How can I protect my horse's legs before and after competing?

XL vet, Kirstie Pickles, offers her advice on protecting a horse's legs who frequently competes on uneven terrain.

There's an inherent risk in riding horses at speed over rough ground and there's little evidence that boots or bandages reduce sprains and strains. 

The best protection against such injury is to prepare your horse well. Ensure he's fit and used to moving over uneven terrain, but don't over-train as fatigue could cause stumbling or poor foot placement. 

Allow him to recover between events to prevent physical and mental fatigue, and regular farrier visits will help prevent overgrown feet and loose shoes affecting foot balance and placement.