I am just curious as to what other people do and their experiences with boots. I have to use the pads with my horse as she has very bad feet right now. You are fortunate to have a horse with good feet.
I love boots! I only use them on the trail and always on the trail. If I don't my horse seeks the soft areas on the side of the trail. I live in washington where it is wet 8 months of the year so he doesn't get the super-hard hooves he could in a different environment.
You can use boots to transition your horse to barefoot. They can be left on for days at a time, once broken in. It would take up to a year to transition. I am assuming you are using pads with shoes? Or is your horse barefoot now?
Shoes limit the natural function of the hoof which is to expand and contract
with pressure, like ringing out a sponge. The hoof is actually supposed to help pump the blood around the body!
So far, my favorite boot has been the renegades but there are some new boots out there. I also have the easyboot "trail" boot for the back hooves and they are very easy to put on. I like them a lot too. The newer easyboot "backcountry is a combo of the "glove" and the "trail" and it looks great!
The feet need to be trimmed frequently for the boots to fit right. Otherwise you need them larger to allow for growth.
The best thing about boots, next to hoof health, is the cost savings. I only have the farrier trim every 12 weeks and I do it in between. No $100-$125 sets of shoes!
You can educate yourself on the web. There is tons of info out there. The main thing is to find a qualified farrier
who does barefoot trims. (has studied
the barefoot physiology and trimming methods) not just a shoer who will pull the shoes and come back in 8 weeks.
On the other hand, some horses need shoes
. But not too many if the owners are willing to work at keeping them barefoot.