Standing leg wraps applied with a quilt, as shown here, are ideal when you must doctor a spot on your horse’s leg or want to reduce inflammation during training. The wraps provide support and comfort, as well as keep medication on wound for best treatment.
Before I explain how to properly apply this wrap, I must state the importance of seeking veterinary advice before using the wraps if you’re not sure what’s going on with your horse’s injury.
For this process, I’m using quilts that are 30 inches long; you can choose width based on your horse’s size (usually 10 to 16 inches wide). The wraps shown are made of a four-way stretch fabric to allow the correct tension in the wrap without being too tight or too loose.
Step 1: Start with the quilt.
Once you’ve applied the treatment to the leg, it’s time to start the wrap. For each part of the wrapping process, the wraps will go the same way—from front to back, with the wrap going to the inside of the leg, supporting the tendons to the inside of the leg. This helps keep the soft tissues in place without any extra pressure that could cause damage. Start with the end of the quilt on the inside of the leg and wrap forward and around toward inside of your horse’s leg. Use enough tension to keep the quilt close to his leg so debris has less a chance of getting into the wrap. The quilt should end on the outside of your horse’s leg to avoid having the quilt’s seam rub on the back of his leg, which can irritate the soft tissues and cause injury.
Step 2: Time to wrap.
Starting about mid-leg, tuck the wrap’s end under the quilt to secure it for application. Wrap toward the top of the quilt first, going up to the quilt’s edge, then back down to the middle. Keep constant tension on the wrap, but don’t make it so tight that it becomes more of a tourniquet than a support wrap.
Step 3: Continue down the leg.
Take the wrap down the leg, past where you started, keeping that same tension you started with. Continuous tension means you won’t have loose gaps or dangerous too-tight spots in the wrap.
Step 4: Go under the fetlock.
This portion of the wrap acts like a sling to support your horse’s fetlock. Think about the manufactured boots you put on your horse for riding: There’s a protective area around his fetlock in those, too. As you bring the wrap under your horse’s fetlock, keep consistent tension to protect the area where the soft tissues of the leg connect to the lower leg.
Step 5: Wrap back up.
Bring the wrap back up; it should end where you started. Fasten the hook-and-loop closure to keep the wrap taut, but not too tight. Check the wrap for uniformity—no gaps, wrinkles, or tight spots. If it looks uniform, your horse will have soft support.
Al Dunning, Scottsdale, Arizona, has produced world champion horses and riders in multiple disciplines. He’s been a professional trainer for more than 40 years, and has produced books, DVDs, and an online mentoring program, Team AD International (aldunning.com).