Heavy Horses - do you need steel toe caps? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Maine
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I have both steel toe boots and regular boots. If I'm working with the horses in the woods logging, then I use the steel toe, only because a piece of wood falling on your foot hurts! If I'm riding or just around then barn then sometimes I don't even wear boots, I've been caught a few times wearing flip flops in the barn with my Belgian... Not a good idea I know, but I hate shoes in general.
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post #12 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 02:29 PM
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I wore steel toed boots at a farm once. Got my foot stomped on by a big grumpy draft mare... pretty lucky my toes made it out alive, my boot sure didn't make it! It had a permanent dent in it.

Steel toed boots shouldn't be anywhere near a horses foot, in my opinion LOL.
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post #13 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 02:42 PM
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Well... Mythbusters proved that under NO circumstance will a good quality rated modern toe cap amputate your toes where no cap would not end in amputation. It just isn't physically possible. If the toe cap is going to amputate your toes you're going to lose the toes anyway.

After their multiple experiments with decent sized test pools I have full faith that a steel cap will save your toes except in extreme EXTREME circumstances such as a very heavy weight falling on a blade in which case you're losing toes anyway. You might lose fractionally more because your toe cap deflected the blade but you're still losing toes without it.

If I could find a riding boot made with steel toe caps... I would buy it. Even if it was more expensive. Probably not if it was ugly, though, because I show! I have been stepped on plenty with normal sized horses, don't want to add being stepped on by a draft to the mix especially in boots that don't have steel caps!

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post #14 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluebird View Post
Well I have some evidence that there is truth to this 'so-called' myth. One of the ploughmen (aged 93yrs) I was speaking to about my Clydesdale told me that a lad he was training up wore the steel toe capped boots. They were training a couple of Shires to pull a cart. The lad got his foot in the way of one of the Shires who was also shod, and the weight of horse, hoof and horseshoe caused the steel toe cap to collapse around the lad's middle toe. He ended up with a fracture of his foot and big toe and the middle toe which was caught under the steel cap, had to be amputated. At first I thought this was a 'country myth' but I was corrected when the old ploughman told me the lad in question was his son. He said he never wore steel toe caps again around heavy horses and neither did any of the other 'fellas'. Just to clarify that Heavy Horses in the UK mean your big, giant horses such as Shires, Clydes, Percherons many of which weigh in around a ton and not heavy cobs (draft type).
Two points.

The accident occurred while the ploughman's son was a young man, which given his age, would imply that the accident occurred several decades ago. A steel toed boot manufactured decades ago is not comparable to one manufactured today, and so the perceived failure of of the former does not negate the benefit of the later. Modern safety certifications and such ensure that fact.

A weight sufficient to crush a steel cap is easily enough to shatter bones severely enough that amputation is necessary, because a bone broken into dozens of pieces will never effectively heal. The weight absorbed by the metal surely lessened the force that impacted the foot, and in turn the damage that done by it.

I've heard many stories by older fellows, from, 'seat belts do more harm than good,' to, 'cigarettes don't harm your health,' and although I nod in agreement, I know they're just charming, yet stubborn, old men set in their ways.

It's your choice to wear steel toes or not, but every workplace safety organization worldwide requires steel toes for working around heavy weight objects, including weights equivalent to hundreds of drafts. Those organizations have made the decision to require steel toes based on thorough study of how to protect to the foot. To insist steel toes present a hazard in spite of that fact, well...
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post #15 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Central Michigan
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Well if it's any consolation at all.. I do not wear steel-toed boots when I'm working with my horses. Just watch your feet and you'll be fine. Most of my girls are quite well behaved, but I have yet to be stepped on any of them. I own Percherons, have for 8 going on 9 years now.
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post #16 of 17 Old 11-19-2012, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
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I do not wear steel capped boots when working with my guys. I just really try to be watchful of where my feet are! Though, I am recovering from a broken bone in my foot, not a toe, but in my foot due to being stepped on. The joys of working with the big ones!
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post #17 of 17 Old 11-20-2012, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Scotland
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I don't wear steelies, but I did once have a pair of lovely Mountain Horse boots that had a "protective" toecap (not steel - more like very stiff rubber or plastic). One of our RDA horses stood on one of them and managed to pinch the end of the boot to the point where there was a permanent dent. They were a great pair of boots, mind!

On another occasion, one of the smaller RDA horses stood on my foot while I was wearing wellies. I had a nice, blackish-purple bruise around my foot for about three weeks afterwards.


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