08-01-2009, 09:08 AM
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SMB II's are all round boots. They don't have specific fronts nor backs. I use SMB II's and I put 100's on the front and 200's on the back. So yes, smaller size up front, bigger size in the back.
SMBII's are more designed for barrel racers and reiners. These are the longer of the bunch. They cover more ankle than what you find with the Elites and the new models that are out now. Because of their length, they can get dirt inside them, some find that an issue - it doesn't bother me because the amount is very minimal in my experience.
The Elites were more designed for the Jumpers and Eventers and those who want their horses to have more ankle flexion. These models have the fronts and backs in the packages of 4's. These are shorter versions, they are not as long as you see the SMB II's are.
I have a pair of Elites and I like them moreso than the SMB II's because they are shorter and alow more ankle flexion. I find that the Elites do not collect dirt like the SMBII's.
The new models, I haven't used nor seen but I would like to get my hands on a pair to try out and se how they work.
SMB's are designed to prevent and protect. I use them when I event and when I jump, because my horses legs are gold. I want to protect and I want to prevent.
Think about the trauma that our horses joints and legs take when they land off of a fence. There is allot of shock that is distributed through their hoof, ankles, joints and upwards to their shoulders - and newer versions of the SMB's were designed to aid in that deparment, to absorb some of that shock so that the horses legs don't have to take the full brunt of it.
No matter how well conditioned your horse is, your horse is still going to take the wear and tear of jumping regardless *That is why GP jumpers only jump their horses once a week because they preserve their horses legs for comps*
The key factor is the neoprene. The neoprene is there to help in absorbing the shock. If you look at allot of Eventing Boots, you see them lined with Neoprene for a reason.
Never wear these boots any longer than 2 hours and hose your horses legs off after use.
Only use these boots when doing high level activities with your horse. Barrel racing, Gaming, Jumping, CC - never use these for flat work. The reason being is that you want them to beable to strengthen their legs. Only use these to protect your horses legs from the wear and tear of high end activites.
I put Nelson's on for a Jumping Lesson. My lesson runs 1 hour and the first half hour is flat work, his legs are bare. When it is time to start jumping, I hop off, put his boots on and then proceed. When it is cool off time, I take them back off and then tend to my horse.
At competition, I put them on just before my CC phase and before my Stadium round. All other times, his legs are bare.