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  • Writer's pictureSarah L Rhoades, DVM

How-To - Applying a Bandage Part I: Simple Standing Wrap

Check out my latest How-To video on Youtube!

A standing wrap is a must know for any horse owner! This type of wrap is ideal for stalled horses that tend to stock-up, as a support wrap for the 'uninjured limb' - and variations can also make this wrap work for sweat wraps, stack wraps, and even wound bandages - which is beyond the scope of this video, but fear not, I will cover later! This particular wrap is limited in that this wrap is not meant for turn out, or horses that are moving excessively, or wet environments. This wrap is also not meant to be left on for extended periods of time - it really needs to be at least removed and replaced in order to maintain its integrity.

You need three things:

1) Padding Material: Quilted cotton wrap, or a foam padding material like a 'no bow' bandage wrap.

2) Polo wrap: can be either nylon or fleece

3) Electrical Tape


1) Make sure the limb is clean and dry before applying the wrap.

2) Making sure the edge of the padding material is at about the level of the coronary band and starting at the cannon bone, and then pulling outwards around the limb, apply the padding material. The placement should be free of wrinkles - wrinkles create focal points of pressure that could cause problems.

3) Starting on the cannon bone, just above the fetlock, also pulling outwards around the limb, begin to apply the polo wrap. This is important because it prevents the end of the polo wrap from coming loose and unraveling. Figure 8 repeatedly down and around the fetlock, being careful not to come close than 1" to the edge of the padding material. This is the part of the bandage that supports the suspensory apparatus, it's application should be firm and consistent. The wrap should not be wrinkled.

4) Begin the travel up the limb, making sure with each rotation the polo wrap overlaps by at least half. Again, these wraps should be firm and consistent - if it's too loose, the whole bandage could slip, potentially creating small points of pressure that act as tourniquets.

5) End at least 1" from the top of the padding. Do not circle the same spot repeatedly like a tourniquet. If you have extra polo material, unwrap back down to the fetlock and repeat simply overlapping each rotation a bit more so there isn't excess at the top. If you find you accidentally applied the polo backwards, never fear, simple twist the wrap around so the Velcro is positioned correctly and finish the wrap.

6) Use the electrical tape in one loop going over the polo wrap's Velcro - this should *not* be tight at all, it's just to protect the wrap from coming undone and potentially causing a dangerous situation for an unattended horse.

This bandage should be removed once every 24 hours to prevent that parts from becoming loose, or slipping, or prevent any damage should the bandage be winkled or too tight somewhere.

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Sarah L Rhoades, DVM

Photo Credit Meghan Stayton of Rockin' Rodeo Creations.
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