Horse Boots (Hoof Boots)
Horses wear boots for many different reasons whether it is for traveling, competition, turnout or therapy, boots will help to protect the horse from injury and in some cases offer support to the leg as well.
Boots are worn by the horse on the front and hind legs, from the knee down, and the type of boot that is chosen will decide on what area of the horses leg it will help to protect.
Boots can be made of synthetic material, leather or rubber. And are secured in place with either tough velcro fastenings, or a leather buckle.
The strap of a boot will always do up from the front of the leg to the back of the leg, if there are two straps that do up one on top of the other then, the first strap does up from the front of the leg to the back of the leg, and the second strap which goes over the top is secured to go from the back of the leg to the front of the leg.
By using two straps the boot is held more firmly in place. All of the straps are done up on the outside of the leg, this prevents the buckles and straps from being knocked by the adjacent leg.
Always clean the boots after each time you use them, by either brushing them out or washing them down. This will prevent dirt and mud from rubbing the inside of the leg and will help them to last longer.
Types of Boot
There are several types of boots for different purposes.
Over Reach Boot
These go around the pastern, and hoof, and help to protect the heels from being struck into by the hind foot. They can be used on any horse prone to injuring their heels and are more commonly used for show jumping and cross country riding where the risk of heel injury is increased. Over reach boots are made of synthetic or rubber material, and can be fastened with a strap and buckle, velcro closure, or be a continuous rubber surround. Boots which are continuous are often called bell boots, they stay in place but can be difficult to put on and remove. Boots which are made up of several petals attached are very good at staying in position and not flipping up which protects the heels even if one petal gets pulled off the others remain in place.
They act to protect the inside of the leg from being knocked or brushed into by the opposite leg, These can be made of leather or synthetic material, and have either a velcro or leather buckle closure. They can be secured win place with either a two or four single straps or, two double straps, which is where the first strap is done up as normal from the front to the back, and then a second strap is added over the top, which goes from the back to the front of the leg, this keeps the boot securely .in place.Sizes range from pony to extra large horse, and brushing boots can be fitted to the front or the hind legs.
These are used by mares when at stud, they are made of felt and are placed over the feet to protect the stallion from being injured.
These can be used when a horse looses a shoe, and are fitted to go over the whole hoof and protect the sole, and frog from damage. They are made of tough rubber material with a secure clasp fastening, this makes them sturdy and long lasting, which is ideal if you are on a long distance ride and still have many miles to cover before reaching a farrier.
Magnetic Therapy Boots
Are known to have healing powers, they work by stimulating the cells and tissues helping the body to re charge and in some cases reduce pain.
These are fitted to the front legs and can be open or closed at the front of the leg. Open fronted are mainly used for show jumping as they offer protection to the tendons which run down the back of the leg, and are open at the front, which encourages the horse to pick up there front feet, rather than bashing the pole. Tendon boots often come with a tough tendon guard, which runs down the back of the leg, and , protects the tendon from being struck into by the hind leg. Many brushing boots now come with a tendon guard built in to the boot, which offers the horse all round brushing and tendon protection. Fleece lined boots are quick drying and comfortable.
Mainly used for show jumping, these are fitted to the hind fetlocks and prevent the horse from brushing the fetlocks together. They can be made of synthetic or leather and come in pony, cob and full sizes.
This is a ring of rubber which fits around the heel of the horse.Its purpose is to prevent the hoof and shoe from causing damage to the elbow when the horse is lying down.
These are made of tough synthetic material and are worn to protect the horses legs when traveling. They should cover the knees and hocks and should extend to just below the coronet band, and are held in position with tough velcro closures.
These are used to protect the horses knees when riding on the road or during transit. They can be made of leather or synthetic material, and are secured with a strap and buckle just above the knee, which does up from front to back with the buckle on the outside to prevent it from being bashed by the opposite leg.
These are worn over the hocks to prevent injuries such as bruising or knocks from being caused by the horse leaning on the sides or ramp of a lorry or trailer during transit.
This is a hind brushing boot which has an increased upper edge on the inside of the boot. This prevents horses who have a high brushing action from injuring the opposite leg.
Water Or Hose Boot
This allows you to have the circulatory effects of water being passed through a boot. Hose boots are used to reduce swellings and bruising and can have a hose attachment which passes directly into the boot, this reduces the need to stand and hose the leg manually.