I have been a horse owner for a few years. I recently purchased a truck and trailer so that I can go on trail rides. I know it is important to have leg protection on my horse for travel. Should I use standing bandages or the velcro type shipping boots?
- New Trailer Owner
Dear New Trailer Owner,
Congratulations on the purchase of your truck and trailer! It is a great feeling to be able to take your horse wherever you want, whenever you want to. Not to mention, it's great to know you can move your horse yourself in the event of an emergency.
Leg protection is definitely a must for traveling horses. There are pros and cons to both types of leg protection. I don't believe that one is necessarily better than the other. It really is a matter of preference.
Pros and Cons of Standing Bandages:
Standing bandages take more time to put on and take off. They also require some practice to learn the correct technique to apply them. If you do not know how to properly apply them, standing bandages can do more harm than good. They need to be applied correctly to ensure that you are not putting too much pressure on the tendons or interfering with circulation.
Learning how to apply standing bandages is a skill that I think all horse owners should learn to do. Even if you don't want to use them for trailering, there are other times where knowing how to apply them is helpful—for reasons like stall rest or a leg injury.
I use standing bandages on my horses for travel. The main reason being that I have found that, for me, they stay on better than velcro shipping boots.
Pros and Cons of Velcro Shipping Boots:
The main thing about using shipping boots is to make sure that you get the right size. That way, you can easily put them on snugly, and they will stay put as the horse moves around during travel.
There is a wide variety of velcro shipping boots available. Some are simple soft fabric with velcro, which is usually a more affordable option. You can get shipping boots made out of thicker, stiffer material, some of which come up almost to the knee and down over the hoof. This type would provide more protection than standing bandages, assuming you get the correct size. They need to velcro snuggly and stay in position when the horse moves around.
As I mentioned before, the other advantage of the velcro on shipping boots is that they are much faster to put on. Just grab the correct bandage for the correct leg and velcro it on. Standing bandages, on the other hand, require you to not only roll them to put them on but re-roll them after you take them off.
Putting on standing bandages is a skill you should definitely learn. In the meantime, velcro shipping boots are a good option. Shop around the different brands, and chose whatever brand has the best fit for your horse.
If you already know how to apply standing bandages then you may opt to use those. If you don't know how to apply them, I would recommend having someone teach you the technique. It does require practice, but as I mentioned before, there are other uses for standing bandages, so you should make it a goal to learn how to apply them properly.
Congratulations again on the new trailer. I wish you happy and safe travels!