Hoof Boots vs. Shoes w/ padding
 
 

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Hoof Boots vs. Shoes w/ padding

This is a discussion on Hoof Boots vs. Shoes w/ padding within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Hoof boots versus shoes
  • Experience with hoofboots

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    07-28-2011, 05:44 AM
  #1
Yearling
Hoof Boots vs. Shoes w/ padding

When walking on gravel my mare walks almost as if a person would when barefoot. Sometimes when stepping onto the gravel she almost falls down. She's caught onto the reason on why this hurts and walks very carefully so I just take it slow with her. She's fine 90% of the time once we reach grass, dirt or concrete. The other 10% she's fine once I've picked out her hooves.

My previous horse had the same problem as she did. We shod him in the front with pads and some sort of gel and it made it 100% better.

I was wondering if we should shoe her and put pads on or get hoof boots. And if I do choose hoof boots, what type would be best?

I really have no experience with hoof boots as I've never used them or even known someone who has. When would I put them on? How do I put them on? We'd mostly be doing arena work but do plan to go on the occaisional trail ride / ride around the property which would involve walking on gravel.

Also, she's going to get her feet done soon with a new farrier. I can ask the farrier what she thinks and see if she has any suggestions.

Thank you in advanced.
     
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    07-28-2011, 08:54 AM
  #2
Banned
I think it really is a decision that only you and your farrier can make.

Either is fine.

Is your horse sound/happy except when you are riding her on gravel?
Are you doing any activities that you could not do if you chose to stay barefoot and simply use boots when you are riding on the gravel (like showing)?

Which boots depends some what on your horse's hoof shape. Measure her hooves and figure out what brand/models/styles of boots will work for her hoof and then whittle the list down from there.
     
    07-28-2011, 09:02 AM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
I think it really is a decision that only you and your farrier can make.

Either is fine.

Is your horse sound/happy except when you are riding her on gravel?
Are you doing any activities that you could not do if you chose to stay barefoot and simply use boots when you are riding on the gravel (like showing)?

Which boots depends some what on your horse's hoof shape. Measure her hooves and figure out what brand/models/styles of boots will work for her hoof and then whittle the list down from there.

She seems absolutely fine when not on gravel. However, while riding in the arena at our previous barn she would trip every once in a while but the footing was incredibly wonky. Some relatively small parts were really soft (I'd try to avoid those) and some were very hard (it was a sand arena) it was also pretty uneven.

This year I will be doing only one show I think. But the place that I will be doing it will require for her to walk on gravel. I really have no clue when it comes to the boots which is why I'm asking. Are most of them relatively simple/easy to put on/get off? Do they cause some horses to move in an unnatural way?

Right now her hooves are pretty wonky so I think it'd be very difficult to find boots that would fit her properly. I will talk to the farrier about it but I'm not 100% sure when she is going to come.

I will definitely be doing my homework between now and then though.

If anyone has any personal experience with boots could you please share? Pro's and con's would be greatly appreciated.
     
    07-28-2011, 09:11 AM
  #4
Banned
Some boots are like giving birth to get on and take off. (In other words, not an easy task.)
Some boots are easier to get on and take off.

The easier models are bigger and more bulky. The form fitting models (easy boots for example) are much more difficult.

Some horses do not care that they have boots on and move the same as they do with out. Some horses do the 'something wrong down here' walk, like they do with leg wraps on for the first few steps.

I do not know too many judged type shows that allow you to show in boots.
     
    07-28-2011, 10:22 AM
  #5
Showing
I have boots for trail riding in rocky parks. I think it's a better alternative to shoeing when needed only once in while. I have easy boots for both my mares: been riding quite rough they still stayed on. Also easy to put on (takes me couple mins).
     
    07-28-2011, 10:24 AM
  #6
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
The form fitting models (easy boots for example) are much more difficult.
I have to disagree, AB. I think it really depends how one put it on. I've been using Easyboots (occasionally, may be once/month) for 3-4 years and every time it takes me couple mins to put them on (I used Bares, and now Edge).
     
    07-28-2011, 10:29 AM
  #7
Banned
I guess it is a personal experience thing. But I would not want someone to think that easy boots are easy to put on. In general, most people find the term easy in the name to not describe how they go on. Not saying there are not exceptions (you being one of them).

My personal experience with them includes Easy boots and Easy boot epics.
     
    07-28-2011, 11:49 AM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arksly    
When walking on gravel my mare walks almost as if a person would when barefoot. Sometimes when stepping onto the gravel she almost falls down. She's caught onto the reason on why this hurts and walks very carefully so I just take it slow with her. She's fine 90% of the time once we reach grass, dirt or concrete. The other 10% she's fine once I've picked out her hooves.

My previous horse had the same problem as she did. We shod him in the front with pads and some sort of gel and it made it 100% better.
That your barefoot horse is tender over gravel is not an uncommon problem. That she is fine only 90% of the time over grass, dirt or concrete is more concerning and bears closer scrutiny.

While it's tempting to compare solutions that worked for your prior horse (shoes/pads/pour-in) it's better to evaluate each animal for it's own unique needs.

Quote:
I was wondering if we should shoe her and put pads on or get hoof boots. And if I do choose hoof boots, what type would be best?
The most important consideration for most owners when deciding between boots or shoes ultimately becomes the maintenance and costs involved.

Boots are comparatively high maintenance and something you must tend to every time you ride. Shoes are something your farrier does once and you're good for 5 to 8 weeks.

