Bell Boot Issues
This is going to sound really idiotic, considering iv been riding for about 8 years, but after my lesson, when I went to untack the pony, I could not figure out how to get his bell boots off .. there were no velcro straps or anything! For some reason, I've never needed to put bell boots on or off any horse or pony, so this totally perplexed me! What am I missing? :?
lol don't worry, ive been riding since i was 3/4 and i haven't heard of bell boots before... and ive never used them but it will be interesting to hear what people have to say.....
Those sound like the rubber slip on bell boots :) We used to use them for Skippy! Because he would tear his other bellboots off. He couldnt do that with these though! LOL! They are a pain to get on and off, you have to stretch the living bajeezus out of em to get them over the hoof.
One day, Skippy! pulled one of his over his kneecap.. LOL only Skippy! could pull that off! LOL!
My general rule for riding is, return the horse to its stall/pasture exactly how it came out. So if you brought the horse out with bell boots and a fly sheet on, then return it with the bell boots and fly sheet on =)
By the way, Bell boots are rubber bell shaped things that completely cover the hoof/coronet band in most cases. Primarially, they are used for horses that over-reach when they walk/trot and have a habit of pulling their front shoes off with their over-reaching back feet. They are also used a lot for a similar problem: injury/damage to the front feet/coronet band when the back feet over reach and clip them.
Slip ons (the ones i believe your horse was wearing)
No turn bell boots that velcro in the front, and keep the back of the hoof completely covered.
I hope my post wasnt too confusing, LOL im sorta wonky today
ooo ok yes that makes MUCH more sense .. i didnt wanna stand there and look like an idiot as i tried to stretch the boot over his hoof lol. i briefly attempted but I guess I didn't stretch it enough because it definitely wasn't coming off. I didn't want to test it too much if I wasn't doing the right thing lol. thanks for the advice!! it helped TONS!!
You are very welcome!
Me and my dad were lucky to have a very patient 3 year old. That's when he started wearing bell boots, and we first realized his love for undoing velcro, LOL! But since he was so patient, he would allow us to hold up either front foot for like.. 5+ minutes until we slipped the rubber one on. He used to eat at them, bite off pieces and whatnot.. then eventually gave up (after pulling one up over his kneecap, LOL! The other one was half wya up his cannon bone)
I think he made the connection that the bell boots were there to stay, and that it was MUCH easier to wear velcro ones, since he wouldnt be hasseled for a total of 10 minutes while we tried to put the rubber ones on! LOL!
^^oh my gosh I hate those stupid rubber ones. They take FOREVER. If only horses could learn to love velcro...that's the day pigs fly.
Yes full rubber ones are a pain. Soaking them in hottish water helps before you put them on as they strech more easily but unless your horse is fine with his hot in warm water (some don't mind) its not an option for getting them off. Someone once showed me how to use baling string threading between the hoof and the shoe can be used to get them off. Its less painful than trying to get a finger betweenthe hoof and the boot. You have to wiggle a bit down at at time and you pull on the string and then slide it around to the next part and pull that part down until its off.
A word of caution about leaving bell boots on for a long time. Which is often done to prevent a horse from stepping on its front shoes with its hind hoof when a farrier is trying to grow the heals out on the front feet and has trailers on the backs of the shoes. (Piece of shoe that projects behind where there is currently hoof which give support to hoof as it grows down encouraging it to grow down in the heal area). Bell boots can rub the bulbs of the heal raw if left on for long periods. Rather than taking them off flip them inside out so they point up the horses pastern. This will allow air to get to the bulb of th eheal and prevent rubbing. You could do this while you groom etc when the horse has no chance of stepping on its self.
To touch on what Rose said:
Another issue with leaving bell boots on, is if your horse is in or around mud, it will ball up and dry underneith the boot which can lead to all sorts of fungus' growing, or sensitivity on the coronet band from caked mud on the coronet band rubbing on the bell boot. It is good practice to always clean under the bell boot each time you groom your horse and check over the hoof wall to make sure there is no odd stuff there.
Taking the bell boots on and off (if you have the velcro kind) is kinda stinky... because the velcro will begin to wear out and it will be more prone to falling off. Thankfully, most bell boots have two velcro straps (so it rests on velcro, then another piece is folded over top of it) and this prevents them from falling off (for the most part)
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