Polo wraps are long bandages that are wrapped around a horse's legs and secured with Velcro or pins. They're used on horses in many situations, including turnout, schooling, and horse shows. Many horse owners love polo wraps because they're inexpensive, machine washable, easy to use and available in a wide range of colors.
Polo wraps can be used over other bandages to protect a sore, bruised or injured lower leg. Other types of boots can irritate healing tissues, but soft, pliable wraps do not. They also protect against injury during turnout or schooling by protecting the lower leg against sand, gravel and debris kicked up in the riding ring. They also can prevent a bruise when horses rub a rail when jumping fences.
Polo wraps support the ligaments and tendons on the horse's lower legs. They actually hold them in place and in proper alignment on the leg when wrapped correctly. This can help prevent injury during strenuous workouts or while a horse is developing his strength during training sessions. They also protect the tendons from overstretching, which is useful especially during activities when horses must make sudden turns or shifts in movement.
Polo wraps are useful during training sessions to protect and support the horse's legs, but also for the rider. Many indoor arenas have mirrors placed on the walls so that riders can check their position. Using brightly colored polo wraps on your horse's legs while riding in an indoor arena makes it easier to see his leg position during schooling. Brightly colored polo wraps also can be used during lunging to make the legs easier to see.
Many riders just like the way polo wraps look. White wraps used on all four legs of a dressage horse can make the horse's movements appear symmetrical and balanced. Some horse owners use bright neon orange wraps along with neon colored halters on horses turned out during hunting season to prevent hunting accidents. This is useful especially on dun-colored horses or horses that can be mistaken for deer.
Jeanne Grunert has been a writer since 1990. Covering business, marketing, gardening and health topics, her work has appeared in the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books, "Horse Illustrated" and many national publications. Grunert earned her Master of Arts in writing from Queens College and a Master of Science in direct and interactive marketing from New York University.