Is ‘matchy-matchy’ in your horse’s best interest? Vet speaks out

  • A vet has spoken out against the “matchy-matchy” trend and its potential health implications for horses.

    Former British team vet, Campbell Thompson of Nantwich Equine Vets has urged riders to carefully consider whether their horses need to wear bandages when being exercised.

    He said more riders are choosing to wear bandages due to the “matchy-matchy” trend, where horses are kitted out in colour-cordinated tack, including bandages, saddlecloths and sometimes ear bonnets.

    Mr Thompson warned that horses’ legs can overheat if bandages are worn in warm weather or during more vigorous exercise, and as a result horses may be susceptible tendon damage.

    “I have no problem with boots that are open and breathe — tendon boots should be hard at the back to protect from overreaching [when jumping] and protective boots should be worn during cross-country, but I can’t see the point in [bandages] for flat work at all,” he told H&H.

    “Think about it — does your horse really need bandages?”

    Mr Thompson said his other “pet peeve” was people claiming bandages provide horses with leg support.

    “To provide support you would have to bandage the leg so tightly under the fetlock that you would cut off the blood supply,” he said.

    “Some boots may give very small protection that have a strap under the fetlock, but there is no amount of bandaging that can do that.

    “Badly applied bandages can be really dangerous.”

    Continued below…

    A post surrounding the subject entitled ‘Fashion vs health’ was published on Nantwich Equine Vets’ Facebook page, written by Emily Westwood.

    It has been shared more than 3,000 times and received hundreds of comments.

    “I was surprised by the response, we’ve had lots of questions from people,” added Mr Thompson. “I had no idea people would be so energised.”

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    This week’s edition (10 May) features our full report from Badminton, including in-depth analysis, expert comment, pictures and more. Plus, read our feature on the options for retiring your horse and in this week’s vet clinic we look into the challenges of equine surgery

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