How to apply a horse tail bandage

Watch How To Place A Horse Tail Bandage from the how to specialists. This tutorial will give you useful instructions to make sure you get good at horses, horse riding.

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How to apply a horse tail bandage

Bandaging is a skill acquired with practice. It has a variety of purposes — warmth, support, protection and immobilisation. Whatever the specific use of the bandage, it must be correctly applied to give firm, even pressure. If a bandage is too tight, it can restrict the circulation and lead to the formation of pressure sores or serious injury such as tendon damage. If a bandage is too loose, it will not serve its purpose and can become a hazard to the horse.

Bandaging the limb

Essentially, any bandage should have three layers.

On the inside is a non-stick clean dressing, which is attached to the wound. If there is no wound and you are applying a protective or support bandage, this layer is unnecessary.

The middle is the crucial padding that protects any injury, absorbs discharge, controls swelling and helps prevent bandage rubs. If this is skimped on or forgotten, the horse will suffer.

The third is the outer wrapping, which holds the bandage in place and provides extra support.

When a bandage is applied to the leg, it is vital that sufficient padding, such as gamgee or cotton wool, is used underneath to distribute the pressure evenly. Before the bandage is applied, any wrinkles in the padding should be smoothed out to avoid creating pressure points.

When the bandage is applied, half its width should be overlapped on each turn, which will also ensure that the pressure is evenly distributed. If ties or Velcro fastenings are used to secure it, they should be fastened at the same pressure as the rest of the bandage, with any knots lying on the outside of the leg, thereby avoiding exerting pressure on the tendons at the front and back of the limb. It is safer to use sticky tape.

It is important that the padding protrudes from the top and the bottom of the bandage, to prevent it rubbing on unprotected skin.

If a bandage is applied too tightly or is uneven, it is possible to cause pressure sores in the underlying skin, which will result in unsightly white hair growing on the horse’s leg when it has healed. In more severe cases, it is possible to cause a “bandage bow”, where the underlying tendons are damaged due to the excessive pressure.

If for any reason a horse is not bearing full weight on the affected leg, the opposite leg, or, if necessary, all three limbs, should have support bandages applied.

Checking bandages

Bandages should be checked twice daily to ensure they are neither too tight nor too loose. You should just be able to insert two fingers between the top of the bandage and the skin. If this is not possible, the bandage may be too tight. However, if it is easy to insert two fingers, with the bandage sagging away from the fingers, it may be too loose and liable to slip.

Wounds

When bandaging a wound, the same basic principles must be followed, although it is also necessary to consider the covering to be applied to the wound. A non-adherent dressing should be used so that it does not stick to the wound surface — for example, Melolin or Allevyn.

The dressing will also provide additional padding over the surface of the wound and should be secured in place. An ideal base for this purpose is a thin layer of cotton wool such as Soffban or Orthoban, which cannot be applied too tightly, as it will tear if any tension is used when applying it.

The gamgee or cotton wool padding should be applied over the top of this layer, and secured in place with a conforming cotton bandage. Then the third layer of self-adhesive bandage material, for example, Vetwrap, may be applied to help secure the bandage.

Awkward areas

Although applying a bandage to the lower limb (cannon bone and pastern) can be relatively straightforward, other areas pose more of a challenge. When a bandage is applied to either the hock or the knee, the constant movement in the joint can lead to it loosening and slipping down the leg, which will create pressure points in the skin and structures beneath.

In addition, care must be taken to provide adequate protection for the accessory carpal bone on the forelimb, and the point of the hock in the hindlimb. These are bony prominences with very little soft tissue, and are therefore extremely susceptible to the development of pressure sores.

There are proprietary elasticated zip-up “stockings” available in a range of sizes, designed for use specifically on knees, hocks or fetlocks. All that is required is a non-stick dressing over the wound, secured in place by a thin conforming layer of cotton, before the stocking is applied. In the case of knee and hock wounds, a stable bandage is applied to the lower limb to provide additional support and prevent the stocking from slipping down the leg.

Tubular bandages, such as Tubigrip, can also be used to hold a dressing over awkward areas such as joints. The bandage is secured to the hair above the joint with an adhesive dressing such as Elastoplast. A stable bandage is applied to the lower limb to secure the bottom of the tubular bandage. These should be used with care, as repeated application and removal of adhesive dressings can make the skin sore.

