Sports Medicine Boots? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 7 Old 10-30-2012, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Sports Medicine Boots?

So, I'm starting to put my horse back into hard work. Over the summer she was worked five days a week for 1-2hrs but in the last few weeks with school, an internship, and work I haven't really had time to ride. My friend and I have decided to push each other to keep riding all winter and I am starting her in on a 5-6 day a week exercise program. Last summer my other horse strained her suspensory ligament and I'm worried about that happening to this mare. What type of boots would you guys recommend for this type of riding? We ride on a dirt sand mixture, it's not very thick most of the time but when they drag the arena it is a lot deeper. She is four years old, we just walk trot and canter but in a couple of months I would like to start her over fences. Thanks for any help that you guys can give me! :)
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-30-2012, 02:04 PM
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I'm not sure how they hold up for jumping, but I would certainly recommended Professionals Choice SMBs, Pro Equine Relentless, or Classic Equine Legacy...I don't really have a favorite, they have all stood the test of time for me and work great. I prefer Classic Equine for Sassy, though, due to the fact that she has scar tissue on her back fetlock and these wrap around it properly.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-30-2012, 02:33 PM
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Boots will not prevent a suspensory strain, but they might help.

For "general" walking, trotting, cantering exercises, I do not feel you need to boot a horse up. The horse moves that way naturally and if they can't support themselves that way, you've got other issues to address.

Now if you are asking the horse to do hard maneuvars such as reining, barrel racing, jumping, etc that is very physically demanding, then boots can provide protection and a little bit of support. (I have looked at the actual studies; it's not as much support as companies claim but they do help a little.)

I personally like the Professionals Choice SMB 3 sport boots on all 4 legs with bell boots on the front. Now, I am not a jumper. I don't know that those boots would be the best for that. Reason I say this, is whenever you see a photo of an Olympic show jumper, they have more of a leather-type splint boot on the front legs -- not a neoprene sport boot.

Just plain keeping your horse in good shape will help the horse from getting injured.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-30-2012, 03:25 PM
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I agree with not needing support boots for wtc for a young horse, a horse with previous injury yes, but a young horse should be able to do that unaided...if you are worried about interference or something, you could do polos. If you start going over fences, you could look into something like a t-sport wrap, they actually do offer some support, unlike polos etc. SMB boots offer very little support, most boots do not offer support but rather protect against impact.

With the elasticized wraps- be careful applying them, ulike polos or boots you CAN do them too tight and cord your horse.

Best of luck with the riding program!

"Riding: the art of keeping the horse between you and the ground."
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-31-2012, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the help! Would it hurt to put them on her? I'm fat and probably a little too big for her (working on losing weight though! Down 10lbs!) and I'm just really worried about stressing her legs out. My mom bought me a pair of the SMBs for my birthday (when I mentioned maybe buying a pair she caved and told me that she'd already bought them lol). I don't want to hurt her feelings and take them back, so if it won't hurt her to wear them I'll probably just keep them. Thanks again for everyones help!
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-31-2012, 02:36 PM
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I agree with not using support boots for schooling. The horse shouldn't need them and the danger is (IMO) you might push a youngster that little bit too far because of the extra support. Brushing boots are more useful, to help guard against knocks and bangs.

I've only ever used SMBs for jumping, and only on a horse who had not done that much. I used exercise bandages years ago but stitching the tapes is a pain if the horse is a fidget. Support boots are much easier as long as you're careful not to leave them on too long :)

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post #7 of 7 Old 10-31-2012, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krikitlove45 View Post
Thanks for all of the help! Would it hurt to put them on her? I'm fat and probably a little too big for her (working on losing weight though! Down 10lbs!) and I'm just really worried about stressing her legs out. My mom bought me a pair of the SMBs for my birthday (when I mentioned maybe buying a pair she caved and told me that she'd already bought them lol). I don't want to hurt her feelings and take them back, so if it won't hurt her to wear them I'll probably just keep them. Thanks again for everyones help!
I believe you said she is 4 years old.

Whether you are too heavy of a rider for your horse depends on a few things. Breed of horse (a stockier horse is going to handle more weight than a finer horse), height and weight of horse, physical condition of horse, and in part, age of horse. Plus, it also depends how good of a rider you are. A 300-pound rider who always stays well-positioned and balanced in the saddle is actually better for a horse than a 100-pound rider whose butt is banging the seat of the saddle, they are off-balance, and moving their weight all over the place. So it make a difference on how good of a rider you are, when dealing with weight.

However, if you are indeed too heavy for your horse, I would be least concerned with "stressing her legs" and more concerned with stressing her back and stressing her growing joints. Make sure you do keep the exercises somewhat light, as a 4-yr-old is still growing a ton when it comes to joints.

Why would you take the boots back? Just keep them until you actually need them.

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