Ask the Vet – Should I wrap my horse’s legs when trailering?

Ask the Vet – Should I wrap my horse’s legs when trailering?


SARAH: “Should I
wrap my horses legs when going on a long
trip in the trailer.” And she asked this question
with just one question mark. So she’s asking the
Olive in her name, Olive? Just like very
casually, should I wrap my horses legs when going
on a long trip in the trailer. DR LYDIA GRAY: So I’m
going to give this to you. SARAH: OK, that seems like
I’ll do a great job with it, based on the last round. DR LYDIA GRAY: And then
put this up close to me. OK, so I would like
to say, it depends. Because apparently
that’s what I always say. If you have a horse
that has not worn either shipping wraps like these
or standing wraps like these. This is just a
cotton pillow wrap and then standing wraps over it. Like Pony Club says–
how to make a wrap. If it’s a young horse, or a
horse that has not worn wraps, I would discourage you from
putting them on in a trailer. Because there’s enough going on. And if they move,
shift, they’re tight, they’re not used to them, they
can actually move around more, become fractious,
hurt themselves, kick until things get loose. And it’s probably doing
more harm than good. And as a vet, I took an
oath about not doing harm. But if you have a horse
that is a seasoned traveler, goes all the time, some
people might say, “Oh, he’s used to it, no need to wrap.” However, you never
know when someone’s going to pull in
front of you, or when you have to make a sudden stop,
or you almost missed your turn, and you do it yourself. And it’s not that the trailer
has sharp things on the inside. Everyone knows to
check the trailer, it’s that in trying
to balance himself, your horse may step on himself. Move a leg over,
move a foot over. So that’s what you’re
trying to protect. And these go all the
way to the bottom. So they protect the hoof,
the heel bulb, the fetlock. SARAH: So these are
not for the ears? DR LYDIA GRAY: No, and you
are correctly holding them in the right position. SARAH: Thank you. The name was really
helping me out in terms of knowing which way was up. I do know what this stuff is. DR LYDIA GRAY: They cover
the hocks you can see. So it’s important to cover
from the ground to just over the hocks in the back, and
over the knees in the front. Then all your
joints are covered, your hooves, the canon
bones, all the important– SARAH: Handle with care parts. DR LYDIA GRAY: There
you go, all those parts. Some people– I
didn’t bring any, but some people put bell boots
on to protect the heel bulbs. Maybe that’s all you want to
do is just the bell boots. SARAH: For when he’s
positioning his feet. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah, so just
don’t– because those kind of injuries, the heel bulb,
can take a long time to heal. SARAH: And can be
pretty painful. And can put your
horse out of work if he’s uncomfortable enough. DR LYDIA GRAY: When
they’re walking, you think about the
motion of walking, and it just opens
it up every time. That’s why scratches
are painful. I also brought
some other things. She didn’t ask, but I
like a good tail wrap. Because I hate when my horse
comes out of the trailer and his tail is either
rubbed and it looks– SARAH: Like a big brush. DR LYDIA GRAY: Or he’s
rubbed the hair out. And I’m like, well,
that’s gross super. And then some people,
and I’ve never used one, but some people are
head bumper fans. SARAH: I was so
excited that I was going to get to tell you that
it was facing the wrong way. DR LYDIA GRAY: So,
yeah, so ears, not eyes. I’m not, because unless
you know your horse is one of those that like you open
the back, and undo the front– then they run out and throw
up their heads or whatever. To me, this has more
potential for harm, because it could
catch on things, and it makes their brain hot. And I don’t know,
I’m not a fan of this unless you know that
your horse needs one. SARAH: So I think that
was one of the things that you said at the beginning,
that I think is really, really helpful, and a lot of
people don’t think of, is if you’re shipping your
horse for the first time, going in the trailer is
a whole new experience. You don’t want also having scary
things strapped to your horse’s legs to be a totally
new experience that he’s going to have and deal with in
a new place for the first time. DR LYDIA GRAY: I
will tell you that I use shipping wraps because
I’m too lazy to put on bandages anymore. But even now– SARAH: Most people call
these shipping boots. DR LYDIA GRAY: Shipping boots. When I put those
on Newman, and he’s had them on for 12 years now, he
still does the moonwalk thing. So even he has to
adjust his way of going. So absolutely, you
don’t want a horse who’s never had these
on– they’re going to like try to shake them off. And then they get frantic. They cannot get
these things off. I mean, I’ve had horses like get
loose, and run around, and hurt themselves and hurt property. So if you really
want to put them on, then teach your
horse to use them. Practice before the trip. SARAH: In low stress situations
too, because there is no time– trying something for the
first time with your horse at 4:00 in the morning in
the dark, not recommended. DR LYDIA GRAY: Sounds
like we’ve both– SARAH: Had that experience. Yes, so I think the
moonwalking, pretty universal. We actually did it in the
if horses were people. So maybe Nels will throw
a clip of that in here. And we can see what it
looks like if a human wore shipping boots.

2 thoughts on “Ask the Vet – Should I wrap my horse’s legs when trailering?

  1. Should I use shavings or hay for trailer bedding? And should I tie my horse in the trailer? The other day he fell down and I’m worried he’s going to hurt himself

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