Horse Boots, Bandages, & Wraps

Boots & bandages are important in 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.

Horse Legs boots wraps

Horse Boots Explained

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

Learn more about horse boots.

horse leg wraps illustration

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.

Learn more about types of leg wraps.

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.

Open front boots illustration

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.

horse leg splint boots illustration

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.

horse hind leg ankle boots illustration

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.

Horse Legs Galloping Boots illustration

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

Horse Leg Polo Wrap illustration

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.

Horse Leg Polo Wrap illustration

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

Horse Standing Wraps legs illustration

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.

Horse shipping bandages illustration

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.

Horse shipping wraps illustration

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.


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.

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