Do's and Don'ts of Applying Polo Wraps
Posted on May 12 2015
Do's and Don'ts of Applying Polo Wraps by Suzannah Simon of EqueSimon Dressage for Equestrianista.
One of the most common questions that I get from riders perfecting their horse management skills is ‘how do I correctly wrap a polo!?’ Therefore, below is my step-by-step guide on how (and how not) to properly apply a polo wrap.
Step 1. Pre-Wrap Check
Run your hands from top to bottom of each leg feeling for heat, swelling, cuts or abnormalities. This will give you a baseline for after you remove the wraps. There is nothing worse than asking yourself post-ride, ‘was that there before?!’.
Step 2. Getting Started
DO wrap from FRONT to BACK starting at the middle of the leg—This will support the tendons without causing damage. Continue to wrap down the leg (cannon bone) evenly with consistent tension until you reach the top of the ankle (fetlock joint).
DON’T wrap from BACK to FRONT—This can cause damage to both front and hind legs including bowing of the tendon.
Step 3. The Ankle
A: B: C:
Once you have evenly wrapped down the main portion of the leg (cannon bone) it’s time to master the ankle.
A: Slant your wrap downward, being careful to not create a bubble or wrinkle in the wrap (this can also cause problems like bowing of the tendon).
B: Wrap around the base of the ankle with even tension, bring the wrap back up as you come around the front of the leg.
C: As you complete the ankle, look at the front of the leg. You should see a “mountain” as shown in figure C. Continue by wrapping back up the leg.
Step 4. The Final Product
When you reach the end of the wrap, you should be at the base of the knee/hock joint. Secure the wrap and evaluate. The polo should cover from the base of the knee to the base of the ankle. It should be even and taught, but not extremely tight.
Step 5. Post-Wrap Check
After you finish with your workout, remove wraps and allow legs to cool (ice or hose if necessary). Check to see if there is any swelling, heat or scrapes from the workout. Also, it’s recommended to rinse (weather permitting) and dry the legs in order to prevent fungus or other unwanted post workout complications.
A: B: C:
A: Wrap too tight. Though it is important for wraps to be snug, a polo that is two tight can irritate tendons (Superficial Flexor & Suspensory tendons), as well as limit blood flow.
B: Bubble in wrap. This is an easy fix! Role the wrap back to the beginning of the bubble, straighten the wrap and try again.
C: Wrap too loose. Not only is it not providing support to the leg, it can come off during a workout causing even bigger problems.
-Have someone check your wraps. Until you become comfortable and proficient with wrapping. This is VERY important. Polo wraps can cause significant damage if not wrapped properly.
-Practice, Practice, Practice! Wrap about 1,000 polos and it will become second nature.
-Ask for help! It’s O.K. not to be good at EVERYTHING. Ask your trainer to share his/her tricks and tips.
Equestrianista would like to thank Suzannah Simon for her content for this blog post. Follow Equestrianista for more How-To's, as well as equestrian fashion schooling tips and New Arrivals of equestrian style. Find out more about the Equestrianista Clothing Brand here.
Suzannah Simon is an FEI Bronze & Silver medalist rider/trainer, a former working student for Caroline Roffman & Endel Ots and was recently selected for the USDF/EF Young Rider Graduate Program Conference.