hoof boots advice please - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-05-2012, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
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hoof boots advice please

Hi I am planning on going on a 2 week long trail riding trip next September (not sure where yet so I don't know the terrain) and the people I am going with told me I would need to get my horse shod or put boots on him. He is a Morgan with beautiful sound hard hooves and I don't really want to put shoes on him so I am looking at getting boots. Unfortunately I am totally overwhelmed with the amount of boots for sale all claiming to be the best. The reviews on all were mixed and I have no idea what to get. Do people put boots on all 4 feet or just the front? Which boots would you recommend? I like the looks of the renegade boots and the easyboot trail looks simple to put on but in all honesty I have absolutely no idea at all. I will be doing a lot of riding on a dirt road next summer to condition him and will probably need boots to do that as the road is very hard. Those of you who use boots can you help please?
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-05-2012, 07:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
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I have the Renegades and love them. I did recently experience their one and only flaw. Since they are no solid all the way around, they can get stuck on things, in our case a tree root. Other than that, they are excellent boots. I guess, if your friends say the terrain is so bad that normally barefoot horse would need shoes, go with all four feet. Whatever boots you do get, send customer service pics of your horse's feet with a ruler to show the measurements, so you know you got the correct size.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-05-2012, 07:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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We use Easyboot epics and are very pleased. We prefer to not shoe when possible but sometimes protection is necessary so we opted for boots. They look a little intimidating to apply at first but after a time or two it becomes second nature. If your horse has flares or an odd shaped hoof they say boots may not be a good option.
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-05-2012, 09:12 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I use Easyboot Epics and have been very pleased with them. Some boots fit to a particular hoof shape but I like the epics because they are more flexible in the shape of hoof they fit. I like they can offer a tighter fit (more adjustability options) and the gaiters help the boots stay on in conditions such as deep mud. I find Easyboot Epics are the choice among edurance riders.

Easycare (The company for Easyboot line) also offers excellent pictures on how to measure your horses feet and a calculator in which you can punch in the measurements and it tells you what size you should order for each type of boot (ie Epics, Gloves, Soaker boots etc.). Each part on the boot is easily replacable should it break or become too worn and they have excellent customer support staff.
VetTech2011 is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 01-06-2012, 09:33 PM
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Location: Australia
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Basically, I reckon the boot that fits your horse best is what will be most suitable, regardless of brand/type. The vast majority of boot issues seem to relate to imperfect fit. That said, I'll give you some pros & cons, or conditions for some boots, as I understand them...

I have had personal experience with Old Macs, Easyboot Epics, Gloves and Trails and personally think they're all pretty good. I've had friends & clients who have used Renegades, Boas & Cavellos. Of those, the Renegades also seem generally good, but I don't personally like the others much, due to their higher, harder backs, which I think aren't suitable for the majority of hoof confos.

Old Macs, Trails & other 'high profile' boots that come up around the pastern can sometimes have problems with rubbing, although I have not personally experienced it, having used Old Macs on a variety of horses & situations, Trails on a couple. I think this is the reason Easycare advise these boots shouldn't be used for much more than about 25 miles per week. Pastern wraps can also help alleviate/avoid rubbing issues too. Old macs are slightly harder to put on, having an inside strap and outer buckle. Trails are only fastened with velcro, so extremely quick & easy to put on/off. Only prob I've heard with that is that the velcro can get full of grass seeds, horse hair or such & lose it's grip. However I know a couple of people who effectively address this by using a wire brush on it occasionally.

Epics are good boots, encompassing the original Easyboot buckle for tightening, with neoprene gaiters for extra security. The buckles allow for tightening on less than perfectly fit hooves. I find they are a bit too difficult to get on & off, with the heel strap & teeth they come with, for many people, but if those bits are removed, the boots are much easier and ensuring good fit & keeping buckles tight, I haven't found them to be any less secure like that.

Gloves are lovely, slip on, streamlined & unobtrusive boots.... so long as the horse has pretty good feet & they fit well. Having no fastening or adjustment system, if feet aren't near perfect, such as no flaring, & perfect fit, they may not stay on well. Gloves now come in 'wide' sizes, to cater for twice as many hoof shapes. It is these, or the glue on 'shells' of these that appear to be most popular with Endurance riders that I've seen. Because of the need for very particular fit, I wouldn't advise buying these boots for a horse without trying them first. Thankfully, Easycare will send you a 'fit kit' of 3 different sizes, based on your horse's measurements, to try & also many trimmers carry the full fit kit of all sizes now. I would also hesitate to recommmend these boots for someone who just gets the farrier once every 6 or so weeks. The particular fit means it's important to keep the feet well maintained rather than allow them to get out of shape before trimming.

Low profile boots such as the above should be comfortable on the horse virtually indefinitely, as sitting below the hairline with only a soft neoprene wrap around the pastern, there is virtually no chance of rubbing or pressure. **Of course, leaving boots on indefinitely is not generally advised for other reasons, but I mean they can be ridden in long term.

Renegades appear to also be good boots, and the different design & fastening system means they can be adjusted to fit feet that may be too short & wide for others. A friend who does lots of riding on abrasive mountain trails has tried them & found them OK, but the different material means the tread wore quicker than Easys and when it was gone they were very slippery. Also because of the design of the back, have hear of a few sore pasterns, tho it looks like that may be overcome with some creative stanley knife work... assuming you're not worried about voiding warranties.

All boots that I've tried & seen tried have a problem with grip in difficult terrain - slick clay, etc(heard riding in snow & esp ice can be problematic but don't have that experience). I think that is the main reason they're often not really appropriate for showjumping/hunting. In some situations, where I've ridden a shod horse easily, w/t/c, I've had to get off with boots because my horse was slipping so much at a walk! However, Easycare do have a model called 'Grips' which are made for difficult terrain & supposed to be good in those situations. I just haven't tried them. They are the same as the Epics except for tread. You can also get studs to put in boots too.

Anyway, there's a bit of an idea about the boots I personally know about. Hope that helps you decide. I'd start by measuring(or getting the trimmer to measure) the horse's feet immediately after a good, well balanced trim, then look at the different boots & pick which ones appear to have a good fit for your horse. Oh, also on that note, if your horse has odd feet, some boots, such as Old Macs, only come in pairs & you may need odd sizes.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-06-2012, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
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I've tried the renegades, cavallos and easyboots (Glove, Epic and Grip). Of the brands, I liked the easy boots the best. Renegades were a bit cumbersome and they did get slick, fast. Cavallos rubbed my horse nearly raw. Easy boots had one flaw. They can be a pain to get on. But, if you are going to be riding for a considerable distance, its really not going to take you that long to get them on.

Just so you know, easyboot has some really good deals on their discontinued boots right now. If mine weren't in good shape, I would pick up another pair at these prices. Log On
Kimmylikestojump is offline  

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