TIP

FILL ’ER UP

EQUUS - - Eq Hand­son -

Send your sug­ges­tions for in­ex­pen­sive horse-care sub­sti­tutes as well as hints for sav­ing ef­fort and time to Hands On, EQUUS, 656 Quince Or­chard Road, #600, Gaithers­burg, MD 20878; Fax: 301-990-9015; E-mail: EQLet­[email protected]­work.com. Sen­ders of pub­lished items will re­ceive se­lected EQUUS mer­chan­dise.

A QUES­TION OF WRAPS

To quickly and eas­ily fill a hay net be­fore a trailer ride, turn an empty wa­ter bucket over and in­vert the net over the bot­tom of the bucket. Then stack the flakes on the bucket and pull the net up over the stack.— Jes­sica Spears, Bran­don, Florida

The trailer is hooked up, the hay nets hung and the gas tank is full. All that’s left is to wrap your horse’s legs be­fore load­ing him up and hit­ting the road.

But maybe not. Ship­ping wraps and ban­dages do pro­tect lower legs from trauma in the trailer, but they aren’t al­ways nec­es­sary and in some cases may do more harm than good. When mak­ing a de­ci­sion about ship­ping wraps,

con­sider the fol­low­ing ques­tions:

Do they fit well and can I put them on prop­erly? This is per­haps the most im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion. Ship­ping boots that are too large or small, or wraps that aren’t ap­plied ap­pro­pri­ately, can trip or en­tan­gle a horse, caus­ing in­jury. If your ship­ping boots typ­i­cally end up on the trailer floor by the end of the ride, they don’t fit well and you’re prob­a­bly bet­ter off not us­ing them. And if you aren’t very con­fi­dent in your wrap­ping abil­ity (ask you vet­eri­nar­ian for an as­sess­ment if you’re un­sure) keep prac­tic­ing and forgo ship­ping ban­dages for now.

What’s the weather like? If you are ship­ping on a hot day, your horse is go­ing to be even hot­ter un­der boots or wraps. Also keep in mind that rid­ing in a trailer is an ath­letic event for a horse, so he will be pro­duc­ing more body heat than if he were sim­ply stand­ing. Leg cov­er­ings may not in­crease his over­all body tem­per­a­ture, but stud­ies have shown that tis­sues di­rectly un­der boots and wraps---in­clud­ing ten­dons--can heat up, and po­ten­tially over­heat, in hot weather.

What kind of hard­ware is my horse wear­ing on his feet? Shoes that have bars, trail­ers or a big­ger fit can in­jure both the horse wear­ing them as well as a travel com­pan­ion on the other side of a par­tial par­ti­tion. Bell boots can help, but if the shoes look like a hazard, they prob­a­bly are.

What kind of trav­eler is my horse? Sea­soned ship­pers go­ing short

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