From Endurance to Dressage
A Pressure Bandage How-To
Over the past year I have become somewhat skilled at applying pressure bandages to legs - equine legs not human. It started with Izzy's hind leg which required pressure to discourage the over granulation of tissue (proud flesh) as the wound closed.
If you're a new visitor, you can read all about Izzy's wound including how he got it and what it looks like today. Just follow the Izzy's Leg link on my blog side bar. There are enough posts there to keep you busy for at aleast a few hours.
Now that Speedy has been diagnosed with "tendonitis" (my vet didn't want to give it the classic bowed tendon label because a bow is such an ugly word), I am once again applying a pressure bandage. This time it is to a front leg. And just to insert an update here, Speedy's leg looks so pink because Dr. Tolley shaved it down to bare skin for the ultrasound. The small bit of swelling that appeared over the weekend is already gone.
I know some of the people who follow my blog don't have a lot of experience treating wounds that aren't simply superficial, so I thought I'd share one way to do a pressure bandage. Surprisingly, it's easy to do and mostly requires a good grip with a little muscle power. To start, here are the materials that you'll need.
Before you start, I've found a couple of things to be helpful. First, make sure your horse is pretty immobile. Both of my boys have learned to stand while I work on them. If your horse isn't patient now, it would be a good idea to work on this now so that you won't have to fight with him when it counts. Secondly, and I learned this through experience, make a neat pile of your materials and put them within arm's reach. There is nothing more irritating than having to let go of the cotton because you can't reach the gauze. Ask me how I know!
And with that, here's how to apply a pressure bandage:
That's it. I can get a leg bandaged in under five minutes once I've got everything laid out. One of the reasons I like to start and stop my bandages in the same place is so that when I take it off, I can find the ends. While you can cut it off, I hate sticking sharp scissors down the leg; I prefer to unwind my bandages for removal.
There are many ways to bandage. Some people like to always go counter clockwise, no matter which leg, and others like to spiral up and then down. I am not sure that it actually matters. I am simply following my vet's suggestions, and since it has worked so well, it's the system I use. Please share if you have any special tricks or tips to make the process easier.
3/12/2016 11:59:35 am
Nothing like a tidy bandage. You get pro status these days. ;D
3/13/2016 07:58:23 am
Isn't it interesting how there are so many thoughts on bandaging? I was taught to wrap to the inside and pull across the bone, but when Izzy was injured, I had to pull across the back of the leg where the tendons are to protect the injury site.
3/12/2016 05:09:06 pm
Tip of the day ... pick up a pair of "bandage scissors" (http://www.amazon.com/Prestige-Medical-Lister-Scissor-Bandage/dp/B002WJHE1K/ref=sr_1_2_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1457831308&sr=1-2&keywords=bandage+scissors)
3/13/2016 07:59:33 am
Thanks for the reminder! I actually have a pair, but they must be cheap as they have never worked very well. :0) Maybe I ought to dig them out and see if they work any better now.
3/13/2016 08:00:21 am
I am glad you haven't needed to brush up on your skills. That means all is well. :0)
3/14/2016 12:53:12 pm
I kind of love the look of a freshly wrapped leg even though wraps don't usually mean good things are going on under there. The idea of doing a pressure wrap myself is kind of scary because I've always been so careful to make sure any normal wraps don't get too tight!
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
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