The verdict is in–I’m a fool for sporty, high-performance Equilibrium Stretch & Flex training wraps from World Equestrian Brands.
I have tried to be a polo wrap person. I really have. I have accumulated polo wraps in about a thousand different colors over the years, each set purchased with the same zeal and excitement: “Now that I own polo wraps in this attractive shade of lavender (or fuchsia, or cheetah-print, or whatever), I’m sure I will use them every day!”
And maybe I do use them, for a week or two. But like abandoned toys, they inevitably they end up joining the rest of my collection in a bin stowed in the way-back gooseneck of my horse trailer.
I just don’t have patience for the things. I’m a super-neurotic ex-Pony Clubber, so they have to be applied just so or else I feel the compulsion to take them off and have a do-over. And taking care of them drives me bonkers–first they get tangled up in knots in the washer, and then you have to roll them all, and who has time for that?
So it pretty much rocked my world when my friend Kaitlyn showed up at the barn with a set of Equilibrium Stretch & Flex flatwork wraps for her event horse, Casey. Not only did they go on and off easily and require very little maintenance, they were comparable–no, superior!– to polo wraps in terms of support and lightweight protection.
The wraps are made of revolutionary, high performance materials that maintain consistent body heat, blood flow and compression in the horse’s legs during all levels of activity. They keep your horse’s leg temperature stable, and as we’ve seen in recent studies, cooler legs are less prone to injury. They’re elastic enough to allow for free movement, yet they provide a generous level of support.
Other pluses: They’re easy to take on and off, so at horse shows it’s super-easy to have someone (even a clueless bystander) pull them off before you go in the ring. They come in two varieties, a flatwork version and a training wrap that offers a little more coverage and support–a student of mine whose mare has had suspensory issues recently purchased a pair. For diehard polo wrap people, there are also Stretch & Flex bandages. Depending on the style, they come in both black and, my favorite, white–I’m a sucker for the look of white polos on a dressage horse. They make anyone look fancy!
If you’re serious about your horse’s soundness and safety, I highly recommend investing in a set of these wraps. The run from $65 (bandages) to $84 (flatwork wraps) to $108 (training wraps) per pair, which pales in comparison to the amount of money I have in that abandoned polo-wrap bin. For more info, visit World Equestrian Brands.