they interfere. My sturdy warmblood mare never gets boots unless we're jumping particularly big (and then just a pair of eskadrons up front). My TB gets hind boots because he does whack his hind legs together on occasion and bell boots. My other horses go naked unless jumping anything substantial.

                                My only exception is if they're wearing studs in which case they get fronts, hinds, and bells.
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