looking into hoof boots... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Australia
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looking into hoof boots...

My riding horse has horrible feet. He is barefoot and I can't really afford to shoe him (it's $120 for a full set here and if I shoe him he NEEDS the full set!) so I'm considering hoof boots for longer rides or if I'm planning to ride on the roads/on gravel, because he gets footsore and his hooves wear away real easy.

Monty has weak soles, underrun heels and weak hoof wall. In the pasture he is fine and ridden on normal ground, no problem at all. It's just the long rides, especially on the road and/or gravel.

So, what is reasonably easy to put on, hard-wearing, and has good grip? Preferably something not too expensive!

Otherwise I'm going to have to shoe him and that'll mean I have to increase my hours at work. My stress levels will go up and my riding time will go down.

It looks like I might have to shoe anyway though because I ride jumping and eventing and when I eventually get him out to a few shows I have no guarantees on what the surface is like. Some of them are really slippery and you NEED studs, others have a lot of gravel in the cross-country course. Hoof boots are not considered legal gear for the disciplines I ride, not here in western australia at least.

I will admit I have been considering shoes or hoof boots for quite a long time. His feet are terrible, honestly the worst of any horse I have ever personally dealt with, and I don't know what the solution is. If he needs shoes I will have to find the money every 6 weeks at most (his feet grow fast and are prone to flaring so 4 weeks would probably be better) and I don't want to spend the money on buying a full set of hoof boots only to have to shoe him anyway, but I don't want to spend $120/month if I don't have to!

...wonder if I know anyone with hoof boots in his size...?
blue eyed pony is offline  
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: wisconsin
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sorry i cant be any help with the hoof boots, im not a big fan of them...

what i would do is get him on a good hoof suppliment, put keratex on his feet [esp the hoof hardener, its the best], and get at least front shoes on him.

Gypsy & Scout <3
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 10:45 AM
Green Broke
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Good boots are also pricey, & I haven't heard enough positive things about them to invest the money. When I go looking for a horse, I study them from the ground up-if the feet don't pass muster, I pass on the horse-the cost of shoeing can double the annual cost of keeping a horse. (Something to think about next time.) But you may find a bargain on ebay-once you know the correct size you need.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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And if he needs shoeing he will be shod but if I can manage something more cost-effective I will do that!

I have only had him 6 months so he is still growing out bad hoof but the trouble is I feel that if I went with the only farrier I know who shoes, he would continue to have bad feet. At least with the boots he has the opportunity to grow some better hoof. GOOD farriery is important whether I shoe or not and at this stage the only way I can afford to have a good farrier is to have him barefoot. I have a friend who shoes her horses for only one or two events in the year and their farrier is good so I will ask her who it is but I have a feeling that her farrier is expensive. I will reiterate, if Monty needs shoes, he will (eventually) get them, as soon as my hours at work are sufficient that I can afford to pay an expensive farrier. I am in a small town and we don't really have many choices so the better farriers can charge a fortune (there are only one or two GOOD and RELIABLE farriers anywhere near my town) whereas the cheap farriers are the dodgy ones because they never turn up and they don't ring you back even though they're adamant that your horse NEEDS its feet trimmed in 4 weeks' time. Nobody wants a farrier who never turns up when he says he will! One farrier in my town sold us a pony that had chronic laminitis to the point where his near fore was literally convex in shape and the farrier didn't seem to have any idea. I think we have about two qualified farriers in town and the rest are all self-taught.
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 11:22 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
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"So, what is reasonably easy to put on, hard-wearing, and has good grip? Preferably something not too expensive!"

Most of those adjectives are mutually exclusive in the horse boot world.

If they are really easy to put on they will easy come off,
the hard wering and good grip you will get
and they are all pretty much the same price, 99- 130 dollars US a pair
The ones you get will depend on your horse. They are shaped different. Cavelos has a wide and regular that works good for round, Easy boot epics are good. so are G2's and old macs.
Measure your horses feet IAW the directions. Lenght and width and look at the chart. but DONOT listen when they say to round up if your width isnt listed next to the length. Look at a different style or brand of boot. You want your foot to fall in the range for both length and width. Boots last a long long time. If your horse is ok in pasture without shoes you can just put them on on ride days, You'll probably get a year or two out of them depending on your miles.
Many times though a horse can do as much if not more damage to their feet stomping at flies than they ever do riding. So that may be something you want to address as well.

