Believe it or not! One of the hardest conversations I have ever had included telling an ex-boyfriend that I didn’t like the way he wrapped his horse’s polo wraps. I know you are probably thinking, “This girl is crazy! Obviously, she hasn’t experienced enough in life.” Unfortunately, that is not true…. Life has taught me many things and has taught me tough lessons on how to handle conflict, tragedy, death, hunger, addiction…. you name it. But for some odd reason, approaching a person about how they wrap a polo is like talking to someone about Cancer. It’s this huge elephant that sits in the room and no one wants to talk about it.
I remember the first time that someone sat down and had “The Talk” with me. I was roughly about 12 years old and started using polo wraps because they so conveniently matched every color of my high wasted 00 slim Wranglers and Rockies (Rocky Mountains at the time). Red, Maroon, Yellow, Green, Purple, Black, White, Grey, you name it, I had them and it was all about color coordination…. Thank you Marleen Eddleman. This was back in the day when performance leg boots were new to the market, only the “rich” people were able to afford the new sports technology that surfaced from Professional Choice Sports Medicine Boots. You also had your choice of regular splint boots or Bar-F.
Anyways, back to the topic at hand. I was about 3 tries into my newly purchased polo wraps and participating in a gymkhana where you were lucky to even see a horse with protective leg gear on, when I was approached by a beautiful tall blond-haired gal that ran a big, big, (did I say big) sorrel horse. Everyone talked about her horse because he was “off the track.” At the time I kind of knew what that meant, but didn’t understand the challenges that she faced. As a child I remembered seeing that he liked to run…. but turning… hmmm… not so much! She walked up to me as I was in mid sentence with a friend, interrupted me and said, “Hun? Can I take a few minutes to show you how to wrap those polo wraps correctly?” As a child, I was craving for information. I wanted to be a world champion and sitting in the dusty parking lot in the middle of a California desert, with 6 more events to go. I knew I was a long way away and “this, this could be my ticket.” Intently, I listened as she sat there and unwrapped my patient dehydrated burned out barrel horse. She explained where I needed to start the wrap and that the seam shouldn’t be exposed to any of tendons, wrap the tendons inward, pull the wrap tight across the cannon bone not the tendons, that they should be evenly spaced and start about mid-way up the cannon bone, then go down, then back up again making sure they are evenly pressured. I appreciated her helping me and to this day I still will re-wrap a leg (sometimes more than once) if I looked at it and it didn’t seem right.
Having said that I will still remember the day that I was going to “tell” him. It was after a horse’s lack luster performance that I realized that the wraps were not tight and had slipped down during the run. The bottom half looked the way that an old women’s panty hose stretches out and stacks at the ankle like the skin on an elephant. The horse had not wanted to get “in the ground” as much as we would have liked to see and he jumped out of his turns early. There were several theories thrown around. More chiropractic work, tuning, and vet work were all of some of the solutions. But the polo wrap thing, just seemed to obvious and as a friend I thought the largest disservice that I could commit to my friend, let alone my boyfriend, was the obvious epic polo wrap FAIL. I tried to find the time to say something, but no time seemed like a good time. I ultimately got in the truck and headed home in my own rig. Hands gripping the stirring wheel tightly, sweating (ok it was 103 outside) I contemplated my attempt to have the talk. I called a dear friend that said, “Don’t worry, just bring it up, either he will listen or he won’t. Who knows he might not even care.” But still I fealt like I was giving a professional trainer, the most obvious advice known to man. The type of advice that makes people’s skin cringe and their head drop as if to say… that’s not it. So FINALLY, I got up the courage. The phone rang, rang, rang (oh awesome maybe it will go to voicemail and then I can leave some generic message and hang up like I didn’t have a plan to give the most stupid advice known to man). “Hey what’s up?”, (crap he answered). “Hey, I was just thinking about the run and I don’t know if you noticed, but the polos slipped down and that might be why he wouldn’t get in the ground,” I cringed waiting for his response. “Oh I didn’t notice that, you may be right, who knows,” he said rather unclimactically.
So there it is, I worried for nothing. I don’t know if it was the problem or even a solution, but the point is… why doesn’t anyone talk about polos? I love them. I’ve used them nearly my entire life. I find wrapping polo wraps after they have been washed therapeutic. FYI… you have to wrap the female side of the velcro back into the male side or they won’t unwrap properly. I see dozens of polo wrap epic fails every weekend and have always thought someone should document these fails to spread awareness. Kind of like “what not to wear” meets “the people of wal-mart” but for polo wraps.
I was going to include a link to a video of how to wrap a polo correctly, but I was disappointed to find there was not one video that I completely agreed with. Just do a search on your own or have someone you know that is accomplished show you how to do it.
There are many ways that you can do it correctly and there are many ways that you can do it wrong! The supreme court once ruled on a very controversial topic that basically although something can not be clearly defined, you know what it is when you see it. This is very much the case with POLO WRAPS.
UPDATE … I was finally able to find a video that was a good demonstration. The only bad part about this is that the camera angle is from the front which is not how you look at your horses leg when you put them on. Hopefully is will help anyone who wants to watch.
I want to know how to do this correctly….so next time I run into you in Burger King, I am going to make you unload and show me…or better yet, come down here to Florida where Cutter and I are spending the winter and show me! This would be a good 4-H demostration!
Thanks for the info! I’m not a barrel racer, but I’ve never used polo wraps. How is the protection different from Pro Choice SM boots? Thanks!
The protection factor on a polo is actually less. For the most part when you are using polo wraps they are to protect from concussion (a horse hitting himself) rather than support. It does offer support also, but not nearly as much as the Pro Choice boots do. The nice thing about polos is that they are light weight and breathable so they don’t get hot on a horses leg. On my barrel horses I use a pro choice like boot on the front and then polos on the back.
Oh my word, it is like this blog post speaks right to my heart! haha. I too am known as a bit of a polo wrap fanatic and it makes my heart race when I see polo wraps not wrapped correctly and/or missing electrical tape because all I want to do is mention something to the owner…and you are right, it is a terrifying subject! Why? I have seen to many wraps come undone during a run from not taping.