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RE: Re: Wrapping (looooonnnnggggg!!!)

Well, I'll bite. Can't totally agree or disagree with Bob M. on this one. I
rubbed TB's at tracks up and down the west coast and learned my bandaging
do's and don'ts from the old grooms. A "mud" or clay poltice isn't so much
cooling as drawing and supportive.  The "mud" of choice was San Francisco
Bay mud, a dark wet clay dug from the bay banks and sold at the tracks in 5
gal buckets. I was taught to add apple cider vinegar to the clay at the top
of the bucket, couple tablespoons of Alum (astringent) and knead this into a
mix about the consistency of frosting. This was then worked thru the hair,
down to the skin on the cannons and fetlocks of the equine wrappee. Good
skin contact is a must. More clay is slathered on till the lower legs are
encased in about a 1/2" of clay. Then a damp brown paper rectangle is
wrapped around the clay. Should go about twice around. Then a "cotton" was
wrapped over the paper. That's what you'all call quilts today. The cotton
was real sheet cotton, usually wrapped inside of cotton gauze or cheese
cloth to help it hold it's shape and make it reuseable (not washable). Why
cotton? Because it's firm, dense and solid under a bandage. These silly
pillow wraps are just like pillows and much harder to wrap over. You want a
firm, solid, supportive wrap if you have a need for a wrap. Then again, some
folks use the cheap, thin quilts that are insufficent if used singlely. I
have some 100% cotton quilts that are washable that I use (two per leg) if I
want to wrap a leg right. Hard to find them. Over the "cotton" or quilt you
finally put a decent standing bandage. It should be 5 inches wide by 11 or
12 feet long. Cotton flannel is good (firm and solid) or a really heavy
weight double knit is also available. You don't want to use flimsy, stretchy
bandages or narrow and short ones. A good supportive standing wrap should be
a little like a flexible cast, solid, firm, non-bunching. The water in brown
paper will slowly evaporate out thru the quilt and bandage. It will draw
moisture out of the clay which will slowly thicken and stiffen. The
evaporation, (possibly somewhat cooling) plus the alum will draw down the
fluid and filling in the horse's legs (or prevent filling) and when the
whole mess is washed off the next day the leg is typically tight and cool
(not hot and puffy). This should not be left on till the clay is completely
dried out and crumbling off. It's not doing anything at that point.
Obviously this poultice doesn't remedy heat from a recent ligament/tendon
tear but it does help significantly with filling thru the lower legs.
Commonly used in conjunction with icing/hosing and after a hard work or

So, are you hurting your horse by doing a good clay poultice properly and
removing it in a timely fashion? I think not. Are you cooking the leg? Nope,
I've felt too many cool tight legs after a good clay poultice. But if you do
it, do it right.

Bonnie Snodgrass
Southern Maryland

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent:	Friday, August 20, 1999 12:29 AM
> To:
> Cc:
> Subject:	RC:  Re: Wrapping
> In a message dated 8/19/99 7:51:03 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
> writes:
> << 
>  Please save me and my horse form such. If there is no cold running water
> at
>  least free air below body temperature will do a much better job.
>   >>
> Hmmmm, I have wondered if I'm doing the best thing for my horse.  Have you
> ever rubbed the clay on your arm?  Feels pretty good, I kind of assumed
> the 
> whole thing was having that effect.  Also, what about the "support" factor
> for tendons when trailering home from a ride?  I'm completely open to new 
> ideas -- this was just something I was taught when i started doing
> endurance 
> and have since done by rote.  Bob, your description of leg wrapping kind
> of 
> made me hungry (the chicken thing).  Off to the kitchen for a snack.
> Sylvia
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