Joe4d is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 11:29 AM
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my friend has a horse with poor hooves and she bought cheap light boots for like 30 dollars a hoof and when it came time for the show a few days before she would put shoes on him and after the show was over she would pull the shoe and save it for the next show. it saved her money by saving the shoes and by using the cheap boots she could enjoy the rides without worrying about constant foot sores and farrier costs.
keep in mind her farrier shoed the horse and taught her how to pull the shoes so she could save them. he also helped her measure his foot to get boots. so find a good farrier who can help you. she also had hoof supplements to help as well.
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 12:37 PM
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Good hoof care isnt something I would try to save money on - a good farrier is worth every dime IMO. In my area though we have many farriers to choose from.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 12:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: New Mexico
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My hoof boot experience, with 2 barefoot horses with good quality hooves ridden in front boots (rough and rocky trails) and maintaining a year round, every 4 week farrier trim schedule:

The easiest to put on and use (for both horse and rider) are the easyboot gloves. They are not cheap, sizing must PRECISE and they do not last as long as one would hope for the price. I used the fit kit to get a perfect fit. If your horse flares or chips between trims, good luck getting the boot on. They fit my 16.2 Arab cross perfectly in a size 1.5 and 1.5 Wide. I like you can buy the sizes indivdually for hard to fit/different shaped hooves. That being said, I had to buy a size 2 for a spare to use closer to trim time so I could still boot up with a flare or chip.

Cavallo simple boots last a long time, are easy to put on, fit a larger hoof size and fit better between trims than the easyboot glove.

They are a bit clunky and tend to rub heel bulb even with the gaitor, which itself tends to shift even when used exaclty as directed. They fit my larger horse well in a size 5 and come in pairs. Both his hoofs are exactly the same size and perfect shape for this particular boot style.

I prefer not to shoe and this allows them to be barefoot between rides and days off and only have protection when it is needed. It's cheaper for me and better for them overall at this point in time.

Even though hoof boots work great for me, I still find them to be labor intensive and not without challenges.

Not sure if that helps or not!

PS I do have a new pair of size 4 cavallo Sport boots sitting here that do not fit, as they run a 1/4" narrower... hence the cavallo Simple boot purchase!
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-04-2011, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Australia
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We barefoot trim and save a LOT of money by not having to pay a farrier at all as we do their feet ourselves... but I feel like it's just not cutting it for Monty. Bear in mind we have rehabilitated very damaged hooves. One mare we had, had a crack all the way to the coronet, which grew out completely. Then there was the lami pony, the ex-racing standardbred (mildly contracted heels, that were perfect when he was PTS early this year), and the current "project", a QH with very contracted heels. That QH's heels are gradually decontracting.

Monty needs to be booted at the very least. Stamping at flies isn't a problem, he is in mostly sand-based pastures (with grass, but the soil is sand) so does no damage to his feet. They chip and crack but not really badly, he just tends towards a little bit of flare.

Previous owner says he has been barefoot his whole life including living on rocks and competing at an intermediate sort of level of eventing on those same rocks, but when he was leased to a girl to compete on she shod him and that was when the hoof problems started. I know nothing about the farrier, but it's probably a case of poor farriery rather than the actual shoes themselves. Nevertheless, previous owner knows a lot more about his history than I do. I'm hoping it's a case of just having dodgy feet from the girl who had him on lease, and they will gradually strengthen and improve, but meanwhile I feel bad taking him for long rides without hoof protection.

Hence the boots.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-05-2011, 01:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
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I like Easyboot Epics for trail riding. I usually only have to use them on the fronts, although by the end of this summer my mare needed them on her hinds as well (just from sheer mileage).

The Epics don't have to be fit as perfectly as the gloves. I have gotten away with using a size too big (such using the ones I bought for the fronts on the rears) and they have stayed on really well for me. Haven't lost one yet.

They can be labor intensive to put on though, especially if you have to do all four feet and they are due for a trim! This is sort of what it is like getting ready for a ride when they are due for a trim.

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