How to: Standing Wraps
A standing wrap... what is it? And why would we use it?
The primary purpose behind a standing wrap is to give the tendons and ligaments in the horse’s leg protection while preventing excess swelling and fluid buildup (also known as stocking up). This is critical for the horse after an injury, after strenuous work, or during trailering.
It is very important to use good quality wraps and to learn how to wrap correctly because an improperly applied wrap can do more damage to your horse. If the leg is wrapped incorrectly, it can actually damage the leg, causing a bandage bow or even a bowed tendon.
Let's talk about how to apply a good standing wrap!
Quilt, Pillow, "No Bow" bandage padding
Standing wrap, usually has some elasticity (not a fleece "polo wrap" or knit "track bandage")
I like quilts like this and wraps like this. Side note - I like my wraps on the shorter side... so I would buy the shorter length available, if offered a choice. Another side note - these are NOT affiliate links. I do NOT get paid if you buy. I just think these are good choices.
How to Apply a Standing Wrap
Step 1: Take your pillow, quilt, or no bow and place the edge of the wrap along the inside of the cannon bone. Begin unrolling the quilt towards the horse’s tail as you wrap along the leg.
Step 2: Continue wrapping the quilt around the leg, making sure to apply even pressure with no wrinkles, keeping the top and bottom of the wrap even, until there is no more wrap left.
Step 3: Grab your standing wrap. Begin wrapping this layer over top of the quilt. Always be sure you begin wrapping towards the horse’s tail and not their head. Start the wrap about 1/3 of the way down the leg.
Step 4: Pull wrap snugly over the cannon bone and continue wrapping down the leg, applying steady and even pressure.
Step 5: As you wrap down the leg, overlap the bandage layers evenly, so no pressure points are created.
Step 6: When you reach the fetlock, leave about ½” of pillow quilt uncovered, then wrap back up the leg, repeating the process.
Step 7: When you reach the top, again leave about ½” of quilt uncovered and fasten the wrap together with the velcro strap.
More about standing wraps...
Wraps need to be re-wrapped EVERY day! Do NOT expect your wrap job to last two or three days. Wraps need to be done every single day. Failure to re-do your wraps every day can lead to serious injury.
Quilts need to be replaced often. (Wash and dry... you don't need to buy brand new ones!) For maximum benefit and lowest risk of injury, quilts need to be fluffy and the padding needs to be even throughout the quilt. If you use a quilt too many days in a row, it will become thin and lumpy. When this happens, pressure cannot be evenly distributed within the wrap on the leg and you're at an increased risk of injury. Do not re-use your quilts for more than a few days without washing them.
And like most things - practice Practice PRACTICE!
Applying a standing wrap is tricky. You'll need to do it a million times before it starts to feel normal and like you have some sort of skill. That's ok! Just keep practicing!