ShelbyDuh

Do Polo Wraps Give Any Real Support?

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I've always been under the impression that polo wraps give no support at all for the leg or tendons or anything. All they honestly do is protect from being hit by another hoof or object.

I have SMBs boots, which, according to the company, actually support the suspensory tendon. However, I don't think this has been scientifically proven [Question]

My vet and my farrier recommended the SMB Elite boots for my horse because he had a suspensory injury. I ride in them almost every time. (Put on last, take off first, jsyk)

A girl I work with said that polo wraps "offer more support" than splint boots. I felt COMPELLED to say that they really offer no support at all, but I didn't want to start an argument.

She also said that she disliked my boots because she had some and they really restricted her horse's movement...I told her they're supposed to support the lower leg and that I was recommended by two professionals to use them, so I do.

Your views???

P.S. This girl also never rides her Western horse in a curb, but a "shanked snaffle" [bat Eyelashes]

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Polo wraps are more for protection than support. But so are SMBs, in my opinion.

Personally I don't really like using boots for "support" anyway- the best way to ensure that soft tissue doesn't get injured is to work the horse correctly and make the horse flexible. If the *muscle* that soft tissue is connected to (I believe it's tendons that attach to muscle but my anatomy is fuzzy) can give and stretch more, that gives more range of motion to the tendons so that they're less likely to be damaged.

SMBs and neoprene I don't like to use anyway simply because they can get so hot underneath, and heat is the enemy of healthy legs :)

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Okey dokey. Thanks y'all!!! I wear my SMBs mostly in case Tuck hits himself when we do difficult or new movements. But, me being the crazy person I am, I wanted the best boot/cover for his legs. And the supposed support for his tendons is nice, too.

And that's what I thought, goldentoes!! Wouldn't it be better to just exercise and work without them so that his legs gain the strength and proper flexibility, naturally? That's why I don't wear them all the time. If I'm going for a short ride or only walk/trot, I don't wear them. But for any canter work, flying lead changes, or trails (sticks, rocks, etc.) I wear them mainly as a splint boot kind of protection.

Thanks for replying! [smiley Wavey]

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I really don't like SMBs. No support, despite what the company says, and far too bulky for my liking.

We use Saratoga Bandages on my mare that had a suspensory injury per the suggestion of her rehab vet. It's pretty much the only wrap that comes in contact with her leg besides her Back On Track wraps which she wears at night.

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The answer, like many, is "it depends' If you wrap under and around like at the racetrack, polos probably do support the supensory ligaments a bit but there they are mostly used to stop run-down injury and accidental raps. The support is minimal. If you wrap just around and not under the fetlock there would be no support at all. I don't think there has been any studies to compare polos to boots or bare legs. A lot of the things we use make us feel better I think.

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I do believe that polos offer support. When a person hurts their wrist they wrap it for support. I think that polos offer more support than boots. Boots are more solid but polo wraps 'hold' the leg in all around. Hard to explain

I also have these polos from eskadron that half of it is a towel like padded material and the other half is a more normal polo material so I think this adds even more support than a regular polo.

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I can not stand SMB! They were by far the worst investment I have ever done. Wraps to offer support, but I don't do Polo. I was taught to do run downs and so on. I do wrap a polo on some, but not all.

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i dont think splints offer support at all...they simply protect your horses legs from cuts and rubbing. i'm a huge boot person. i like polos, SMBs, bells, woof boots, legacies....boots. im an addict.

the SMB elite is a far less bulkier boot then the SMB II.

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I was taught to wrap with polos while working at a race farm. The way I was taught I think, offers more support than the way I see a lot of polos used. I guess any wrap will help, but I use a "sport boot" (not professionals choice) some of those boots are too bulky and stiff for my liking.

I don't race my horses but I do want to avoid any injuries (interference and such) as well.

I believe I have seen a comparison between the polo and sports medicine boots. just don't know where...

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i use them because its a habit. if i dont use them, i put on woof boots. i love leg protection. haha!

i start at the middle of the leg, go down, when i come back up i make sure there is a "V" in the front where they cross, then when i'm about to overlap the first layer, I flip the end of it down over both layers, continue up, and velcro at the top near the knee. :)

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acctualy there ahve been studies done on how wrapping and the use of splint boots WEAKEN the leg over time as they become to rely on them.. aside from using wraps/splints/smbs for protection from cuts scrapes and bumps, your not gaining much, your losing strength in the long run.

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The thing that differs with the two is that smb's wrap underneath their ankle, therefore adding more support. I dont ride in either very often. I mainly use splint boots and if i do use any type of wrap its becuase i'm jumping and its to protect if she hits a rail.

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I do believe that polos offer support. When a person hurts their wrist they wrap it for support.

ehhh... yes and no. Wrapping a sprained wrist doesn't really "support" it, as much as it limits the range of movement to enable healing.

Plus the wrist and the lower leg of the horse may be anatomically the same structures, but they function differently. With the weight bearing and pressure on soft tissue in the lower leg, there's really not much that humans can do to "support" any better than the structures themselves, and many of those things we do to "support" can actually cause problems (especially thick boots, which create a ton of heat which can actually cause damage to tendons and ligaments).

I still say the very best way to "support" the soft tissue of the lower leg is to add flexibility to the muscles of the upper leg, which the soft tissue attaches to. More flexibility in the muscles means more elasticity and give for the tendons, so the tendons stretch less while the muscle stretches more. :)

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