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The Science Behind Wraps for Horses
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The Science Behind Wraps for Horses

Published: December 20, 2019

Wraps for horses and horse hock boots are something that is frequently found throughout stables and barns; however, what purpose does this legwear actually serve, and why do so many horse owners dutifully use them? The short answer is, they’re for protection. Horse hock wraps and boots help protect horses’ limbs during exercise and transport. While many horse owners and veterinarians swear by these protective measures, what exactly is the science behind it all? Keep reading to find out.


Horse Wraps and Injuries


Wraps for horses are many times found in the case of injury. When a horse is injured, say in the case of a bowed tendon resulting from stress or injury, it can take anywhere from eight to 11 months to fully heal. In many instances, horse owners will utilize a wrap to help stabilize the area. In the instance of an open wound, wraps for horses can also help prevent contamination, reduce swelling, and can be great for adding pressure that encourages clotting. This pressure can also aid in the healing of tendon injuries; however, it is important to ensure that the pressure is evenly distributed. If the pressure is uneven, pressure peaks can cause additional trauma to the tendon or even imped needed blood flow to that area, and without adequate blood, flow healing can be slowed. To prevent this, utilize pillow pads underneath wraps and keep overlap as even as possible to prevent uneven constriction.


Travel Wraps for Horses


Hock wraps for horses can also be used for travel. The reason for this is that, because horses were meant to walk around, the blood flow to their legs is dependant on their movement. If a horse stands still for too long, fluid can be allowed to build up and edema (fluid swelling) can form. If this occurs, horses can experience pain and discomfort. It can even make them more susceptible to scratches and skin infections. The pressure provided from wraps can help prevent edemas from forming by evening out blood pressure.


Aside from edemas, wraps can also help protect against injuries that could occur from being jostled in the transport trailer. For instance, a horses leg could catch on a part of the trailer, they could step on themselves, or even get twisted up due to the motion. Horse wraps can help reduce the severity of these injuries and keep your horse a little bit safer during transport.


Brush Boots and Impact Protection


You typically use these types of boots if you’re riding your horses, and while we know they’re for protection, we often don’t know exactly how they protect. Overall, these types of boots help protect the legs, more specifically the tendons, from impact. They can help protect the legs and tendons from harsh blows that would otherwise be injurious or detrimental. Harder boots are used for distributing stronger forces, such as jumps or even hoof strikes — which are an issue with large-stride horses in particular. The boots help take the force of the impact and evenly distribute it across the surface minimizing damage.
This means that a horse can take even traumatic strikes and suffer no injury; however, even with boots care should be taken to mitigate these risks as opposed to relying solely on them for protection.


Boots and wraps for horses are fantastic tools to have at your disposal; however, it’s important to use them with care. In the case of injury, wraps can help boost the healing process, but only if applied correctly. Additionally, using transport wraps can help keep horses safe during transport, but are best when used in conjunction with additional safety methods, such as harnassing and correctly sized stalls. Furthermore, brush boots are excellent to use when riding or exercising, but care must still be taken to prevent tendon injury.


Overall, both wraps and boots have their place when it comes to keeping your horses happy and healthy. If you haven’t invested in any for your stable yet, consider these benefits and don’t hesitate to reach out to a distributor for more information.

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