Questions about SMBs/other boots + arthritis
I have a mare with arthritis. It is manageable, easily, she gets her Legend shot every few months, and is on a joint supplement, and does wonderfully. She doesn't have any lameness issues.
I was just wondering, would it be a good idea to put some sort of shock-absorbing boot on her for general riding? She does fine, is never sore after rides, but I'm wondering if doing this would prolong her ability to be ridden by putting less stress on her joints.
I know that boots like SMBs are not generally recommended for flat work, but has anyone ever done this for this reason? Is there something better for this purpose? Is it better not to worry about it if she rides fine and has no lameness?
Thanks in advance! :]
Honestly I didn't know you weren't supposed to use them for flatwork. I used the SMB Elites all the time on my mare. They offer a lot of support.
Well, I don't think it's a "not supposed to" thing, but most people simply use them for strenuous labor, and believe that they offer "too much" support, making the legs weak once the boots are removed.
However, I have no opinion on this, as I have never used them.
How do you like using them on the flat? Do you think it would be good for the purpose of arthritic horse?
ETA: I have only heard this opinion about the boots, so please don't think I'm stating that as fact... I've just head that many think that about the SMBs.
I have seen Dressage Enthusiasts use SMB's when doing flat work.
There is a GP Jumper here from Germany who runs a large and expensive fascillity in the area and he turns his GP German Warmblood's out with SMB's.
I see quite a few Hunter/Jumpers using them at another barn when doing flat work/jumping during their lessons.
Many endurance enthusiasts use them and western gamers and reiners and the list goes on....
SMB's don't offer that much support. Many studdies have been done on them and they are proven to absorb shock - which is great because our horses joints take allot of that when in use - but the support is not much greater than what you would find with Woof Boots or Dressage Sport Boots.
Where other boots do not absorb shock, where SMB's do - that's why I like using SMB's.
I am not saying yes or no - the choice is yours. But there are allot of myths out there about the boots as well that aren't factual.
I love my SMB's, but I only use them when I am jumping - but again, the choice is yours.
I want to prevent and preserve injuries with my Boo's legs, that's why I use them.
Basically arthritis is inflammation of a joint. SMB’s support soft tissue.
I agree with the Legend and I feel the SMB’s will help support the soft tissue – which in turn supports the joints.
So, do you think the amount of shock absorbance would be good for an arthiritc horse? I was thinking of only using them for long trail rides, where the terrain can be difficult at times, or extensive flat work (which we probably won't be doing) - and leaving them off for our usual workouts.
Do the boots mainly offer shock absorbance to the cannons, and the tendons/muscles there, or would they be beneficial to her knees as well?
Sorry for all the questions, I have never used any sort of boot before on my horses, and I want to do right by my girl - I don't want to slap something on her that would potentially offer no help to her. You know?
I think they'd help. My gelding bowed a tendon last year, now he has to wear his SMB Elites whenever he works per vets orders. I think they've done a good job supporting him, he's never off and he still moves out and appears comfortable. It's up to you, but what can it hurt?
I suppose that's true, it wouldn't hurt. Thank you!
Any other opinions?
I think the 3 layers that the SMB's have put into their design - help absorb the shock from the hooft, to the ankles and canon bone - and therefore help reduce the shock that travels up the leg.
I think they're great and I'll always use them. I remember in Pony Club, we used those neoprene velcro on, basic splint boots and polo wraps - then SMB's came out and BAM!!! They were HUUUGE.
I remember they were soooo popular, just as what we see open fronts are today.
Dr Bunn, an Equine Vetnerinarian in Grand Rapids who specializes in leg injuries highly recommended them to me for my TB Nelson.
Thank you so much for the info MIEventer. I think I will invest in a set for my girl. :]
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