Especially when it comes to bandaging horses, opinions differ. And that is exactly why we are taking a look today at why bandaging pads are actually so important - and under which circumstances they may even be necessary.
The world of equestrian sports: Only with bandages?
Bandaging a horse's legs is all about protection, and protection from serious injury. After all, our stable horses are exposed to very different dangers than their wild family members. And even if this were not the case, protecting the horse's sensitive legs may be a luxurious feel-good factor for rider and horse that should not be underestimated. Because in the wild, an injury to the leg can mean the death sentence for an animal - fortunately, this is quite different with our stable horses.
Bandages are not only used to prophylactically protect the horse's leg from sticks and stones, but also when the horse already has an injury. This is precisely when special protection is needed to prevent the injury from intensifying and, above all, to help it heal.
In both cases, bandaging pads are used. Let's take a look at the advantages of bandaging pads for horses, riders and animals.
Bandaging pads - protection for sensitive horse legs
For many riders, bandaging pads are an inseparable part of bandaging. And for good reason, because the bandaging pads for horses provide security in the form of stability for the tubular bone and the fetlock joint. As a cosy cushion, the bandage pads nestle against the horse's leg without restricting the animal's freedom of movement or weakening the blood flow.
But be careful: Putting on bandaging pads correctly has to be learned! In order for bandaging pads to fulfil their purpose, they must fit correctly and not too tightly. Because then this can impair the lymph flow and/or the blood circulation in the horse's leg, which would cause more harm than good for everyone involved.
And last but not least: bandages with the appropriate bandaging pads support the appearance of horse and rider. Especially in dressage, we often see bandages that perfectly match the rest of the appearance. So if the health benefits are not enough, the plus point of "style" gives you one more reason to reach for the bandage.
Bandage pads or gaiters?
Unlike bandage pads, gaiters are quick to put on and very practical! But, as so often in life, speed does not necessarily go hand in hand with quality. So in the long run, the little extra time rider and horse spend putting on bandages and bandage pads is worth it. This is because the somewhat harder gaiters usually do not fit as perfectly as the individually fitted bandages with bandaging underlay.
Furthermore, bandage pads are available in many different designs and materials. It is particularly important that the bandage underlay is breathable so that it is comfortable to wear and has as cushioning an effect as possible. If you want to enjoy long-term benefits, you should go for high-quality bandaging pads - after all, these lie directly against the sensitive horse leg and should have correspondingly professional properties.
And if it has to be done quickly, there are transport bandages that can be mounted on the horse's leg in just a few steps and thus provide comfortable protection.
Bandage pads: The conclusion
Bandages are more than "just" a nice visual highlight for dressage riding. Bandage pads are a soothing extra for the horse's leg:
- Bandage pads protect horses' legs from injuries
- Properly applied, bandages and bandage pads support the horse's stability.
- High quality bandages plus bandage pads emphasise the appearance of horse and rider
- Advantage over gaiters: Bandages and bandage pads can be individually adapted to the horse and thus offer optimal support
Although it takes some time (and above all practice) to put on a bandage and bandage pad, there are also longer-term advantages that benefit the horse's health.