Special care needs to be taken when bandaging a horse's hocks. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get it right
A hock bandage can protect and support the joint. Special care must be taken not to apply pressure to the point of the hock.
When applying a knee or hock bandage, put on a stable bandage, too, as this will help to prevent it from slipping down.
1 Place a sterile dressing on top of the wound.
2 Wrap a padding bandage over this and around the leg above the hock, to hold the dressing in place.
3 Bandage around the hock in a figure of eight, without covering the point of hock.
4 When you get near the end of the bandage, lightly cover the point of hock with a single layer.
5 Apply a cohesive bandage over this, to hold it in place. Begin at the top, circling the leg twice to secure.
6 Again, continue to bandage over the hock in a figure of eight, without covering the point of hock.
7 When you've nearly run out of bandage, lightly cover the point of hock with a single layer.
8 Pinch thebandage over the point of hock and carefully cut it.
Always bandage legs in pairs - ie, two fronts or two backs - so the uninjured leg has some support and is less likely to be damaged or strained if your horse favours this one.
Obviously a bandage needs to be tight enough to stay up, but too tight will do more harm then good. If it's safe to do so, slide your finger in the top to check.
Handsome Bay Thoroughbred Gelding 16hh, 8 years
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