Jane Fonda may have turned 76 but her leg warmers still rock. Not my personal fashion choice, but lucky thing they are back in style and easy to find if you trim a herd of Gypsy horses. Oh, those gorgeous feathers in their furry loveliness—not the easiest of trim situations.

Embarrassing confession: I owned this record.

My 9-year-old Gypsy mare client, Solstice, developed insulin resistance-triggered laminitis. Part of her recovery included booting (size 9 Easyboot Trails with pad combinations) and frequent trims. Those feathers aren’t so lovely when they obscure landmarks important to therapeutic trimming from a radiograph. Solstice was not happy with the extra handling and stress on her feet.

Is there a hoof under here?

I tried men’s socks (too small to fit over a large, distorted hoof), polo wraps (too bulky) and vet wrap (couldn’t stand up to leg handling and not reusable). Enter Jane Fonda! Seeing leg warmers return to discount store shelves, I hit on the idea of trying them for hair control. Inexpensive and washable, leg warmers were the answer. They went on snug, and I got a good view of the entire foot when all those feathers disappeared temporarily. Additionally, I didn’t have to apologize to Solstice’s owner for accidently rasping away that lovely hair. Trims were more pleasant for everyone. 

Solstice questions my method…

Many trims and management changes later, Solstice is sound in her gravel paddock and trotting in her Easyboot Trails on gravel roads. She is still particular about hoof handling, so I bring out the blue warmers when it’s her turn. Who knows? Maybe the hoof boot and leg warmer combo will catch on as fashion-forward feather control on big-footed horses.

Ruthie Thompson-Klein, Equine Balance Hoof Care