I've had a number of clients opt for boots in an effort to reduce their total, annual cost of hoof care. Nothing wrong with that but in my experience, most of those owners soon left their boots sitting on a barn shelf, gathering dust and had returned to standard horseshoes.

This proved particularly true for those whose riding occurred in short bursts with high weekly frequency (e.g. Arena work, training, show prep, etc).

Trail riders who engage in weekend long trips were more likely to stick with the boots.

Cost is a valid factor in the decision. Hoof boots can reduce your annual farrier costs by 50% or more.

Quote:
I really have no experience with hoof boots as I've never used them or even known someone who has. When would I put them on? How do I put them on? We'd mostly be doing arena work but do plan to go on the occaisional trail ride / ride around the property which would involve walking on gravel.
You'll put boots on every time you are riding over terrain that necessitates them. You'll also have to remove them shortly thereafter as most manufacturers suggest that boots should not be worn more than 24 hours at a time. You'll also want to clean them up after each use.

Quote:
Also, she's going to get her feet done soon with a new farrier. I can ask the farrier what she thinks and see if she has any suggestions.
If your "farrier" is a barefoot trimmer, the only options she will be able to offer are a a trim and/or boots. If she is a full service farrier, she can more objectively offer you a wider selection of options and deliver on what best meets the needs of your horse and your intended use of that horse.

Quote:
Thank you in advanced.
You're welcome.

Cheers,
Mark
     
    07-28-2011, 12:10 PM
  #9
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horseman56    
That your barefoot horse is tender over gravel is not an uncommon problem. That she is fine only 90% of the time over grass, dirt or concrete is more concerning and bears closer scrutiny.
I believe it's just that there is mud, gravel, etc. packed in her hooves with how terrible the pasture was. As soon as I'd get to the barn I'd pick out her hooves and she would be fine. So that could cause the sensitivity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horseman56    
The most important consideration for most owners when deciding between boots or shoes ultimately becomes the maintenance and costs involved.

Boots are comparatively high maintenance and something you must tend to every time you ride. Shoes are something your farrier does once and you're good for 5 to 8 weeks.

I've had a number of clients opt for boots in an effort to reduce their total, annual cost of hoof care. Nothing wrong with that but in my experience, most of those owners soon left their boots sitting on a barn shelf, gathering dust and had returned to standard horseshoes.

This proved particularly true for those whose riding occurred in short bursts with high weekly frequency (e.g. Arena work, training, show prep, etc).

Trail riders who engage in weekend long trips were more likely to stick with the boots.

Cost is a valid factor in the decision. Hoof boots can reduce your annual farrier costs by 50% or more.
Cost isn't really too big of an issue. As of right now I can only get out once or twice a week to ride because we have renovations going on in our house that's taking up quite a bit of time. However, by mid-August they should be done and I'll be up to around 4 or 5 days. Each time I would take her to the barn she would have to walk on gravel. I'm guessing it'd be about 100 feet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horseman56    
You'll put boots on every time you are riding over terrain that necessitates them. You'll also have to remove them shortly thereafter as most manufacturers suggest that boots should not be worn more than 24 hours at a time. You'll also want to clean them up after each use.
Thank you very much for this information. I don't really have anyone else to ask.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horseman56    
If your "farrier" is a barefoot trimmer, the only options she will be able to offer are a a trim and/or boots. If she is a full service farrier, she can more objectively offer you a wider selection of options and deliver on what best meets the needs of your horse and your intended use of that horse.

You're welcome.

Cheers,
Mark

She is a full service farrier. I have yet to see her work on my horse but I have seen what she's done to others and I am quite impressed. Some horses are shod while others are not and they all seem in amazing condition.

Once again, your input is greatly appriciated.


Another thing I should note is that the vet came out and did a hoof test on her and said that she had incredibly soft soles. Also, we did x-rays on her two front hooves and she had foundered in November/December, which was right before we got her. The vet said that there was a slight roation and that she had sunken down slightly. But it was nothing too bad and that she should be sound if we monitor her diet and keep her on the leaner side. She has not been unsound in the 7 months I've had her apart from her tenderness while walking on gravel / with packed hooves.
     
    07-28-2011, 02:26 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arksly    
... Another thing I should note is that the vet came out and did a hoof test on her and said that she had incredibly soft soles. Also, we did x-rays on her two front hooves and she had foundered in November/December, which was right before we got her. The vet said that there was a slight roation and that she had sunken down slightly. But it was nothing too bad and that she should be sound if we monitor her diet and keep her on the leaner side. She has not been unsound in the 7 months I've had her apart from her tenderness while walking on gravel / with packed hooves.
While it is not my intent to alarm you, in my opinion, this situation warrants more serious attention than just monitoring diet.

Laminitis should, in my opinion, always be treated as an emergency situation. No exceptions.

Horses do not die of laminitis per se. They die (or are put down) due the secondary problems symptomatic of the mechanical failure that laminitis causes. Aside from identifying and addressing the factors causal to the disease (diet, toxins, etc), management of the mechanical failures is often key in returning a horse to use.

If your horse is thin soled, presents current radiographic evidence of rotation and sinking, regardless the extent or age of last acute onset laminitic episode, there is reason for concern.

Add to that a continuing presentation of tenderness over rough terrain and palpably thin soles and my concern would increase.

The situation bears a frank and cooperative discussion between owner, veterinarian and farrier.

Cheers,
Mark
     

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