Specialist bandages

While it may not appear to be a specialist type of bandage, a tail bandage needs careful application. It is the only bandage that is applied directly to the skin with no padding layer underneath, and because of this it is vital that it is applied correctly.

A tail bandage is frequently left on for long periods of time, depending on the length of a journey, and, if it is applied too tightly, can restrict the circulation in the dock. This may lead to loss of tail hair and sloughing of skin and in serious cases, where the blood supply is completely occluded, the tail may have to be amputated.

Following abdominal surgery, for example, for colic, a belly band may be applied. This is a large bandage that goes all the way round the horse’s abdomen to provide increased support to the incision and prevent contamination of the incision, for example, from bedding in the stable if the horse lies down.

The belly band can either be a proprietary large elasticated bandage applied over a gamgee pad to protect the incision, or it may be an adhesive bandage wrapped around the abdomen over a gamgee pad. If a belly band is used for any length of time, padding must also be applied over the spine to prevent the development of pressure sores.

Another specialist bandage is the Robert Jones bandage, which offers very firm support and is used for:

  • the stabilisation of certain fractures
  • to support an injured limb
  • to protect the limb following surgery

It can be applied to either the whole limb or just the lower half. A non-stick dressing is placed over the wound and held in place by a layer of orthopaedic padding. A thick layer of cotton wool is then applied, secured and compressed by a conforming cotton bandage. This step is repeated a number of times until a solid, support bandage is achieved. A final, adhesive layer is then applied.

This veterinary feature was first published in Horse & Hound

Planning on venturing out with your horse but concerned about how to bandage his tail? Tail bandages can be tricky if you haven’t done them before so we’ve teamed up with Liz Daniels from the British Grooms Association. She’s been grooming for over 20 years and knows a thing or two when it comes to bandaging. Here she explains how to get tail bandages right.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Start from the top and work your way down to the bottom of your horse’s dock

Tail bandages don’t just help keep your horse’s tail clean, they protect his dock as well, but you have to be careful that you put it on properly.

A loose tail bandage can easily fall off and get wrapped underneath your horse’s legs during travel, whereas an overtight bandage can cause damage to the tail.

To put a bandage on correctly, you must do the following:

  • Make sure that your horse’s tail is clean so that the bandage doesn’t rub.
  • Start at the top of the tail and bandage down in even loops (a good guide is to bandage down half the width of the bandage at a time).
  • Once you reach the bottom of the dock, start working your way back up.
  • Tie your knot to the side of the dock so that if you’re travelling your horse, he doesn’t have a pressure point on his dock.

You should be able to easily fit a finger inside the bandage and all the way around his dock. Tight bandages can cause serious rubs and wounds, so always be aware of how tight they are.

Never use a tail bandage for more than a few hours and use a tail guard instead if you’re travelling long distances.

Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products available on shop shelves, on sale now. See what’s inside the latest issue here.

We wrap tails for a few reasons.

  • During shipping and trailering, you can use a wrap around the dock to protect the hair and the bone from the end of the trailer or airplane container.
  • This type of wrap also works well to “tame” the hairs at the top of the dock after a tail clipping or pulling. You can read more about pulling tails here.
  • You may also want to protect your horse’s tail at a show if it’s braided and he will be hanging out in his stall for part of the day.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

There’s a lovely braid under this wrap!

You have a few choices if you need to wrap your horse’s tail.

  • You can buy a neoprene and velcro version. These are super for trailering, easy on and easy off. Just know that neoprene doesn’t breathe so well, so you may end up with a sweaty bum and tail.
  • You can also try an ace bandage. This works better for taming hairs than protecting the dock during shipping. Try not to wrap too tightly. During shipping, some folks also like to braid the tail loosely from the dock down. The purpose of this is to protect the tail hairs on the dock from being rubbed by a butt bar or back door on the trailer. Be sure to try this on the ground to be sure your horse can tolerate a tail wrap before you load up.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

  • You may also want to wrap your horse’s tail if it has been braided. This keeps the braid and hairs tidy in between classes, and in some cases overnight. An ace bandage is a great tool, just tuck the end into the wrap and skip the pointy metal clasp.

Some owners also wrap the tail in a tail bag, to protect it from urine, getting stepped on, or sun bleaching.

  • This certainly helps the condition of the tail to remain clean and soft and detangled. However, you give up good fly swatting and sometimes a mare will actually get the tail bag soaked with urine, defeating the purpose. Make sure you have good fly control measures in place before you use a tail bag.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

This tail is wrapped for shipping.

