horse boots for the trail
My husband and I are pretty new to the world of horses. We really only ride on trails, since we live in the Daniel Boone National Forest and there are miles and miles of trails by our house (we're spoiled). A friend of mine suggested I get horse boots to protect their legs when we're riding through brush. Does anyone else do this? Do you have any suggestions for specific boots to use? There is a huge variety out there and I don't even know where to begin. Do horses usually accept these pretty well?
My horse thinks he is a bulldozer. He likes to go through trails that aren't really there. I'm forever worrying about his legs with all the thorny brush.
For starters, make sure whatever you choose does not absorb water. Don't use SMB's. If you go through water, the extra weight from the waterlogged boot can put extra stress on their legs. Same with fleece. Neoprene is popular and most boots are made with it. It can make their legs hot since it doesn't breath, but if you go through a lot of water, I think that would help keep them cool.
I've tried quite a few different brands. I settled on Davis Splint boots. They have a hard outer shell for going through brush and a rubber-ish liner as a cushion for the leg. Seems like the best of both worlds to me. They're easy to hose off which is also a big plus. Here's a link to the Davis boots.
Davis Pastel Splint Boots - Dover Saddlery.
I do not like boots on my horses. Here's why : #1 I don't believe they really do anything for them. #2 If they walk through water at any point in the ride (even if they don't soak up water) and then go through any deep soil or sand, they will tear up the skin under the boots. I've seen several horses cross rivers and mud, then ride for the rest of the afternoon thinking they were ok, only to pull the boots at the end of the ride and have the hair worn off, and very raw legs.
I think if you're using them in a dry arena with a dry horse, you're fine, but on the trail, I think they're a gimmick. Just my personal experiences.
I ride as rough of stuff as anybody.
I don't use any kind of leg protection. I do occassionally use use Easy Boot hoof boots to protect the hoof since I leave al my horses barefoot.
But if I had shoes on, I would add nothing to protect the legs.
My horses do occassionally come home with rock bites. It's just part of being a trail horse. they have never done any permant injuries, just scrapes and small cuts usually around the cornet line and the pastern.
PH are you in Utah?
Paint Horse, I woundered if I knew you...the picture confirmed it! I know you from ATR!
Bowing to PH, he does ride some of the roughest I've seen, words of wisdom from him!
Thanks BH, It doesn't matter where you go, some body knows ya!
qtswede Yes, I'm in Utah
I ride the slick rock in the winter months
And the high country in the summer
And I've never used any leg protection for the horses legs. And I can't even start to tell you how many miles of trails my horses have covered.
I agree on not using the boots, I dont ride near as hard as ^^^ them but i do go through brush and rivers that horses have to swim through part of it. Ive only experienced 2 injuries and they were minor...one was a small cut on the side of the fetlock (looked bad though cause it got wet and he had white legs so it looked like a scrape but it was a minor skin scratch. and the other was a small puncture above the coronet band but it was no bigger than the end of a push pin (the ones you use to hold fabric together in home ec and stuff) I say dont waste your money
I would protect your horses legs, better be safe than sorry right? I use Woof Boots for everything I do and on all the horses that are worked. Good luck with all the riding! :D
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