Does my horse need protective boots - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-10-2013, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Does my horse need protective boots

I am getting into barrel racing and I was wondering is it a good idea to put boots on my horse? I will probably be doing a show once a week. Also what kind is the best?
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-10-2013, 02:40 PM
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YES always boot up your barrel horse! There's way too much risk.

I always boot up all four legs with sport boots or polo wraps and ALWAYS have bell boots.

Classic Equine Legacy boots are what I use most, because my mare overreaches and I feel they protect her most. However it's personal preference, there are LOTS of different boot brands out there. I would definitely go with sport boots though and not splint boots.

Remember, you get what you pay for, and going for a cheap boot will give no protection to your horse. Pro Choice, Justin, Iconoclaust, Classic Equine, all good brands.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-10-2013, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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ok thanks! And the bell boots just go on the front legs or all 4? I don't really know too much about this I always ride western pleasure. Lol
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-10-2013, 06:34 PM
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You can just put boots on the front two- your horse only needs an over reach boot if they over reach or they knock their feet- but they aint ment for hinds- you can get a good skid boot for the hinds if youll be sliding to a stop.

to be truthful I've run the pattern with out any and nothing happens, lol.
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post #5 of 19 Old 07-10-2013, 07:38 PM
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I agree, barrel horses should always wear leg protection. It's a pet peeve of mine to see people run without them.

I use Classic Equine fronts on my finished horse, and my little greenie gets Classic Equines on his fronts along with overreach boots, because he's still prone to getting jumbled up. To me, boots are cheap insurance and peace of mind.

Bell/Overreach boots just go on the fronts, SMBs can go on all 4, they make special ones for fronts and backs.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 01:29 AM
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Bell boots on only the front.

Please please please use them...You never know when your horse will overreach, even when they have never done it before.

You could get away without back boots, but if you have a strong horse who digs in then you need them too.

If the horse steps on themselves running, or gets burned from lack of back boots, sometimes they will stop wanting to run completely, because they anticipate the pain. Even my greenies get booted up because I don't ever want them to hesitate about getting in the ground and working.

Toto, you are very lucky to run the pattern without boots and have no issues. I have seen many horses hurt themselves doing so. I took my mare's bell boots off for one run and she sliced through the back of her left front and came out limping badly. On the video you can see it, she fired out of the second barrel and dug in so hard she just clipped herself.

Not really worth the risk to me.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 02:00 AM
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I know we aint in the 50s anymore but I don't remember seeing a horses legs wrapped untill the 80s for barrel racing? I do think they give a little support and keep a horse from cutting themself up in the legs but don't guarantee a horse wont get injured either-- if a horse messes up they can still get a broke leg and can still stretch their tendons and ligaments wearing boots.. and that's why you work on making their legs stronger building muscle in their legs and condition them proper- boots aint an instant fix for that and the horses I've run were up to par not lucky.
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post #8 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 03:22 PM
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I personally use Professional's Choice SMB 3 boots on all four legs and then ballistic overreach bell boots on the front feet. My horse gets booted up anytime we are working on the patterns and when we compete.

The brand of boots, you will find, will vary widely from person to person because brand is really a matter of personal preference. Like as an example here, SorrelHorse likes her Classic Equine brand. While I like the Professional's Choice brand. Both brands are good brands; it's just personal preference.

Some people will also use polo wraps, which will basically work just as good as a sport boot. However, if you do not know how to correctly wrap polo wraps, then do not use them. You can physically damage the tendons/ligaments in a horse's leg by wrapping them incorrectly. So polo wraps can do MUCH more harm than good if you do not know what you are doing.

There's a lot of argument over whether boots support better than polos, or whether either one supports a horse's leg at all. I myself have actually read through the scientific studies. And it's not the 20-some-percent the companies claim their boots protect. However, sport boots do provide a little bit of support to the leg of the horse, and they do provide a little bit more support than a polo wrap. However, we are talking single digit percentages here, which really doesn't amount to much when we are involving a 1,000+ pound animal.

So I do not use sport boots on my horses for the purpose of support. I use them for the purpose of having something covering their legs. I feel like if I am asking them to perform quick advanced maneuvars at tremendous speed, that I should provide them with some protection that **might** help prevent injury.

Everyone will have their own personal prefernce, but my horses will always have sport boots on all 4 legs and bell boots on the front.

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Originally Posted by toto View Post

I know we aint in the 50s anymore but I don't remember seeing a horses legs wrapped untill the 80s for barrel racing? I do think they give a little support and keep a horse from cutting themself up in the legs but don't guarantee a horse wont get injured either-- if a horse messes up they can still get a broke leg and can still stretch their tendons and ligaments wearing boots.. and that's why you work on making their legs stronger building muscle in their legs and condition them proper- boots aint an instant fix for that and the horses I've run were up to par not lucky.
Who ever said they guarantee your horse won't get hurt if they wear sport boots?

And who said boots are a replacement for having your horse properly conditioned to run barrels?

No one is saying that.

Nothing can replace having your horse in good physical condition and fit to run barrels. And no, boots aren't going to prevent all injuries. But I've had several occasions where a horse hit themselves and tore off a chunk of the neoprene from the boot. I'd much rather the boot get damaged than my horse's leg. A sport boot is easy to replace and buy another. Missing flesh? Not so much. So that's why I boot up.
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 03:31 PM
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I fail to see why I would take any risk whatsoever with my expensive and much loved barrel horse...Especially when there is something with a little extra assurance or help in keeping them as safe as possible.

Selena tears through boots on a regular basis. Whoever hasn't had that happen is nothing but lucky.
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Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 04:34 PM
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Thanks for agreeing with me- beau.. I remember back before they had the colorful polo wraps and colorful leg boots- we used vet wrap so our tack would match or so we could have the bright colors just because it was different and loud, lol. Crazy how much things have changed!

Lol sorrelhorse- there you go using that word again 'lucky'
I do believe horses were breed for better conformation back before hoof boots- not saying they didnt get tore up but im saying it was definitely less common- when horses like chicado v were breed because of speed alone and people not giving a hoot about conformation is why more horses need things like over reach boots to compete.. I know they have a purpose and are a good piece of mind for the rider but none of my horses nicked the back of their legs and I've run them for years with out boots.. aint ever had a 'lucky' horse just breed different than they are today.

if I had a lucky horse id train them to do my scratch offs! id have a whole lotta doughhhhh! Lol.
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