easy boot vs shoes...
Like it says , I cant make up my mind on what one would do my mare better. she has flat front feeet.. She dooes trail riding, and is a backyard pony. I need to know if the boot with stay on with a gallop, mud ect. And what people think of them.. and if I should shoe.. i just hate the fact of them falling off...
These are the easy boots i was looking at ..
Simple Hoof Boots | Cavallo Horse & Rider
I don't think comparing shoes to boots is as simple as saying one is better than the other.
It comes down to the type of riding you will be doing and your philosophy on the care of your horse's hooves.
If you subscribe to the school of thought that barefoot is best for horses, then you'll be asking for peoples' opinions on one brand boot vs another or whether you need boots at all.
If you subscribe to the shod is better school of thought, or if you do something that really requires shoes for safety (cross country jumping on grass), or if your horse has a hoof-problem that requires shoes, then you need shoes.
You should have a serious talk with your farrier and discuss your horse's hooves, your terrain, and the type of riding you need to be doing and decide whether you want your horse to be barefoot and natural or not. If you decide on barefoot, you're going to be looking for boots, if she needs it. I trail ride just fine on barefoot horses without boots, but they have nice, healthy, hard hooves, and I don't take them on a wild gallop across rocky outcroppings or anything.
Barefoot is best in muddy conditions, since the mud doesn't ball up. Also best if the horse is standing in mud or snow in the field/paddock.
depends on the hooves, some boots fit some sizes better, Cavelos are fine for casual riding if they fit. Renegades are better, also easy boot epics. Again if they fit. The sizes run a bit different. All depends on the mileage, terrain, and how much you wanna mess with them. For me steel is better but I know alot of people that run boots. If I had dirt trails I would probably stay barefoot and boot on occassion. But the only place I have to trail has lots of crush and run gravel and with the way I ride boots wouldnt save me any money over steel shoes. So I go with the easier option of putting shoes on and not having to mess with hooves.
So to answer your question, sorry there is no answer just to many variables involved. You'll have to figure it out yourself.
I think Joe's comments make a lot of sense:
the wife's pony seemed to get a bit tender footed on the roads or rocky areas while riding this summer so we are in the same boat.
I talked to my farrier a month or so ago and simply asked "what do you think of boots, we are thinking of getting a pair for the wife's pony for next summer" and he stated he would go shoes over boots.
asked my sister who is a vet and been showing horses for years: she said spend some time every day to coat the hooves to make them tougher (I forget what exacly she said to do, but her idea was more a natural hoof care)
Our Riding Situation: trail rides 1-2x per month for maybe 3-4hours usually more like 2 hours. riding in the pastures around the farm (nothing but soft surfaces), and one long weekend of trail riding
So at this point: it doesn't pay to put shoes on for something that is only needed on 4 rides/year. so shoes are out at this point. So our next goal is to coat the hooves better and toughen them up. Then if the problem persists go for a pair of boots.
As far as boots go: the 2 brands I have read the most positive heavy duty trail reviews from are the Easy Boot & the Renegades. The more I read about the renegades the more I think thats the direction I personally will lean but I have read a lot of places that the best boot brand also depends on hoof shape
If you want to gallop and not spend the end of every ride looking for the hoof boots, put shoes on. I wanted very much to keep my horse barefoot, but I tried 3 brands of hoof boots with no luck. Shoes stay on much much better.
tim in your case I would go barefoot, maybe boots for your long weekends. You seem to have the ride schedule boots were made for. I'm not a fan of burning my horses feet. Thats basically what the hoof toughening chemicals are doing, an old trick thas been used for centuries is simple gravel. DO you have a bottleneck in your pasture that horses traverse every day ? maybe going to water or back to the barn ? A usually open gait ? Lay some course gravel down that thye walk across mutiple times a day. Will work just like it did when I was a kid and never had shoes all summer. Feet were tough as nails.
In my experience Cavallos were the worst. I used Easy Boots (Bare, now Edge) for several years and never had an issue with the boot falling off (I used on a trail for several hours, going through the mud, water, etc.). I've heard Renegades are nice, but never tried them. Old Macs are just VERY bulky and take forever to put on. But as already said - depends on the hoof shape.
In the time that it takes you to put your boots on, I will be saddled up and moving on down the trail. I do not have the patience for boots. Even the best boots take an extra effort each time you ride.
As I said, Im asking people what they think of them, and how these products will work .
My mare goes on trail rides, not often but enough. Im just worried about the shoes falling off alot..
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