Take care when using a tail bag to avoid securing it near the dock.

  • You should tie it just below the bone. Tail bags should also be checked every day to prevent hair damage and to check for urine on the bag.

What tips do you have for using tail protection and wraps?

We wrap tails for a few reasons.

  • During shipping and trailering, you can use a wrap around the dock to protect the hair and the bone from the end of the trailer or airplane container.
  • This type of wrap also works well to “tame” the hairs at the top of the dock after a tail clipping or pulling. You can read more about pulling tails here.
  • You may also want to protect your horse’s tail at a show if it’s braided and he will be hanging out in his stall for part of the day.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

There’s a lovely braid under this wrap!

You have a few choices if you need to wrap your horse’s tail.

  • You can buy a neoprene and velcro version. These are super for trailering, easy on and easy off. Just know that neoprene doesn’t breathe so well, so you may end up with a sweaty bum and tail.
  • You can also try an ace bandage. This works better for taming hairs than protecting the dock during shipping. Try not to wrap too tightly. During shipping, some folks also like to braid the tail loosely from the dock down. The purpose of this is to protect the tail hairs on the dock from being rubbed by a butt bar or back door on the trailer. Be sure to try this on the ground to be sure your horse can tolerate a tail wrap before you load up.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

  • You may also want to wrap your horse’s tail if it has been braided. This keeps the braid and hairs tidy in between classes, and in some cases overnight. An ace bandage is a great tool, just tuck the end into the wrap and skip the pointy metal clasp.

Some owners also wrap the tail in a tail bag, to protect it from urine, getting stepped on, or sun bleaching.

  • This certainly helps the condition of the tail to remain clean and soft and detangled. However, you give up good fly swatting and sometimes a mare will actually get the tail bag soaked with urine, defeating the purpose. Make sure you have good fly control measures in place before you use a tail bag.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

This tail is wrapped for shipping.

Take care when using a tail bag to avoid securing it near the dock.

  • You should tie it just below the bone. Tail bags should also be checked every day to prevent hair damage and to check for urine on the bag.

What tips do you have for using tail protection and wraps?

Boots & bandages are important in all equestrian sports

Wraps and Leg Protection

Horse leg wraps and boots can be used during riding, training or showing for leg protection and support to the tendons and ligaments while running, jumping or turning, against “interference” from one of the horse’s other hooves, or for protection when hitting a jump.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Horse Boots Explained

There are many types of boots that are used for protecting the horse’s legs during riding, training, competition and turnout.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Horse Wraps Explained

Leg wraps may be used for protecting a horse’s legs during shipping and riding, or to treat and prevent injuries while stabled.

Horse Boot Examples

There are many types of boots that are used for the greatest protection against concussion to the legs during riding, training, competition and turnout. These boots are typically leather or plastic and are fastened with Velcro or straps that cross the front of the horse’s leg.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Open Front Boots

Open Front Boots protect the tendons and ligaments on the back of the horse’s leg from concussion with a jump or with other legs but are open in the front, allowing the horse to feel impact if they do not jump high enough and have a rail. They are commonly used for jumpers to provide protection but to still keep a horse “careful” if they have a rail. Open front boots are usually only worn on the front legs.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Splint Boots

Split Boots protect the inside of the leg, specifically, the cannon bone and fetlock. They often have extra protection like a pad or thicker piece of material on the inside of the leg to protect against impact. They are used for horses that tend to hit themselves regularly and also to protect the leg during turnout.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Ankle Boots

Ankle boots provide protection specifically to the back and inside of the ankle and are typically just worn on the hind legs. These boots are used by all disciplines and types of horses for hind leg protection.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Galloping Boots

Galloping Boots protect the entire cannon bone from the inside of the fetlock to just below the knee or hock. They are often used instead of polo wraps and can be worn on front legs or all four legs. They have various amounts of padding, lining and protection and are lined with fleece, neoprene and some shock absorbing gels. These are used in a variety of disciplines for general protection.

Leg Wrap Examples

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Track or Knit Bandages

These wraps are stretchy and are fastened with Velcro. They provide stretchy, conforming support around the horse’s legs to keep tendons and ligaments tight as well as minor protection against the horse’s leg being hit either from another hoof or impact from a jump rail. Race horses wear these, hence the name “Track Bandage,” as well as horses in other disciplines.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Polo Wraps

Like Track Bandages, Polo Wraps provide support to tendons and ligaments as well as minor protection. Polo Wraps are not as stretchy as Track Bandages. They are made from fleece and are slightly thicker than a Track Bandage. They are used on Polo Horses, hence the name “Polo Wrap,” but are also commonly seen on “>Dressage horses, Hunter/Jumpers while practicing, and during competition in the Jumper and Equitation rings.

