equipment

Share your Back on Track secrets!

Christmas came early for a certain roan mustang: I ransacked the Riding Warehouse Black Friday 25% off sale and bought, um, way more than I should have. I regret nothing. The only thing I’m not over the moon delighted with was a pair of $5 gloves on super clearance. They’re fine. They’re just not perfect winter gloves. That quest continues.

Anyway.

Two of the things I indulged in were Back on Track items. I experimented with the hock boots about two years ago, borrowing them from the barn manager, but they were too big and I just never quite had the discipline to follow through on them. I have wanted to try again with properly-fitting ones ever since, so 25% off and some side income made it worth it.

I am now the proud owner of a dressage saddle pad and hock boots. The hock boots fit great!

The saddle pad makes me wish again, once more, with feeling, that more companies made cob-sized dressage pads, because, well.

It could be worse! But it could also be waaaaaaay better. (Whither thou goest, Classic Equine dressage pads, with the square corners and the perfect cut and the great quality? Why, why, have you gone entirely over to Western equipment? Sigh.)

Anyway. I put the hock boots on while grooming, and left them on for our walk warmup, then removed them. (Maybe I should have put them back on for cooldown?) I used the saddle pad…as a saddle pad. I don’t think there’s much of a secret there.

But I want to know if I can optimize my use of the hock boots. I was reading through the material they included (YES, I KNOW) and they had things like “after seven weeks of use…” What does that mean? Continuous? A couple hours a day? Am I not leaving them on for long enough? I require more direction than that!

So: what do you do? Do you leave BOT stuff (the stuff that’s meant to come off, anyway) on for longer? Every day? I’m particularly interested in things like the hock boots – and perhaps the quick wraps, if anyone has those. I am considering getting the quick wraps after Christmas and want to think about whether I should have them on overnight, or before riding, or after, or…? Your experience sought!

11 thoughts on “Share your Back on Track secrets!

  1. Oh god, the saddle pad I got for Maggie is gonna be huge!! XD This will be my first experience with BoT as well, so I’m afraid I’m not much help, but I’m interested to hear what others have to say!

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    1. I am pretty used to saddle pads looking huge on him but…yeah, it’s going to swim on Maggie. But in our first ride his back was loooooovely and through and swinging, so aesthetics be damned, I’m going to use it every ride.

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  2. I think you’re supposed to start with an hour and then work them up to full overnight use? Beka gifted me a pair of quick wraps to try to combat the swelling in Bobby’s cancer leg and I went right to overnight use with them without any troubles. They worked fantastic, too.

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    1. yes, start slow, build up to overnight wear. *science black box too lazy to type here*. The quick wraps took Shaughnessy from puffy post injury and lame to not… in just a few days.

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  3. I used the BoT hock boots on both my mares Sparky and then years later for Snappy every night for a long time (she was stalled at night). I have not bothered to ever buy a BoT saddle pad (even though I love the idea), because it will totally be too big for my cob/pony sized horses! I have accepted the fact I cannot buy a saddle pad I want unless it is specifically pony sized, because companies have decided that all dressage horses must be 17+ hands. Kind of the same as my complaint about all dressage bridles coming with a flash noseband. *sigh*

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    1. Tristan is 15 hands, I share your complaints! The saddle pad wasn’t TOO bad on him, though. Certainly I’ve seen worse. And I really was happy with my first ride in it.

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  4. I have a BoT ankle brace for myself that I use every night. I wear it while I’m sleeping and it helps SO much. But it doesn’t work if I just wear it for an hour or so. I had the elbow brace when I tore a tendon in my elbow and it also helped. But again, only if I wore it for hours. The hock boots instructions suggest working up to it, but eventually leaving them on overnight. My horses live outside so I’m not doing that, but I use them at shows when they’re in pens or stalls and leave them on overnight. I have never tried the saddle pads because I can’t see them helping much in the <1 hour usually ride.
    Also, you have a sewing machine, why not trim/he the saddle pad to fit?

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    1. That’s good to hear about leaving it on overnight. We may work up to that.

      I have thought about trimming the saddle pad. I am to terrified to cut up such a $$$ thing though. I am thinking about making myself some saddle pads in the size & cut of the old Classic Equine pads, which I know fit Tristan beautifully. If I’m successful in that, I may try my hand at modifying the BOT pad.

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  5. One piece of advice: GET THE QUICK WRAPS. I throw them on Roger after any particularly hard flat rides and/or rides where we jump (he’s got osselets in his front ankles from racing) and I leave them on overnight. They help to manage any swelling or “angryness” that might crop up in his ankles or front legs, and I’ve been really happy with the results. For me, it’s easier than using poultice multiple times a week, and my BO can quickly remove them before Roger gets turned out in the morning. It’s recommended that you wean your horse onto using anything BoT, so don’t try to have Tristan wear them overnight the very first time you use them: I’d start with an hour or so, and build from there. You can also throw the wraps in the regular wash and then let them air dry, they wash REALLY well.

    But yeah, get the Quick Wraps. Highly recommend!

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    1. This is great to hear! They are definitely bumped way up my list after all the positive reviews. Tris does get puffy fetlocks pretty regularly – they’ve never affected his soundness, but it’s still not what I’d like to see.

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