Best hoof boots?
I need to get some hoof boots for my mare. She goes great barefoot but needs protection over our rocky trails. My previous farrier recommended and ordered cavallo-delta boots but they are taking FOREVER to ship and one of my friends has had them rub. So I'm wondering about some others...for those of you who boot, what have you had best success with? (My mare currently does 10-15 miles or week but we want to get up to LDs) Thanks!
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I use easy boot gloves with power straps (all different so I remember which boot goes with each hoof) and 6mm pads on my mare. the pads are not essential but for my mare it improves the fit. I use wides on the front, regulars on the back.
Once I got the correct sizes they worked perfectly, no rubbing, twisted or lost boots, even at a gallop or big sideways shy. I did loose a hind a few times while working out the correct size and how to get them on!
Most trail/endurance riders use them in my area on good feet and something with a cable/tightening mechanism for odd shaped hooves
I always use a rubber mallet to set them (tight fit) and for long boggy/muddy rides I might tape the hooves first, as extra insurance
Correct fit is vital with these boots, the tight streamlined fit doesn't allow for flares, long toes, high heals and other distortions don't really work with these boots
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If you are riding fast or long, you will want to use a boot that isn't likely to rub. IMO, your best bests are Renegades, Vipers, Easyboot Gloves, or Easyboot Epics.
I use Renegades and Vipers. One of my horses (TBx with white legs) has very sensitive skin and my Epics will rub her on long rides. I haven't used Gloves, but the gaiter is the same, so I assume the would rub her too. She is not normal. My other horse doesn't get rubs from Epics. I think most wouldn't. But if you have a sensitive skinned horse that is something to consider.
I love the Renegades, and even more so the new Vipers they are coming out with. No rubs, and they stay on through all kinds of crazy terrain, mud, and speed. Plus they are really easy to put on and take off, once you have them adjusted properly.
I think the Gloves are great too, if your horse has proper hoof shape and measurements that they fit like a glove. If they don't fit perfectly you may have boot loss. Also, since they have to fit so snug, some people have a harder time getting them on and seated correctly, hence the rubber mallet. Not a big deal, IMO.
The Renegades/Vipers are more forgiving of less than perfect fit, they are actually designed to fit a bit loose compared to the Glove.
The Epics are probably the most tolerant of poor fit, since you tighten them down with the cable system. I've successfully used a size too big on a horse and just shortened the cables. However, some people think the cables are hard to put on and take off. I don't think they're bad at all, though I do have to use a hoof pick to get them off (and I stomp the buckle down with my boot to get them on). I used the Epics initially after pulling shoes while the hooves were transitioning and changing size/shape. I still have them as spares if needed, and I use them to medicate hooves.
I love the vipers and renegades. It took a little bit to get the right fit but they really stay on! And it's great cuz you can go a little big to make up for hoof growth between trimmings. The only thing about the vipers is my Velcro strap was already mutilated after just 2 rides...but they do send an extra with the boot.
I had 4 pair of Boas all break over 3 weeks and another broke yesterday. :(. Never again! I had to hand walk her 4 miles back...luckily it broke heading back home and not 10 miles in!
I will be ordering back up Vipers just in case.
Renegades and vipers all the way. Best boot, takes a lot for them to come off and they have the best customer service with the manufacturer (trust me, Gina is a god send) and they come in some bright colors. My Vipers are bright lime green.
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Another vote here for the Vipers. I took them out this weekend on a two day trail ride up in a National Forest. Up hills, down hills, deep sloshy mud and deep sucking bogs, and some nice sandy streams. The only issue I had was sand caught up in the toe area, but it didn't seem to bother Luka at all. I was really pleased with them and he was able to travel at a trot through most all the woods. Oh and I tried the Gloves....I do not want to have to find some rock to have to seat those things should they pop off. They were a pain in the behind to get on in the first place. I love the ease of the Vipers.
I love my renegades!
I vote for both Easyboot Gloves and Renegades. It really depends on your horse as well as your willingness to boot :wink: I personally use the Gloves because they work best for my mare (who interferes with a boot that has hardware) and I trim her myself so I can keep them fitting properly. If the Gloves fit correctly they stay on...but that also means the hoof needs to be trimmed/rasped every 2-3 weeks, sometimes even more frequently for horses that grow quick. My friend uses Renegade Vipers and her mare does well in those. She only has the farrier come out every 6 weeks so the Renegades are more forgiving when it comes to hoof growth and fit. We both ride on the same exact terrain (steep hills, boot-sucking mud, etc) and have had the same level of success with both brands of boots. My best advice would be to not choose a boot because someone else said it worked for them, choose a brand that is realistic to work for you and your horse :D
Easyboot Gloves & Renegade Vipers doing their job!
Thanks for all the ideas, everyone! I'm leaning towards EasyBoot Epics or Gloves, or Renegades. The Vipers aren't available yet, right? Does anyone know when they will be out, and should I wait for them? My mare has pretty good and normal feet, though she might have a bit of flare since she is older. I printed the EasyBoot sizing page and I'll go check her now. Thanks again! :)
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