How To Wrap a Polo Wrap

Did You Know?

Boots and some types of bandages are used to prevent horses from injury while other bandages are used to treat injuries.

Stable Bandages

How to apply a horse tail bandage

These are used for protecting legs while horses are stabled. They prevent swelling or “stocking up” and can also reduce swelling from a cut or pre-existing injury that is being treated under the bandage. They can also be called “Standing Bandage” or “Standing Wrap.”

Stable Bandages and Shipping Bandages use the same types of wraps. Both have a quilted pad around the horse’s leg with a thinner standing wrap around the quilted pad. Shipping Wraps are sometimes longer to cover more of the horse’s pastern. It is very important that both Stable and Shipping Bandages are applied correctly. If they are wrapped too tight or incorrectly, they can cause injury to the horse.

Shipping Wraps & Boots

Specialized wraps and boots are used to protect a horse’s legs while being transported in a horse trailer.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Shipping Bandages

These are used to protect the horse’s legs during transportation. They are wrapped so that they protect the area from the lower leg and ankle to right underneath of the knee.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Shipping Boots

Often, if horses require leg protection solely for transportation, a commercial shipping boot can be used. Shipping boots are heavy duty Velcro boots used to protect the lower leg and heels during travel and are easily put on and off with three Velcro strips. There is less of a risk for injury using a Shipping Boot than a Shipping Wrap.

How To Wrap a Shipping or Standing Bandage

Shipping and Standing Wraps must be wrapped correctly to protect against injury rather than to cause injury! A “Quilt” is the padding that goes underneath the Shipping or Standing Bandage. The quilt should be wrapped beginning on the inside of the leg with the roll of extra bandage on top and should go in a circular motion around the horse’s leg from the inside to the outside.

Pressure should always be put on the front of the horse’s leg where the bone is rather than on the back where the tendons and ligaments are. Pressure on the wrong part of the leg could cause an injury or “bow” to the tendon!

Once you have placed the quilt on the horse’s leg, hold with one hand and begin to wrap the bandage the same way and direction, with the extra wrap roll on top, in an outward, circular motion from each leg. Your wrap should begin in the middle, gradually going down around the ankle, back up to underneath of the knee, and finishing with the Velcro in the middle. The Velcro should be fastened pointing to the horse’s tail if it is wrapped in the correct direction.

PRO TIP

If you get confused about which way to wrap, pretend you are swimming the breaststroke and wrap in the direction that your arms would be paddling from your left and your right.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Hi everyone! Well I have another diy project for you, I am going to show you how to diy a horse tail bag. This project is so easy to make, and it will help to keep your horse’s tail tangle free. This was a very fast project and it only took me about 20 minutes to make 2 tail bags.

And it was very inexpensive, it cost around $5.00 for enough material and stickers to make at least 6 tail bags. So that means it cost me $0.83 per tail bag! This is a lot less than buying one.

To make your own tail bag you will need

How to apply a horse tail bandage

  • Slinky type material – I found the material I bought at Walmart
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Fabric glue
  • Letter stickers (optional)

And that’s it! You don’t need a lot to make a tail bag!

When I was making this tail bag, I didn’t make sure it was perfect. I really just wanted to see if I could do it. So I didn’t make sure everything was perfect, I didn’t even use pins to piece the material together. I just went slow with my sewing and it was very simple.

How To Make A Tail Bag

The most important item for a homemade tail bag is the fabric. I found the fabric I used on a recent shopping trip to Walmart. The fabric is silky and stretchy, like the material made for slinky products. I am not sure if it is lycra, but it is strong, flexible and silky smooth. The texture of the fabric is important because I didn’t want it to ruffle up my horse’s tails.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

I wasn’t sure how much fabric I would need, so I bought 2 yards and the total cost was $3.94. Once I started cutting out the material, I realized 2 yards would make around 8 tail bags! So the cost per tail bag is around $0.83 each! That is a great bargain, especially when you consider the fancy tail bags cost from $8.00 to $20.00 per bag.

