Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Favorite New Use for Vet Wrap

As you might have read previously, I have something called Morton's Neuroma - a cluster of nerves in the middle of the ball of my right foot that causes excruciating pain when my foot is in the stirrup. Of course this causes all kinds of problems - losing stirrups, grippy knees, tension, even losing my balance on a simple trot circle ... It was very depressing.
The 'cure' for me at this point is probably surgery - riding just keeps the area painful all the time. Once it starts, riding without stirrups doesn't help - it's there and affects everything. I'd have to ride without stirrups all the time. So I decided to look for cushy stirrup pads and went on line to do my research.
Here's the interesting and great part (maybe everyone but me knows about this?) - I stumbled upon a forum where people were talking about cushioned stirrup pads, or stirrup pads to help you keep your stirrups, and someone who exercises horses at a track wrote that at the track they wrap their stirrups in vet wrap to keep their feet warmer in winter and to help avoid losing stirrups.
I tried it and it is like a miracle! Okay, maybe miracle is exaggerating, but it is a wonderful and cheap, cheap, cheap solution. It was instant riding makeover / pain management. The pain is pretty much gone (it was with me on and off the horse, because the stirrup kept it irritated), and I don't loose my stirrups (the pain caused me to be so tense that I'd loose either of them, not just the one with the pain), meaning my riding is better and Rogo can go better, without me losing balance and smoothness. The only thing I had on hand was pink wrap that I bought on sale at a horse expo. Here's what it looks like on the stirrup:
Just make a little pad for the foot bed area, then hold it in place and wrap four or five times around the stirrup. I'll check to see if I can compete with this (I'd use black or grey), but I don't see why I couldn't. Anyway, that's my favorite new use for the duct tape of the horse world.
Rogo is home and I'm enjoying our rides soooo much. He is going well. We're focusing on adding polish to the level one movements of leg yield, trot and canter lengthenings and back to working and the simple change through trot at X needed for test three (this is the area he needs the most work). He aces the counter canter loop, so I only do it occasionally - I'm worried he might counter canter when it isn't wanted because he does it very easily.
We're also continuing some of the things we started at our lessons at Fraser's - shoulder in, travers at walk, 10 m canter circles, etc. and I've had him on one short hack. For the first time we had a nice canter in a field without him trying to instantly gallop. It felt so great to canter along on him through the longish grass. It doesn't take much to impress me :) I should clarify that I love a good gallop on the trail with Savanah, even bareback, but I want to be the one to ask for it :)
Hope to get caught up on my blog reading. I've missed what's going on with my blog world community for too long!
Also, I'd love to know - what is your favorite use for vet wrap? Should we write a book :) ?

16 comments:

Val said...

Yay! I love cheap, quick fixes.

I am not familiar with the condition which you described, but I experienced some foot pain myself the other day. I rode in Ariat paddock boots instead of my Mountain Horse high boots and several hours later my right foot was so painful that I could barely walk. The pain was exactly where the stirrup had rested. I think that the support in the Mountain Horse footbed is so much better that I do not have this problem. Have you tried different footwear?

Carol said...

Hi Val,
Coincidentally I ride in Mountain Horse high boots. I ws looking for the corresponding stirrup pads when I found the vet wrap trick. I think there are probably boots or orthodics even that could help, but I just don't know what they are. I'm sure the right boot for your foot makes a huge difference.

Story said...

What a great solution! I love that, "the duct tape of the horse world".

In our barn, the most common use for vet wrap is to put long show tails up. Braid the tail, loop it around until it makes a small package, then vetrap it to keep it safe and clean.`

TBDancer said...

I have Morton's neuroma, also, and had cortisone shots that "fixed it." Every now and then I find a pair of shoes that make me remember I have this issue, but I just don't wear them often (or for very long when I DO wear them).

The vet wrap solution is genius!

Kelly said...

Sounds like you are progressing by leaps and bounds with Rogo! Loved your catch up post on what you two are working on.

Very good use of vet wrap - so glad you found something that works so well for your foot.

My newest use for vet wrap...I wrap Riva's tail up with it when trailering to a show. I wrap it all way from dock to tip and then put a tail bag on it. Lovely, still white and black tail when we get ready for the ring!

Now Thats A Trot! said...

Awesome that you found relief from such a quick (and cheap!) fix.

I wrap my stirrups occasionally, as a trick I picked up from other eventers. In my case, it's to help with grippiness -- the treads on my boots are so worn down that if I try to sink weight into my heel, my foot shoots right out. I had been compensating by "holding" the stirrups with my toes, and didn't realize it for the longest time. I tried getting new stirrup pads, to no avail. In my case, it wasn't a matter of pain, but annoyance and safety. If I'm riding something really green, I want my stirrups where I expect them!

The wrap offers just enough friction that I can step into the stirrup normally and let my legs drape -- no more digging down to keep them on my feet! And I can still kick out of them easily in an emergency.

I believe wrapping your stirrups is permissible under USDF/USEF -- at least, I can't find anything in the rulebook stating otherwise!

prairienerd said...

I have a western saddle that I enjoy trail riding in occasionally and a number of string girths of varying lengths. The string girths have a metal rings at each end to tie the latigo to, and these metal rings tend to get rusty over the years. I don't know if the rust would ever chafe the horse's sides, but I don't want to risk it. I wrap the metal in vet wrap. It's also a cute pop of colour under my fender.

I've never heard of wrapping your stirrup pads in vet wrap before, but I am going to try it. I hate cold feet!

Annette said...

I know what you mean by losing the stirrup. When my foot was broken, I couldn't keep my foot in the stirrup to save my life. I have tenderness in the balls of both my feet that radiates into my toes like sharp needles, and have to wear shoes with thick soles as a result. I don't think its the same thing you have, or as severe, but painful nonetheless.

Dom said...

Great fix!

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Way to improvise!

Glad you and Rogo are moving forward, though I didn't expect to hear differently. I hope you can manage the foot situation and stay free from pain. :)

Vilde Marie said...

maybe if you put something like a small sponge or something a bit springy under the wrap it would be even better? just a thought, but maybe it's good enough as it is. I get pain from my stirrups too, so I'll definitely try this myself :)

Carol said...

Thanks for all the feedback everyone.
Annette - I think you may have the same thing I have. Try the vet wrap, it's amazing!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Sorry about your foot pain that must hurt terribly. Glad you found some relief with the vet wrap. I wonder if you tried the vet wrap with more comfortable stirrups you would feel even better. I did a review on the stirrups I use and really like them.
Here's the link: http://greyhorsematters.blogspot.com/2011/04/product-review.html

These are really comfortable to ride in too.

Sounds like you're making good progress with Rogo too. I can't see why it would be against rules to vet wrap your stirrups in classes.

Grey Horse Matters said...

p.s. your husband might benefit from these stirrups, check out the post and see if you think they would help with a hip problem:

http://greyhorsematters.blogspot.com/2009/07/review-herm-sprenger-stirrups.html

Lori Skoog said...

What a great idea. So glad it brought you some relief.

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