News & Blog

The Low-Down On Leg Wraps — The Healthy Hauling Series Part 5

At Trails West Trailers, we know our customers are passionate about equine sports. We’re experienced horsemen and women with decades of experience in various disciplines. We publish helpful articles answering your most common questions about hauling horses for competition and recreation.

Welcome to the fifth article in our blogs dedicated to healthy hauling — the Low-Down on Leg Wraps. We’ll answer your most common questions about wraps and wrapping for hauling and competition. If you’re wondering if you need to wrap your horse’s legs to haul, or which leg wraps to use for trailering, read on!

“Do I Need To Wrap My Horse’s Legs Before Trailering?”

Almost always, yes. Whether you’re hauling to a rodeo, dressage test or a distant trail riding event, you should carefully wrap every leg that’s getting on that horse trailer. But like everything else in the equine world, there are exceptions to the rules.

  • Shipping boots will protect your horse’s delicate legs from bumps and scrapes.
  • Modern versions are almost fool-proof to apply. Just be sure you can get a finger in between the leg and boot with a little effort.
  • If you’re using the old-school quilted pads and polo wrap method, have an experienced horse person show you the technique. It takes practice!

Remember, there are times you should skip the leg wraps:

  • If your horse has an emergency case of colic and you’re hauling him to a veterinary hospital, speed is more important. Just go!
  • Use common sense. If you’re loading an un-handled horse or a panicked horse, don’t bother with leg wraps.

Also, think about your horse’s shoes. Shoes with long bars and egg-bars could get caught on leg wraps. Your horse would be better off with one layer of polo wraps applied above the fetlock, or no wraps at all.

Finally, skip the leg wraps when it’s too hot. While you’re sitting comfortably in the rig, your horse is experiencing an athletic event in the horse trailer. It’s strenuous to balance 1,000 lbs of horseflesh on four delicate legs at 60 mph, up and down hills and around turns. Legs get warm. And overheated legs become a risk for blown ligaments and bowed tendons.

Leg Wraps And Weather: How Hot Is Too Hot?

With both horses and humans, extreme temperature is relative. Ninety degrees might feel oppressive to a horse in Buffalo, NY, but it’s a mild day for horses from Scottsdale, AZ.

  • Also, your horse’s breeding, build, and fitness level all play a role in trailer comfort and the need for leg wraps.
  • A lightly built Arabian that tackles 100-mile endurance rides will handle a long, hot trailer ride better than a chubby Warmblood who’s been pastured for a year.

Horse ownership is a lot like parenting. You make decisions as they arise. As your competition draws near, keep an eye on local weather reports for excessive heat warnings. If you’re sweltering, so is your horse. Skip the leg wraps and haul your horse in the cooler parts of the day if you’re questioning the temperature.

Trails West Trailers: The Right Choice For Serious Equestrians 

At Trails West Trailers, we know horse sports are more than a hobby.

Whether you love sorting, roping, and penning on your American Quarter Horse, or tackling 100-mile endurance rides on your Arabian, competitive riding is a lifestyle! We offer the highest quality horse trailers and living quarters horse trailers for competitive equestrians. Check out the other blogs in our Healthy Hauling series, and contact us to learn more about great horse trailers for competitive riders.