If my horse needs a leg wrapped in a standing wrap, do I have to wrap the unaffected leg, too?


AH - this is a debate on par with horseshoes, blankets, and clipping!  Nothing like this question to really divide the horse world into YES and NO.  So I decided to just ask someone.  So I picked Dr. Orsini, a laminitis specialist at the New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania.  


And once again, it’s case dependent.  Dr. Orsini boiled it down to this simple formula - for a muscular or skeletal issues, you should wrap both the affected and the unaffected leg.  For superficial things like cuts, wounds, etc, you can likely skip wrapping both legs and focus on the leg with the issue.  Dr. Orsini also mentioned that if you have a weight bearing issue - the uninjured leg will take more weight and can develop into supporting limb laminitis.  Proactive icing and diligent Veterinary visits are warranted.  



These wraps on all legs are after 3 hours in a trailer, 5 hours on a plane, and 3 more hours on a trailer. 


Spend the time talking to your Vet about how long your horse’s affected leg needs to be wrapped.  Can it get some air?  What about the other unaffected leg?  Also - determine a schedule for wrapping and ultimately decide how many legs need to be wrapped.  


Consider the following factors:


  • Is your horse going to be on stall rest?  Some horses stock up, and wrapping as a preventative measure is a good idea, especially on the hind legs.  So, you might be wrapping all of the legs.  Yeah for spaghetti laundry!


  • Does your horse into getting tangled up as he chews on his wraps?  Well, aside from hanging the biggest hay net in the universe, you may want to skip wrapping both legs as the unwrapping process might be more destructive.  And definitely find a deterrent, like strong soap, to coat the wrap.  You can also use hot sauce, but the active ingredients of capsaicin will test positive at shows. 




The first time I posted this picture to social media - you guys were MAD!  


  • What’s the weather like?  Well, if you are in the middle of a hot humid heat wave, wrapping legs is likely the last thing you want to do unless absolutely necessary, like maybe overnight.  If your horse has in and out privileges, wraps might not work well if rain is in the forecast.  Plan accordingly.  


  • Is the affected leg partially or completely non weight bearing?  In that case, you will want a plan to prevent laminitis in the weight bearing leg.  Dr. Orsini explains that if you have a weight bearing issue - the uninjured leg will take more weight and can develop into supporting limb laminitis.  Proactive icing and diligent Veterinary follow ups are warranted.  


Once you have the wrapping plan sorted out, you can focus on what color of wraps to use!