Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Turnout Leg Wear - Reviews

Yoshi has SO MUCH leg wear. I had always been a minimalist when it came to boots. Zing and Leila both had only one set each that got used only for cross country. I have a set of standing wraps and those have occasionally been pulled out, but that was about it. Yoshi is now in possession (as much as a horse can possess...) of no less than... 3 sets of boots, one set of polos, one set of fly wraps, and one set of Sox for horses. 

The goal with Yoshi is to protect him from himself... he knocks himself with his shoes and after one of those knicks turned into cellulitis I started booting/wrapping every time I rode. Then he came in from turnout one day with 3 new scrapes on the inside of his right front, confirming what I was afraid of - he does this to himself in the pasture as well as under saddle. So now he never goes out naked. 

I have confirmed with my farrier and vet that his feet are balanced. My farrier felt like he could try a few things, but he said it would unbalance his feet. Given his soundness issues connected to his feet and the positive changes we've seen, I didn't want to do this. I'm trying to add in as much pole and cavaletti work as possible and am starting to work through a few exercises in the book 55 Corrective Exercises for Horses in hopes of teaching him where his feet are. But in the mean time, kiddo only goes out with protective gear on his front legs.

Majyk Equipe Fly Wraps: These did not stand up to him or general use nearly as well as the Shoo Fly wraps have. One perk was that they didn't rub him the way the Shoo Fly ones will if I keep them on him 24/7. But, he routinely and easily removed the front ones and they started to sag pretty badly within about 4-6 weeks of using them. I guess the softer material just doesn't stay up as well. I passed them on to a friend when we moved barns and she used them for another 2 months. By the time she bought a pair of Shoo Fly wraps they were about fetlock height and collecting all kinds of dirt and shavings in them daily. They also came apart at the top where he was pulling at them with his teeth (fair enough there, if they were otherwise perfect I wouldn't blame the wraps for that). Overall, I would not recommend these. 

Someone had helped me out and put the right front back on after he removed it which is why it is on inside out

Shoo Fly Wraps: These are very sturdy and I don't think he can remove them. Either he hasn't tried, relatively unlikely given what a busy body he is, or he can't. But either way, he always has both fronts on when he comes in. They do rub his fetlocks some, on the caudal aspect, if I leave them on 24/7. They don't do this on my friend's horse, so it may just be the fit on Yoshi and the fact that he has the osselet on the left front fetlock, making the wrap tighter around there. But I have to do one day off one day on or the rubs become a problem. Having used the older style of fly wraps (Kensington, etc etc) a lot, these are far superior, but they can't be a 24/7 thing for Yoshi. 

As far as leg protection, he hasn't come in with a scratch on his legs from knocking himself while wearing these. 

Sox for Horses: Yoshi has the Silver Whinnys. These were recommended by JT after his cellulitis episode in August. While they require more maintenance compared to the fly wrpas, they are probably the best at protecting his legs in turnout. They come in a set of 4 for $90. I got the "delicate/thin skin TBs" kind. They recommend changing every 24 hours if they're getting wet or 48 hours if they are dry. This time of year the grass is long and the morning dew pretty much soaks these daily. I have left them on for 48 hours when I can't get out to change them, and it's been fine. When I have come out around 11 or noon they've actually been dry already and his legs are dry underneath. That means in the span of 1-2 hours after the dew dries, they are able to dry. Even with consistent wear I haven't had any problems with rain rot on his legs. 

They do slip down on him. He comes in to eat every 12 hours and they'll usually be mid-cannon bone at that time. It's really easy to just pull them back up though. 

They are a bit of a challenge to get on/off even following their directions. You place a bag over the shoe to protect the sock from snagging on the nails and then pull the top up over the foot. To remove when wet, you bag the hoof then pull the top down off the foot, pulling the sock inside out. Ms. GY tried for me one time and bent two nails back pretty badly, so if I can't get out to change them for more than 48 hours, I leave him in the fly wraps and she takes those off while he's in the stall. It only takes me about 20 seconds per sock now to put them on/off, but he's also learned the system and will helpfully pull his foot to aid in getting them on/off. 

He has never come in with a scratch on his legs while wearing these. Even when they slip, they cover the areas he is most likely to hit - mid-cannon bone and down. They also do seem to help with healing up things on his legs, the 3 scrapes he gave himself on his right front healed up nicely while wearing these. 

I've only had these for a month, but so far they're holding up very well, even the soft version. I do wash them in a bag just to prevent snagging, but they recommend washing and drying like normal. While they're a bit more maintenance and work than the average horse owner likely wants/needs, they work great for my special child. They have the added perk of keeping flies off his legs. But if all you need is a fly wrap, the Shoo Fly wraps are much cheaper and easier to deal with. 

Noming on black jack on our walk a few days ago
 It's blooming ALL over the place right now and the horses love it!

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