Hoof boot recommendations - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 17 Old 04-15-2014, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Hoof boot recommendations

Hoof boots. I need opinions please.

I've been shoeing my gelding for the past couple of years and it has worked pretty well. Before that he had been barefoot and a little ouchy, but moving him to my place with my soft, wet ground he has become impossible to ride on any sort of hard/rocky/gravel surfaces. I did try the barefoot route for 3 years (with a barefoot trimmer and myself), he had also been on a hoof supplement for over a year without any effect.

According to my current farrier he is just thin soled and if my ground were better he would toughen up, but considering his living circumstances aren't going to change any time soon it's either shod or boots. My barefoot farrier said the same too, except that he was of the opinion that someday he would toughen up. Three years later we were still dealing with the same crud and that's when I decided to shoe him. My ground is soft enough that the difference between it and my riding areas are enough to wear her hooves short enough to be at the "ouchy" point if she's ridden 5 days a week for a couple weeks.

I am considering boots because he keeps pulling the darn shoes in the pasture (running and bucking around like a twit combined with mushy ground) and I cannot afford to have a farrier out constantly to replace shoes. Not to mention mowing the pasture gets hairy knowing there are random shoes out there.

I mostly trail ride, in some marshy places, we do a lot of trotting, and a decent amount of cantering and galloping. Walking obviously too, but I want something that is going to stick on his hooves when we're going fast, I don't want him getting tangled up in a boot when we're running.

So, what I'm looking for are various boot recommendations so that I can measure him and see if different brands will work. He has smallish hooves that are somewhat "narrow" though not too terribly bad anymore.

I am NOT interested in hearing about this or that supplement, how he should be barefoot, or how I should dump a ton of rock/gravel/whatever into my paddock. We have tried barefoot for a long time, I tried supplementing for a long time, and I'm not dumping a crap ton of money into a place that isn't mine.

Thank you for your recommendations.
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-15-2014, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, it was suggested I use bell boots to prevent the shoes from getting pulled off too. Which I may well do while I'm researching boots. If I can find boots that work, it would probably be cheaper than shoeing regularly.
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-16-2014, 08:44 AM
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I've used both the Easyboot Epics and Gloves.

The Gloves are my favorite, but don't fit all hoof shapes. They need to fit really tight (I use a rubber mallet to help get mine on).

The Easyboot Epics are better at fitting a variety of feet.

I have not had either of these boots come off due to speed. The only times they've come off was when my mare stepped on herself while being a twit and popped one off and another time in some really nasty mud. Both times the rubber portion of the boot popped off, but the gaiter stayed attached to her pastern so I didn't have to go searching for the boot.
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-16-2014, 08:51 AM
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I love my Renegades. Easy to fit, a little customizable, super easy to repair (though I have not yet had to).
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-16-2014, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I appreciate the recommendations. So, if he pulls the shoes by stepping on them he will probably pull the boots too?
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-16-2014, 10:13 AM
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Depends on the style of boot. Also on some boots that can really damage the boot.
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-16-2014, 10:21 AM
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Hi.

I had my horse get the epics off. I also had her break them. That was when she was galloping on pavement though. Don't ask.

I have tried the gloves and so far they are what works best. Easy boot does have a new boot called the transition or something like that out.

The Cavallo Delta boots really stay on but they are very large and clumsy I did have her somehow cut her nose when she fell in them once.

The easy boot glove with the gator is great because there is no metal she can step on if she does get it off.

The boots cannot be kept on all the time. Only when riding. It helps to put a ton of powder around the pastern and hoof to prevent hoof rubs.

I have had good luck using durasole on my horse's frogs and soles. It costs around 25 a bottle and a bottle lasts 6 months or so. It really dries the feet out and hardens them up. Wear gloves when using. It contains formaldehyde.

I have recently done the easy shoe glue on flexible shoes for my horse and she is doing great in them. They are expensive and I don't know that they would do well in moist conditions.

Good luck with your horse.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-16-2014, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks. I will make sure to look into that as well. He's pulled the shoes twice while being ridden.

ETA - He is completely sound in the pasture and ridden on grass. It's just gravel/rocky/hard surfaces. Unfortunately that's what I have available to ride on for the most part.
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-16-2014, 10:27 AM
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So he is pulling the fronts with the back feet right? You may want to see if there is a reason he is doing that like toes in back to long or something. There are great people on here that can help if you post pictures. I would definitely do the bell boots when riding at the least. I have kept them on 24/7 before on my horse but you have to clean them at least daily. They make the rubber stretch kind that are hard to get on but once on really stay on. They also make the no turn bell boots, but I find they do turn. Don't leave anything on to tight or to long or with to sharp an edge around the pastern.

Good luck
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-16-2014, 10:30 AM
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I used to use the gloves, but as my horse's hoof shape changed as he got healthier feet, they started coming off almost every ride. Now he is in the Renegades and they have yet to slip. They have adjustability, too which makes it nice for changing hooves through rehabilitation. The back can be shortened a little bit to help with overreach problems.
My horse sounds very similar to yours, fine on soft ground but ouchy on gravel and hard rocky ground. I have just stuck with it, using boots on longer rides, and per my farrier's advise using venice turpentine on his feet 1-2 times a week. He still is cautious over gravel, but it is improving greatly. Best of luck!
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