Regular care and cleaning of your horse’s boots and wraps will protect him from rubs and catch potential breakages before they happen.
Caring for Wraps
It’s important to clean your wraps regularly, because they can pick up burrs and mud which can work their way up inside the wrap, against the horse’s leg and be a considerable irritant.
Wraps should be cleaned when they are removed, and before they are rolled ready for the next use. Use a brush to remove dust and mud particles and pick off any burrs you find. Most wraps available nowadays are washable and if the wraps are very muddy, you can throw them in the washing machine, putting them in one of the mesh laundry bags sold for the purpose of washing panty hose. This should prevent them getting into an impossible tangle. They should be allowed to dry thoroughly before rolling
To roll wraps, start at the end with the velcro or ties and fold it over and then commence rolling. I personally fold the ties in to the inside of the roll, and then roll in the same direction, but it can also be done the other way. Just make sure you remember which way you did it, or you run the risk of wrapping the entire leg, only to discover the ties or velcro are on backwards and you won’t be able to fasten the wrap! To make rolling easier (handy if you have a lot to do) you can get a little gadget that rolls them for you.
Caring for Leather Boots
Leather boots should be cared for the same way you care for all your leather items. Use your preferred method, be it saddle soap followed by leather conditioner, or an all-in-one cleaning and conditioning product, making sure not to get any on the lining.
As you clean, check the stitching, especially on the straps. Any rotten stitching or loose straps should be fixed or replaced as soon as possible. Flapping straps are a danger to a galloping horse in the same way that flapping shoe laces can trip a person.
The lining should be brushed to remove all dirt and loose hair that has accumulated. They should be stored in a dry place to prevent mildew.
Caring for Synthetic Boots
Synthetic boots are much easier to care for, usually requiring nothing more than a quick hose down. The velcro fastenings seem to be hair and fluff magnets, so you’ll need to clean them regularly to ensure that the velcro continues to work correctly. Work them over with a stiff brush or, in bad cases, pick out the fluff and hair with a pin.
Hang the boots up to dry and then store them in a dry place.
Looked after properly, boots and wraps should last a long time and provide your horse with many years of comfort and protection.
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