With jumping, are we ultimately looking for protection from hitting the fences, or shock absorbtion for the legs doing the jumping? I only ask because there are so many types of boots on the market, all make claims of shock absorbtion or protection from hitting the jumps, but they all can't be equally good. Do any of the boots actually cushion the tendons and ligaments and lesson the impact of jumping, or is it all marketing gumbo?
You are right, there are TONS of boots out on the market today.
I've read many studdies though, that proove that jumping takes allot out of our horses joints. The landing, the horses hooves, ankles, canon bones, knee's, shoulders take allot of shock - so that is when they came out with the shock absorbtion, like SMB's.
If you look at allot of Eventing Boots - boots labled as Eventing boots, are lined iwth Neoprene, which is the key. Neoprene has been tested, and proven to absorb shock.
While competative horses legs are conditioned, through doing regular flat work and hacking - that doesn't mean that their legs don't break down little by little when they jump. It doesn't matter how well conditioned your horse is, they still break down when they jump. That is why many top level riders only jump once a week, or even in the warm up ring at the comp - because they must preserve those legs as long as they can.
We want to protect and prevent and preserve - those are the 3 key factors. We do that through proper conditioning, proper care, and proper leg wear.
Now the difference between the arena and out on CC is the footing. The arena, the horses have that fabulous soft dirt to land on, that softens the blow, while on the grass, our horses don't have that much of luxury - so the shock is going to be moreso there, than what we would get landing in the arena sand.
I've looked at quite a few boots - and for me, the key factor are boots that are neoprene lined. The neoprene is what aids in absorbing the shock. If you plan on wearing the boots longer than 2 hours, you want breathable neoprene.
It all depends on what you want.
My horse never wears his boots longer than a run in the stadium ring, or on the cc course. Right now, I use SMB's - they are phenominal boots. I use them out on the CC course and have never had issues with them. I've seen them used up to mid levels.
For me, they work fine, never had an issue.
I've had a close look at the Woof Eventing Boots - and they are pretty darn tootin' close to being SMB's.
I do like the looks of the Trizone Equilibrium CC Boots.
For Stadium Jumping, Brushing Boots/Splint Boots are just fine. Remember, these fences fall and the sand aids in allot of softening the landing for your horse.
Woof Splint Boots
You can get these with neoprene lining as well.
Just do your research.