08-20-2011, 03:12 PM
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Splints, or galloping boots, whatever you choose to call them- protect from straight blows to the leg. Blows such as hitting a jump pole, or simply nocking their own leg with another during lateral movements.
I have the Heidi galloping boots, and I hear really good things about the Woof Wear boots.
Open fronts-They're most commonly used by show jumpers, although I find them as a good overall flatting boot as well. Protect all around, except for the front. If a horse hits a jump pole straight on, there's not much protection to the front of the cannon.
Eskadron open fronts are what I'm getting. I hear Roma's are just as adequate for a much better price.
Fetlock or ankle boots- Go around the hind fetlock. Much shorter, and don't cover the cannon.
Brushing boots- Ehh, basically in the same line as galloping or splint boots.
Bell boots-Protect the heals for horses that tend to over reach.
SMB (sports medicine boots)-Cover the cannon, and cup around the fetlock, adding more cushion to the lower tendons. Not the amount of support they are advertised, but they do protect a wider range.
A lot of reiners, cutters, trail riders, those kind of people use them, since there's a lot of low to the ground leg action where they can easily knock themselves. It isn't limited to those sports though, and do make a good overall schooling boot to have. I have the Classic Equine Legacy boots.
Where I show boots aren't allowed, but I pretty much always use them for
Schooling. Personal preference, I just feel better when they have boots on.
Polo's basically do the same as all the listed above (except for the bell boots of course), but I just worry about them staying fasted properly for the entire duration of a ride. Boots, just line them up, fasten the velcro/buckles, and I don't ever worry about them. It's important to keep an even pressure with boots, and that can get hard to do with polos until you get really good with them.