Best boots for my horses?
My horses right now have shoes. But I have been wondering for a long time if boots would be healthier for there legs. Like strap on horse shoe boots if you understand what I mean. It cost me less in a year to buy one pair of boots then 6 to 10 times in a year plus all the times the shoe pops off ect. To get them shod. My tack shop has three different boots.
Easy Care The Original Easy Boot SB-EB - PFI Western Store
EasyCare Boa Horse Boots SB-BOA - PFI Western Store
Toklat Sport Boots Black 11-4179 BK - PFI Western Store
Opinions please? Any info would be great.
i've used easy boots, boa boots, old macs and both kinds of cavallos and found the cavallos (either style) work best. i trail ride miles and miles in them in the adirondacks as well as all over the place, cross rivers (even the hudson), go through mud, snow, sleet, muck, rocks, and more and they've been the best of all the kinds i've tried.
some of my horses are bare, some are in shoes - it really depends on the horse. my one horse no matter what boots you put him in, he's sore. for some of the others, they just need that little extra protection when in work or out on trails and the boots work great. i'd say try it - but if your horse's feet fall apart when bare just from turnout or they are prone to abscesses, thrush, etc., the boots won't help since they are not for 24/7 use.
Yup, I've always preferred hoof boots.
Do realize that you need to transition to barefoot. You can't just magically tear the shoes off and have a sound horse go prancing through the forest.
Have the farrier round/square the toe, and don't let him pare out the sole any more than he has to. That will provide callous for the hoof.
Once he's done, paint the sole with Venice Turpentine. It hardens the hoof and will help prevent bruising. I'd also start the horses on a biotin supplement (20mg per dose) to make sure their hooves can keep up with the increased wear at first. You can always take them off it after a few months.
I'd personally spray the sole with iodine daily on the horses having bruising troubles. It helps toughen the sole as well. Turpentine can only be used about three times a week before it starts to harden the sole too much.
Anywho, I like Easyboot products. Do not bother with Boas. The dial in the center creates too much pressure and you can end up with a blood bruise on the hoof. Once you get used to boots, perhaps you can experiment with them.
I love Old Macs and Easyboots for riding. Cavallos are nice as well. For jumping and turnout I prefer Easyboot Epics in the front, and Easyboot Gloves in the back. The Epics stay on very well and the Gloves can't get torn off easily either.
They're also lightweight, which is nice compared to the heavier Old Macs and Cavellos. One nice thing about the Cavellos and Old Macs is that they deal with hoof shape change better than the Easyboots since they mainly reply on tightening around the pastern rather than the hoof itself.
oh yeah agreed re: transitioning out of shoes! forgot to mention that thanks!!!
and just keep in mind some horses don't do as well in boots, period, while others are totally fine. each horse is an individual, but ALSO keep in mind the transition can take a few weeks to months depending. in addition to what the poster above me said, i also like keratex hoof hardner.
TOTALLY agree on boas. they tend to rub, cause sores, tighten unevenly, and also just don't hold up as well overall imo. the easyboots are lighter weight, but i have had horses gallop/jump clean out of them if they overreach (even when properly fitted), which is why i tend to prefer the cavallos. however my horse that i do the heaviest jumping with is in cleats all around because he is awful bare so that's a non issue (tried every idea/method/trimming/supplement/topical/boot over 6 years...he's just flat out happier in shoes and is my only on in shoes).
do what's best for your horse, and like the above poster said, work closely with your farrier!
I've tried most sorts now and they either rub or dont stay on very well, the horses seemed to 'clump' about in them like I would myself if I were wearing boots that were somehow too big so they never felt really surefooted. OK as an emergency thing but for me thats about all. If your horse needs shoes then thats the best thing for it, far too much hype about them. I would love to save money - though it costs nearly as much for a trim as shoes do. My friemd has a neighbour who is still insisting on having her mare barefoot after a year now and can no longer ride out with her as the horse is too sore to keep up after a really short time. How can that be good for the horse? All depends on the foot and what you want to do. I have 4 horses and they are all different yet kept to the same standard of health
Also, much like bits, you might have to try out a few different styles of boots until you find ones that stay on, don't rub, etc. There are as many opinions out there as there are hoof boots.
A barefoot horse requires frequent trimming, in many cases much more than the monthly trims you will be paying for. My horse's hooves grow so quickly, I have to keep trimming them down every week or so. There is a much smaller margin of tolerance for a barefoot horse than a shod one. If you let the walls get too long, you have an unrideable sore horse on your hands. Quite frankly, if shoes are not currently negatively affecting your horse, just keep them on and save yourself the aggravation.
I've rode my mare in Easy boot Epics the last two years. There a very good boot but a bit of a pain to put on.
I got a brand new pair of Tennessee Orange Renegade's in the mail yesterday.
Ask me in a couple of years how I like them!
My mare gets a trim every 6 weeks, and has for the last two years that she's owned me.....The easy boots still fit and still have some life left in them.
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