Protecting a horse’s legs is extremely important, especially if the horse is young and still growing. Horses’ legs are fragile and can be easily broken, stressed or strained. Horses’ can often be faced with poor footing, uneven ground, competitive sport environments or transportation. Furthermore, if your horse is standing in his stable for extended periods of time, he may suffer from leg swelling. These things can be prevented or fixed by using horse bandages. However, it is important to know when it is appropriate to bandage your horse’s legs and how to do this properly so that your horse’s legs are wrapped and protected effectively.
Using leg wraps incorrectly can cause further problems for your horse, putting more strain on the horse’s legs and causing damage such as circulation problems, inflammation, flexor tendon and reduced movement. Here at Prime Stables we would like to help you avoid any more problems with your horse which is why we have written this article on everything you need to know about horse bandages. We hope you find it helpful. Read on to find out more about bandages, what they do and how and when to apply them correctly.
What Are They?
Horse bandages are a piece of material that is designed to support the leg. Often made of elastic material, they offer compression and help prevent injuries to the legs. For the most part, bandages are applied to horses for a few basic reasons:
- To provide support for tendons and ligaments
- To prevent or reduce swelling
- To prevent injury
- To help avoid infection by providing a barrier from contamination
- To aid in effective healing
Bandages are broken down into three main parts: the bandage itself, the dressing, and sometimes a poultice or wound dressing. The most common horse bandage is the stable bandage. This is used on the lower legs of a horse, which are the most commonly bandaged areas, and help to protect the lower tendons.
The more important uses of bandages are in the protection of a horse’s legs during exercise. Horses can easily damage their legs during exercise or rigorous training activities. Exercise bandages provide the needed support for your horse’s tendons, tissues and ligaments and are especially important for horses with weak legs or other previous injuries. Exercise bandages are made from stretchy crepe-like material which requires a layer of padding underneath to reduce the pressure applied directly to the horse’s legs.
Standing bandages protect your horse’s legs from numerous things; they protect from damage while shipping, secure a dressing, help keep an injury clean and aid general wound care. They are also extremely beneficial for preventing and reducing swelling or filling of the legs after a day of strenuous work. Occasionally, they are used for protection from cuts and bruises and in some cases, they are even used for warmth.
Common Bandaging Mistakes
It is extremely important that bandages are applied correctly to your horse’s legs. If a bandage is applied too tightly it can cut of circulation, damage tendons and restrict movement. Whereas, a bandage that is applied too loosely could slip entirely defeating the purpose.
It is highly advisable that, if you are unsure about the correct application, you ask your veterinarian or an experienced equine professional to demonstrate the proper techniques. We would recommend you spend some time practicing under his or her supervision until you are confident and experienced enough to bandage your horse’s legs on your own.
Materials for Bandaging
There are many choices for bandaging materials, including wraps, cotton flannels, roll gauze or bandaging tapes, Elastikon and other related products. Check out our shop for our range of horse bandages.
Padding is essential for protecting the limbs as it helps to disperse pressure evenly and prevent the restriction of blood flow. Generally, we would advise that the longer a bandage is to remain in place, the greater amount of padding required.
Bandaging is an essential skill you need to learn if you plan to work with horses. Learn from experienced people, whether that be veterinarians or others you work with. Practice as often as you can to perfect your bandaging technique. Do not bandage your horse unless you need to. If you would like any more information about horse bandaging, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you.