Myth or Fact? Your opinion. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 59 Old 11-14-2010, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Myth or Fact? Your opinion.

"Using supportive boots, like SMBs, will cause a horse's muscles and tendons to not develop properly because they will become reliant on the support of the boot."

Myth or fact?

I am likely buying SMB Elites for Sunny this Christmas, as she's a youngster and I want to preserve her legs the best I can. Do you think the boots would help or be counterproductive? I don't want to hinder her development.

Something in me tells me it's BS, and then another part tells me it's a legitimate theory. What do you think?
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post #2 of 59 Old 11-14-2010, 12:32 PM
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Personally I think that's a load of BS.
I remember a vet here telling me once that no matter what kind of special protection you use for supporting tendons, if there's an inherent weakness in the horse's leg, be it tendon or bone, you're likely going to have problems irrespective of what you use in terms of leg wear.
That's not to say that they don't help. Because they do. But it's more a case of prolonging the inevitable, which is why it's always a good idea to get your horse's joints scanned and xrayed, especially when they're young. It's easier to pick up problems then.
That said, I absolutely LOVE Professional Choice and wouldn't use anything but if I had a horse.
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post #3 of 59 Old 11-14-2010, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thanks for your opinion. :)

I'm having the vet up to get some X-rays on Sun before we start her, and I'm gonna get his opinion on the matter, as well.
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post #4 of 59 Old 11-14-2010, 01:08 PM
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I think it's a myth. However I don't see the point of over-protection when it's not needed really. Unless your horse is in hard work with lots of impact you may just need splint boots to protect the bone.
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post #5 of 59 Old 11-14-2010, 02:18 PM
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I call BS too. A horse has bare legs for 23 hours a day, I seriously doubt that having support for 1 hour will prevent their legs from developing properly. That being said, like KV mentioned, I only use boots when I am doing something really strenuous with them.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #6 of 59 Old 11-14-2010, 02:33 PM
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We use boot every time we take the horses out, but that's mainly do to one of our horses kicking himself and bowing a tendon. We don't want a repeat of that!
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post #7 of 59 Old 11-14-2010, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thanks for the opinions, guys. Smrobs hit the nail on the head as to why I thought it was BS.

I'd like for someone with an opposing view to post, as well.
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post #8 of 59 Old 11-14-2010, 03:14 PM
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I think boots could cause a problem for one reason... If someone stupid uses them and put them on wrong! But my 21 year old wears them when we ride and I have seen a lot of improvement! He isn't so sore anymore. I love my smbs!
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post #9 of 59 Old 11-14-2010, 07:37 PM
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I think it's BS. But I don't use any type of boots until they actually need it, like beel boots after shoes are put on and SMB boots after they actually start working hard
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post #10 of 59 Old 11-14-2010, 07:49 PM
Green Broke
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I have seen a horse's legs get too dependent on boots, BUT the owner was scary religous about their use, not allowing the horse out of its stall without the boots on.

I think they're fine in moderation.

The best way to "preserve" the horse's legs is to work the horse responsibly, slowly building up. Work with and without boots on all kinds of surfaces, conditioning the horse over time.

Personally, I only use bell boots if a horse overreaches, otherwise none of my horses are booted. We do trails (some road riding), Dressage, jumping, and basic western. We have horses from 5-14 yrs old. The older guy may get some support boots as he gets older, but he works fine for now. I give lessons and the horses are worked often, 4-6 days a week, 1-3 lessons a day.
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