Hoof Boot recommendations!?
I have a 2008 AQHA Gelding. Who was born with contracted tendons that has caused him to have very clubby feet on the front. I rescued him as a two year old and we have been doing corrective trimmings for about three years and have finally gotten him to grow a much better hoof. I want to send him to the trainer, but since he has a minimal hoof wall to nail to..and honestly I do not want to put shoes on him if at all possible. We tried shoes with him when he was two and he rips them off within hours...with bells, set forward, and I do not want to ruin the beautiful hoof I have worked so hard to grow. He just finished off his Cavallo boots...but there are so many great boots on the market that I was wondering what was your favorite and most of all, most comfortable. His cavallos did rub his heel a little at times, but never made a sore. He will only need them when being ridden out on trails to protect his thin soles.
So far I am most impressed with these:
Old Macs G2
and the Cavallo Sport Boot
There are several threads on personal preferences in boots. When making a selection there are a few basis things to think about for your personal needs: his hoof shape (oval or round), and really important to me - ease of use, and what the application is (arena, trail, pasture, or a combo). Old macs are tough as nails - they will last and last, BUT, they are a PITA to put on. I personally like trails - but that is just my personal preference.
I will look for other threads about it.
Personally, I would give some thought to attacking the thin-ness of his walls by every known angle...diet, hoof angle, terrain he is most often on, what-not. It can be improved, but not beyond his genetics...but I would guess you haven't' reached the "limit" of improvement, yet. But I would not put shoes on him.
Since you know you are trying to fit clubby feet, call the company who's boots you are considering and ask them for recommendations. Normally I would suggest Renegades for riding boots, but they do not fit or stay well on club feet. I'm thinking easyboot Trail. I use them on my horse's hinds which are more upright feet by design. They seem to fit well. Whatever you get, make sure it fits a tad snug. Everyone always forgets to factor in the new versus worn in material thing and end up with slightly large boots that spin around a bit, myself included.
If you look at the Easycare site, there is a lot of info there on choosing appropriate boots for your particular horse & situation. There are many different types & basically the best type is the one that fits your horse best. They're also helpful if you want to speak to someone in person about it.
Easyboot Gloves are a great boot, but with no ability for adjusting or fastening, hooves need to fit them pretty perfectly - they can be inappropriate for high heels & flared feet or for people who don't trim little & often, because there's not much leeway for excess growth. They also don't have room for pads, should that be a consideration(with thin toe soles & retracted frogs pads could well be helpful/necessary.
Old Macs are good for general purpose trail boots & are pretty 'user friendly' & easy to fit & use. They are a bit 'clunky' though, as with all the 'high profile'(boots that have an 'upper' around the fetlock) boots & also the high profile ones are more likely to rub if not a good fit and are not the the most appropriate for long/hard riding. Trails or the new Back Country Gloves(Glove shell with Trail upper for ease of fit & use) are other good 'high profile' options for light riding.
Cavellos are a cheaper boot, similar to the Easycare Trails. You say you've already used them & found they rubbed him tho. Again not designed for hard riding. I've found them hard to fit personally - they have been problematic even when the hoof measurement(there's only one for them) is spot on, they moved on the feet or rubbed, and I felt the uppers were a bit firmer/less yielding than that of Trails or Old Macs, so perhaps more likely to rub.
Boas are another to consider, but they're best for a more upright, high heeled hoof form, so if he's still that way, they may be appropriate option too. Renegades will apparently be more likely problematic for that kind of hoof form, but not speaking from personal experience on them. Easyboot Epics are a great general purpose boot too, but can be a little hard to get on & off.
Try the Easyboot back country. Its made on the glove body with less hassle and seems to stay put with no rubbing.
If the trails rubbed, avoid the Old macs. Same boot redesigned.
Boas can work well but they are very heavy and clunky
Id also send photos of my horses feet to the renegade folks and get ther opinion. Those are the best boot on the market IMO if they will work for the horse at hand. It depends on the degree of club and overall hoof shape as to how well they work.
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