Equestrian Blog

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Horse Boots for Travel and Exercise

There is a wide range of leg protection available for your horse, but it can be difficult to know which if any is best suited to your horse's needs. Although many horses do not need any extra support for the level of exercise they do, boots can offer protection from accidents that can happen to anyone. It is extremely important to ensure any boot or bandage fits correctly so it can't rub or slip on the horse's leg.
Brushing boots are an excellent all round boot, they offer minimal support to the leg but are perfect for horses with a close action or times when the horse may move his legs too closely together. The striking pads offer protection to the horse's vulnerable fetlock joints, this can be especially useful for young horses who haven't perfected their balance under the saddle. Brushing boots are an excellent boot also for lunging, the constant bend that the horse is working on can mean he catches one leg with the opposite hoof. Teaching and riding lateral work is also a time when it is advisable to provide extra protection to your horse's lower legs. Confusion in aids and resistance can result in the horse striking himself as he moves, the use of brushing boots again on all four legs can protect against painful knocks and grazes.
Competition boots offer support or protection and sometimes both to a horse's legs whilst jumping or competing. The most popular boots for show jumping are tendon boots, these offer protection and support to the tendons but still allow the horse to feel the pole if he knocks a fence. Eventing tends to require more protection for a greater proportion of the horse's lower leg. Sports Medicine Boots and Eventing Boots are a popular choice by many riders to support their horse's legs. Although not allowed in competition, dressage horses are usually schooled in bandages as their riders often believe these provide better support and protection than boots.
Some horses have a tendency to over reach with their hind legs, meaning they can inflict injuries on themselves by striking their coronet band with their hind foot. To prevent this you can fit over reach boots to offer protection to the vulnerable area. These boots come in many styles, the cheapest being pull on rubber but these can be difficult to put on and have a tendency to invert rendering them useless. More technical styles are also available ranging from velcro fastening rubber to carbon reinforced, anatomically designed boots.
54023-01 Horse's legs are particularly vulnerable whilst travelling, they can easily knock themselves in the loading process or during transportation. It is essential therefore that we use some form of protection to the lower legs to guard against injury. Travel boots provide a quick and easy padded covering to the horse's legs, usually from above the horse's knee to below the coronet band. They usually have a tough outer fabric to prevent tears and a reinforced bottom section to give extra protection to the heel and coronet area. Most travel boots have wide velcro straps making them easy to put on and remove. Some people feel that travel bandages offer better protection and support to their horse's legs so use padding secured by bandages. Care must always be taken to ensure there is no uneven pressure on the legs and that they are firmly secured so the bandages can't become unravelled during travelling.
Whilst providing your horse's legs with extra protection is always a good idea you must consider whether your chosen boots are appropriate to your horse's needs and most importantly that they fit correctly. No boots should be left on for a prolonged period of time and care should be taken to remove dirt and grease by regular brushing or washing. Any signs of wear or damage should be swiftly identified and repaired to prevent accidents or injury.

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