Sewing the Tail Bag

To get started, you will cut the fabric for the tail bag. I folded the fabric in half, and then made the folded part the bottom of my tail bag. Then I measured the length of the tail bag, this one is 28” long total. After I had the length, I measured the fabric horizontally, 6” wide, and then I cut the fabric. I didn’t use a straight edge, but you could if you want to make sure it is perfect. I just used the edge of a table to follow.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Once I had the piece of fabric cut, I then measured 4” down from the top and made a little cut, about 1 ½” into the fabric. Then I folded the other side over top of the cut I had made and duplicated the cut. Do not cut all the way through, because these will be the ties at the top of your bag. Now lay the fabric out again, and from the top, cut out the excess fabric. Then your tail bag will really start to take shape, and should look like this:

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Now your fabric is ready to be sewn. You will be sewing the fabric inside out. Fold the fabric so that the outer sides are facing each other.

If you want to pin the fabric to keep it perfect, you can. But I chose to just go for it, and start sewing. You will start the sewing at the bottom of the bag and sew the stitch to the top of the bag. Run the needle backwards, and then again forward at about the last inch or so. This will make the stitching solid and secure.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

Once this side is completed, do the same thing on the other side.

Now that the sides are stitched, you will need to sew the little corners at the top of the bag. You will be sewing about 1 ½”, so go slow!

Your main construction and sewing of the tail bag is now complete. Now turn the tail bag right side out and turn your attention to the ties. You will fold over the edges of the ties and stitch them. I did just the very outer edge to give the ties a finished look. I also folded the top of each tie, and stitched this as well. Once you have all if the sides of the ties stitched, your tail bag is ready to be used!

Personalize Your Tail Bag

But if you are making multiple tail bags, you may want to personalize them so you will be able to know which tail bag belongs to which horse. This is where I added some letter stickers, making each horse’s name on the bottom of the tail bag.

How to apply a horse tail bandage

I found these stickers at Walmart, and each sheet cost $0.97. I bought 2 sheets, to be sure I would have enough stickers! I also found them on eBay even less expensive! I found glitter stickers for $0.74!

I also used a fabric glue to adhere the stickers to the fabric. This way they will stay in place. I also put a piece of cardboard in the tail bag while I was gluing on the stickers. I did this because I did not want the glue to go through the fabric on one side, and adhere to the other side of the tail bag.

Once the glue is dry, your tail bag is ready to use!

How to apply a horse tail bandage

This project is simple, and gives you a useful piece of horse clothing. And if you only have one horse, but make 5 or 6 tail bags, why not sell them? After you have made the first one, your finished product will get better and better. You could sell them for $5.00 a piece, which is still cheaper than what you can find them for online, and you will make around $30.00! You could make a little extra money, and your tail bag would be free!

If you are a visual learner, I made a video on my YouTube channel, The Budget Equestrian, and you can watch me make a tail bag from start to finish.

I love simple projects like this that I can make something useful for my horses. How about you? Do you have a project you made for your horse? I would love to know about it! Tell me what you made in the comment section below.

Bandaging has been done in one way or another throughout the ages. In fact, the basics of the concept have really not changed much through the centuries. Sounds simple, right? Well, if you get on the Internet to research bandaging, you will find

Bandaging has been done in one way or another throughout the ages. In fact, the basics of the concept have really not changed much through the centuries. Sounds simple, right? Well, if you get on the Internet to research bandaging, you will find lots of “how-to” articles that give a great description of exactly how to apply various types of bandages.

Okay, so now you have directions. What types of materials do you use? Now it gets trickier. You can choose from literally thousands of bandaging materials. To top it off, terms like “dressing” actually mean different things depending upon the product you are considering. For the beginner, it might seem a bit daunting.

So, following is a helpful guide to the terminology and uses of a variety of bandaging types and their applications.

The Terms

For the most part, bandages are applied to horses for a few basic reasons:

  1. To provide support for tendons and ligaments during work;
  2. To prevent or reduce swelling;
  3. To protect from injury;
  4. To provide a barrier from contamination; and
  5. To aid in healing.

Primarily lower legs are bandaged, so we will focus there.

“Bandages” break down into three main parts: the bandage itself, the dressing, and sometimes a poultice or wound dressing.

The Bandage

The bandage itself is a piece of material designed to support a medical device of some sort, such as a dressing or splint. It is often made of an elastic material to offer some compression. One innovation welcomed by horse owners was the introduction of Vetrap by 3M in the 1960