Wrap it Up with NFR Champ Martha Josey
Wrapping legs as precisely as possible was something I did as I traveled across the country during my NFR and barrel racing career. I was blessed to not only be a National Finals Rodeo qualifier 11 times, but I also took home the world champion title. During that time I achieved multiple AQHA & NBHA World Championships as well as an Olympic Medalist. I truly believe what lead to those wonderful accomplishments are the care my horses received and all the extra things I did for them.
Leg wrapping was a step I never skipped. Frequently, I get asked why and when to wrap legs. When you watch a horse slide around the barrel and power out of it, their legs are constantly moving. Since the legs do so much work my main goal is to keep all the swelling and stiffness out of them. The other reason I wrap is for protection. Whether a horse is in a stall, being hauled, loaded, or unloaded from a trailer, they run the risk of injuring their legs. Standing wraps to me are great insurance to help prevent injuries that could happen outside of the arena.
If I have a horse with a tendency to stay slightly swollen, I start wrapping and preparing his legs 2-3 days prior to my run. I will sweat the legs 12 hours with a good liniment or poultice to get the fluid out and make the legs nice and tight. Once I pull the standing bandage and no bow wrap off, I rinse and ice the legs. When I have the majority of the fluid gone, I like to follow up with a brace like Draw it Out (DiO). Even though I can also use DiO as a bandage liniment, I call it a brace because it continues to take inflammation out and tighten the leg up without the wrap in place. I continue with my routine of undoing the wraps every 12 hours or while I ride followed by cold water therapy letting them dry and then wrapping again.
After I saddle my horse for my run I pull my wraps off, put my competition boots on and get ready for my run. This is why I really like DiO, since I do not need to rinse or worry about my horse’s legs blistering. After my run I do cold water therapy and ice followed by wrapping his legs back up in my no bow- standing bandage wraps with DiO.
Swelling is an indication of inflammation and possibly injury so staying ahead of it and preventing further damage is very important. Keep in mind if a leg swells up and stays swollen for more than 24 hours it’s time to consult a vet especially if the swelling is in the tendon area. Knowing how to wrap a leg is extremely important for the serious competitor so be sure to watch for my tip next time on how to properly wrap a horse’s leg.