Lol, I think the rumor that a horse will become dependant on the boot is silly. So, using boots for 1 hour on your out, out of a 24 hour day - means your horse is going to become dependant on it?
What a load of garbage. So out of the 23 hours that your horse doesn't have the boots on, while out in pasture or a paddock, moving around continuously grazing, and playing with their buddies - means that during that 1 hour, your horse is going to become dependant on the boot?
Who comes up with this stuff? There are no studdies showing this to be true. BUT there are studdies that show that our horses joints take alot of shock and wear and tear during strenuous activities under saddle - the biggest being jumping of any sort, whether it be a 1'0" fence or a 5'0" fence.
I use these alleged "support boots" quite often, and I can guarantee you that they do not cause the horse to become dependant on them.
Now flatwork, meh - I personally don't use boots on my guy, but jumping I most definitely do.
Flatwork, there is little impact on the joints in compareson to the impact while jumping, so I personally don't use boots, but you can. If your horse conformationally hits himself while in work, then most definitely - but if your horse doesn't need the boots, I don't have any issues with the rider not putting them on, nor putting them on. To each their own. The boots aren't doing any damage.
Jumping - most definitely I have boots on my horse. Studdies show that neoprene helps in absorbing some of that shock % that our horses legs incur while on landing off of a fence, so I like to use boots that are lined in this material.
I believe that our horses legs are one of the most important factors to take care of. If they are lame, you don't have a horse. So I belive in Protection, Prevention and Preservation.
There are other important factors to consider in maintining the 3 P's - aside from using boots. There is proper contitioning, Feeding, Supplimenting and Care before and after you ride.
You want to aid in strengthening the joints, tendons and muscles that support the leg as best as you can on a daily basis.
After I ride, I hose Nelson's legs off for about 20 minutes with the hose in the washbay, and then I'll rub them down with liniment. I also use Magnetic Hock Boots on him for about 15 minutes a day *now that he has arthritus in his hind right hock, this helps him greatly* and he is on full turn out, 24/7 - he only comes in twice a day to eat his breakfast and his dinner. He is also on Adequan IM and is also getting MSM twice a day in his feed.
If you want to boot when you do flat work - that's your choice. You're not going to hurt anything by doing so *unless you boot incorrectly*
I personally do not like Polo's wraps, they are a pain in the butt to put on and take off and clean. I use Splint/Brushing Boots, and SMB's. They are simple to put on, and simple to take off.
Polo Wraps have been studdied and proven to offer not much of anything - aside from a sore back from bending over to put them on :P