12-13-2013, 12:36 AM
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Here's something I posted on Yahoo Answers that may help - too lazy to retype so c/p! There's a variety of different kind of horse boots all with various purposes. Rather than talk by brand, I'll talk by type as there are a ton of brands out there. Please note that when I mention that the boots offer support, that is something that is medically arguable - how much, if any, support the different boots can offer really varies and some studies show that boots offer little to no support at all. Something to just keep in mind. Open front boots go around the back of the horse's legs by the tendons and sometimes also cup the fetlock. They offer support and protection and are typically used in stadium jumping where you want the horse to know/feel if they hit the rails when jumping, but still protect the tendons from impact and/or strikes from the other legs. Brushing or galloping boots are used for galloping and workouts where the horse may brush or bang their legs, often with a strike pad on the inside of the leg, and sometimes the back. They offer protection from impact. Splint boots protect the inside of the legs where the splint bone is from impact and can be seen both in the ring and out on trail. These do not usually go below the fetlock at all. Combination boots are usually a form of splint boots that also offer fetlock protection, most of the time with a plastic or other hard protective material underneath the back of the fetlock. In some cases these can also have bell boots/overreach boots built in or attached. These are most often seen in Western performance horses doing extreme cattle work and reining where their fetlocks are often coming into contact with the ground (such as with the case of sliding stops). These offer protection from abrasions as well as strikes, and some kinds may offer some support. SMBs, sports medicine boots is a specific brand made by Professional's Choice company, but there are also many other companies that make similar kinds. These are the most secure offering protection and arguable support, with thicker strike pads and cushioning. Popular with eventers, you can also see these on Western horses as well as out on trails because of how much protection they can offer. They can cause the legs to get very warm, and they do go under the fetlock, and some newer models offer air vents. Some brands don't go under the fetlocks and are more focused on the eventing market, with a lot of air vents to help keep the horse's legs cool when in intense work, as well as to reduce any additional strain on the ligaments from water elements. Therapeutic boots are used specifically to help treat injuries and/or aid in recovery after stressful events. The two most common brands of these are Back On Track http://www.iselltack.com/collections/bac... (on sale for 10% off from ISellTack.com right now actually code BOT10OFF) and Draper Therapieshttp://www.drapertherapies.com/DraperEqu... (on sale for 30% off through their own website code GIVETHANKS) and they help increase circulation. There are variations of boots and wraps, and all of them have the main goal of increasing circulation to speed recovery time after injury or stress. (As an aside, I've used these on my horse - both brands - and love them). Rather than support or protection, they are specific to the therapeutic benefits of increased circulation. Then there's wraps - polo wraps, track bandages, etc., also all with a different purpose, but that's another topic all together!