FILL ’ER UP
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