What Boots Should My Horse Wear?
Protecting your horse's legs is essential if you want to keep him fit and happy. Boots serve to prevent injuries during competition, and stop recurring injuries in those horses with a less-than-perfect form. However, choosing the right boots for your horse can be a real challenge. A visit to the tack shop will see you faced with a huge array of boots. It's not always easy to know which should be used to protect your horse.
Although horses are very sturdy animals, they still require protection in some circumstances. There is a wide range of different horse boots that help to protect their legs and hooves in various situations. If you are an experienced horse owner, you probably already know about the different types of horse boots and when you should use them, but if you are a new horse owner, you might not have a clue where to start when selecting the right boots for your horse. This article will tell you everything you need to know about horse boots and how to use them. Knowing which boots are which and when they're most useful is vital before you consider making a purchase. Bear in mind that they don't just exist to make your horse look good – they offer essential protection!
Splint boots, also known as horse brushing boots, are used to protect a horse’s legs from injury during exercise. When a horse is running, the hoof on one leg can strike the lower opposite leg and cause an injury, this is known as brushing. By fitting your horse with brushing boots, you give it a layer of protection to prevent this injury.
Horse hoof boots
Horse hoof boots are used as an alternative to traditional horseshoes. In most cases, people will use horse boots if a shoe is lost and there is no farrier available to replace it right away. However, horse hoof boots can also be used as a form of protection for barefoot horses instead of using shoes. They are used in all riding disciplines, but most commonly trail riding and endurance riding. Any working horses that spend a lot of time on hard pavements will also benefit from wearing horse hoof boots. You may also need to use a horse hoof boot if your horse has an injury and they need extra protection and support on their hoof.
Ice boots for horses
People often get the wrong idea about ice boots for horses and assume that they should be worn by horses when walking on icy ground, but that isn't the case. Ice boots are designed to hold ice packs in place on a horse’s leg. There is a wide range of different ice boots available to cover different areas of the leg. They are used when a horse has an injury to reduce inflammation and they can also be used after vigorous exercise to prevent laminitis in horses.
Magnetic horse boots
Magnetic horse boots are a remarkably effective way to prevent injury from trauma during exercise. The magnets in the boots relax the capillary walls and improve blood flow around the legs. This brings more oxygen to the muscles and helps to increase recovery time after exercise. For the best results, you should put magnetic boots on your horse for 30 minutes before they exercise and then another 30 minutes after exercise. In some cases, magnetic boots can also be used to treat specific injuries and help your horse to heal faster.
Horse Brushing Boots
Brushing boots protect the inside of your horse's legs from the opposite hoof knocking into the lower leg and the fetlock. They run from under the knee and down the inside of the leg, covering the fetlock. These boots are multi-purpose and are used for schooling, hacking and competition (if allowed in the rules).
Brushing boots are useful all-rounders which effectively protect your horse’s legs from injuries caused by the opposite leg. Injuries can happen when one leg brushes against the inside of the other. Brushing boots are padded to cushion the leg and the boots are a good option for schooling and hacking or for when you turn out your horse.
Learn more about brushing boots
If you would like to learn more about brushing boots, then Equilibrium has an excellent guide here.
Horse tendon boots
Tendon boots are used on the front legs to protect the tendon area from hoof strikes. When a horse extends its hind legs forwards, it is common for hooves to connect with the tendons and cause injury. This is particularly common when cantering or when landing after a jump, so tendon boots should always be worn when a horse is engaging in these activities.
Tendon boots are only used on the front legs and serve to protect the tendon on the back of the legs. They're most commonly used in show jumping, where the hind legs sometimes catch the tendon upon landing. The fronts of these boots are open, which means that a horse won't knock poles down with the front of their cannon bone as they pick up their forelegs. Tendon boots run from just under the knee, also protecting the fetlock.
Tendon boots are styles which are fitted to the front legs. They are favourites with show jumpers and both protect and support the tendons and ligaments which run down the back of the legs. The tendons and ligaments can be injured by impacts from the back legs during high energy activities.
Fetlock boots are fitted to the hind legs to protect your horse’s fetlocks. They are short boots and so are comfortable to wear even for horses which dislike wearing boots.
Over Reach Boots Online
This type of boot protects the front legs from injuries caused by impacts with the rear hooves. Over reach boots are often fashioned from rubber or neoprene. They fit neatly around the hooves and are comfortable for horses to wear.
Our range of over reach boots also features pastern wraps, stable chaps and close contact boots. You will find the perfect horse boots here at Equi Supermarket and at the best prices. If you are unsure as to which boots best suit your horse’s needs then our friendly team will be happy to help you make the right choice.
Protect Horse Heels With Over Reach Boots
Over reaching is a gait fault resulting from a timing problem between the movement of the horse's hind limbs and front limbs. This faulty gait can lead to the hind feet striking the back of the front legs when he walks, trots or gallops. The hind feet striking the back of the forefeet whilst still on the ground can cause injury to the lower limbs, especially on the heel bulb. Severe bruises, cuts and abrasions can be the result. Over reaching can also lead to shoes being pulled off. This is where over reach boots come in.
