EquiCrown® Compression Bandages
By April Ray-Peterson
I always want to do the best that I can for my horses, especially during show season when they may be stressed more than usual. I heard about the EquiCrown® compression bandages and the more I researched them, the keener I was to try them.
It just made sense. Runners use compression socks and sleeves to aid in their performance and recovery – why shouldn’t we apply the same logic to horses? While these bandages have many uses including injury and surgical recovery, wound and scar treatment, and support after stall rest or surgery, I wanted to use them after exertive rides and jumps on harder ground, and to combat stocking up when stalled for extended periods. I always stable wrap my horse at shows, and was happy to find what I hoped would be a more effective alternative.
Compression bandages are used to help the horse’s lymphatic system function properly. In human applications, there are four compression classes ranging from CCL 1 (mild) to CCL 4 (very strong). The EquiCrown® bandages use a CCL 1 compression pressure, which is sufficient for horses’ sensitive legs, to help support lymphatic flow and blood circulation through the application of external pressure. They also promote the drainage of lymphatic fluid resulting in a thinner and healthier leg. Suggested use is for two hours (minimum) up to 24 hours, depending on the reasons for use.
There are standard sizes to choose from and the size chart makes it easy to measure with just two simple measurements on front and back legs.
The incorporation of hooks, a zipper and Velcro® fasteners ensure there are no pressure points created and the anatomical design produces even pressure on the leg. I found them really easy to put on and faster than stable wraps. If used daily, weekly washing is suggested to restore compression.
I first used the bandages after a big jump school and left them on for a few hours. As the show season progressed, I have kept them in my tack box and used them on a daily basis while competing and trailering. Any swelling or stocking up that used to be present after hard work and being confined to a stall for a weekend show has been avoided. The horse can also be lightly worked in these bandages if desired.
The product I tested is EquiCrown® Fit. For horses with open wounds or sensitive skin, EquiCrown® Silver has an antibacterial effect from knitted-in silver threads to prevent infection. For more chronic lymphological problems, EquiCrown® Med provides product options for the whole leg or the hock, available through a veterinarian or animal therapist.
Juzo, the manufacturer and the original company behind human compression stockings, has over 125 years of product knowledge. EquiCrown® bandages are in use by professional riders in Germany including reiner Grischa Ludwig and endurance rider Sybille Markert-Baeumer, both champions in their respective disciplines. The bandages have just become available in Canada this year, distributed by Strathcona Animal Bedding of Sherwood Park, Alberta, which offers a number of quality barn and equine products.
Based on my positive experience with EquiCrown® bandages, I will definitely continue using them for support and protection for my horse.