Horse boots are a form of protection that are used on the horse’s legs to protect against impact, bruises, terrain, etc. There are different forms of leg protection in various materials and models that are created for different purposes such as riding, transport, or to have in the paddock.
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What kind of horse boots is there?
We will list the most common horse boots below.
The most common type of protection are brushing boots. Brushing boots are used to prevent damage to the horse's tendons and fetlock from blows from rails and terrain, but also from the horse's own legs hitting each other. There are several variations and designs of brushing boots and protection for the hind legs. The boot covers the entire leg apart from the front, which often has elastic straps. The brushing boots are lined with a soft and shock-absorbing material and often have a reinforced interior to help absorb impact. Brushing boots comes in various models. Tendon Boots and Fetlock Boots included.
When are brushing boots and fetlock boots used?
Brushing boots are a commonly used protection when jumping as they effectively protect the horse's tendons and fetlocks from hits from rails, but can also be used in ground work and dressage to help protect the horse's legs from hitting each other. Brushing boots are a very rewarding protection to care for and use. They are durable, easy to put on and take off, and easy to clean.
Bell boots are attached around the horse's ankle and protect the hooves and hoof walls. Bell boots are mainly used to prevent trampling or other damage to the hoof and coronet band. The bell boot can be used both as protection when riding as well as in the paddock and in the stable. It works well to use boots on all four hooves or, for example, just one in case of an injury.
Leg protectors are a softer protection that are mainly used in dressage and they are a good alternative to polo wraps or brushing boots.
The protection often covers the entire leg as well as the fetlock and are usually fastened with Velcro straps that warp around the leg. The function of the leg protectors is to provide optimal protection against hits to the horses’ legs while riding.
What are travel boots, why do you use them, and must the horse always wear them during transportation? Travel boots are a form of protection that are only typically used when transporting the horse. They must protect the legs against impact and the hooves against trampling when loading and during the journey.
Travel boots or travel bandage. How should I choose?
There are different types of travelling protection that are selected depending on how your horse behaves before and during transport, whether or not the horse has shoes, or if the horses might have studs on.
Travel boots are a more robust protection that can vary in fit, but a rule of thumb for transport protection to have the right effect, is that the protection should go up or over the knee and down over the hock to the coronet band. It is important that the protection fits firmly so that they do not come loose during loading or transport as it can cause damage if the horse were to get stuck. Some horses may find it uncomfortable to wear the larger and bulkier type of travel boots. Then a travel bandage may be a better option. One tip is to train the horse to wear travel boots on occasions separate to transport to help get the horse used to the feeling of wearing them.
Travel bandages are wrapped with a thicker bandage pad that should protect the horse's legs against impact during transport. When wrapping horses for travel, you should start just below the horse's front knee or withers and then wrap down to the coronet band. To protect the bulbs of the heel, bandages can be wrapped over the bulbs. If the horse is not shod, it is not as important to have comprehensive travel
protection as there is not as great a risk of the horse trampling and injuring itself, but a recommendation is to always use proper transport protection.
Can you have studs during transport?
If the horse wears studs, it is especially important to use boots, travel boots or bandages that cover the hooves to minimize the risk of trampling injuries. Bigger studs used for jumping on grass or other occasions should never be used for transport.