Over reaching most often occurs during fast exercise and jumping, however, it can also happen when walking too. Over reaching has many possible causes, including the form of the horse (horses that over reach tend to have short backs and long legs), discomfort in the front limbs, age, fatigue and poor riding techniques. Many horse owners, including myself, have opted to purchase over reach boots.
What are over reach boots?
Over reach boots are circular shaped boots worn around the pastern on the front legs in order to prevent injury to a horse's lower limbs. The level of protection that is required from these boots will vary between horses and activities. If you're unsure about the right type of boot for your horse, it's a good idea to ask other more experienced equestrians who can share their expertise with you.
I don't know where I would have been without my horsey friends when I first started to look for boots for my horse Henry – there's so many of them on the market that is can get really confusing! Over reach boots can be used during schooling, hacking, eventing, show jumping, turnout and even transporting. They are available to buy in a range of materials, with rubber and neoprene being two of the most popular. I personally chose the Woof Wear Kevlar over reach boots for Henry due to the fact that they're very tough and durable. A few pals have opted for the Equilibrium Tri Zone over reach boots which are just as tough as well as being waterproof and rot-proof.
How do I fit them?
Over reach boots must be fitted in the correct manner in order to provide the maximum possible protection to your horse's legs. It's also essential that they're the right size. Many companies will provide a size guide to help you find the right boot size according to the height of your horse. The boot must be fitted snugly around the pastern so as to prevent it from moving too much.
The boots should cover the bulbs of the heel, having around 1cm of clearance from the ground (when the horse is stood on a hard, flat surface). If the boot is too low down, there's the risk of the horse stepping onto the boot and tripping. A boot that is too large will touch the ground each time he puts his foot down, which can lead to constant rubbing up and down the pastern.
Fetlock boots are similar to brushing boots in that they prevent injuries from impact between legs, but they focus on one specific area of the leg. The fetlock is the joint between the cannon bone and the pastern (the joint just above the hoof). In some horses, this joint is particularly prone to brushing injuries and fetlock boots are designed to prevent this.
You can often see fetlock boots being used with tendon boots in show jumping classes. Covering the inside of the fetlock, they absorb the impact of fetlocks knocked in the air or upon landing. These boots are a lot smaller than tendon boots, so it's important to check that they're secure before the beginning of a class.
Knee and hock boots
Some horses have an irregular stride, and this can cause knees to knock together or impact between hooves and knees. If you notice scuffed hair and blood around a horse’s knees after exercise, this is a sign that it has an irregular stride that needs correcting. Horse knee boots help to protect the knees from injury and correct the irregular stride.
Knee and hock boots are hard and protective and are used mainly for travelling. The knee boots work by protecting the front of the knee, absorbing knocks whilst the horse is the trailer or horsebox. The hock boots cover the back of the hock (often with a felt or wool covering the sides of the joint). These boots are particularly useful if your horse likes to roll around in the stable, as they can prevent cuts and grazes.
Travelling boots have become a lot easier to use in recent years. Once upon a time, you'd need to put your horse in a combination of knee and hock boots and bandages. These days, it's possible to buy boots which cover the horse’s legs from the knee to the coronet, or the hock to coronet on the back legs. Travelling boots are often quilted for comfort and have Velcro closures.
It is always exciting when you set out on the road. However, travelling can be hazardous for your horse. Horses can become stressed, restless and agitated by the travelling process and this can lead to injuries. It is wise to invest in the right horse travel products to ensure that your horse receives the best protection. From horse travel boots to tail guards we have a range of accessories to help keep your equestrian friend safe in transit.
Protect Your Horse's Legs
Your travel gear should certainly include horse travel boots. Horses’ lower legs are extremely vulnerable and so are prone to injury in transit. You should fit your horse with horse travel boots every time you use your horse box. When horses become agitated or bored on the road they can injure themselves and they may suffer from knocks caused by sudden movements of the vehicle. Other horses in the box also represent a hazard.
Horse travel boots are longer and have more padding than the other boots that you may use. Their primary function is protection and so they do not need to offer the same freedom of movement as the boots your horse wear when you are riding. You should ensure that the boots are fitted tight enough not to slip but not so tight as to be uncomfortable.
Introduce Travel Boots Gradually
Your horse may not be happy with the boots when they first have to wear them. For this reason it is best to acclimatise them to the travel boots before they make their first journey wearing them. You can do this by fitting the boots for short periods of time at the stable until your horse is no longer concerned by them.
If you would like to invest in horse travel boots then you can do no better than the Bridleway and Amigo travel boots we feature here at Equi Supermarket.
Horse travel boots represent a small investment that could save your horse from big trouble in transit. Don’t leave home without them!