Is it a good idea?

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Is it a good idea?

This is a discussion on Is it a good idea? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Good ideas for a successful trail ride on horses
  • Is it safe to ride horses on muddy trails

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    05-11-2013, 07:45 PM
Is it a good idea?

I am just getting back into some trail riding on a new horse, the trails we ride are pretty rough terrain, you think professionals choice front leg boots are a good idea to have on my horse just out of overall preventative protection? Or is it just overkill?
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    05-11-2013, 07:47 PM
I usually always ride with protective leg wear, so no, I don't think it's overkill :)
    05-11-2013, 07:51 PM
K! Thanks!:) I have had multiple people tell me that boots will actually weaken the muscles in the legs because they are so supportive........Better safe than sorry!
    05-11-2013, 08:02 PM
We ride some rough stuff. I used to put sports boots on my one clumsy animal to protect him from striking himself but they were NOT in any way structurally involved. I do not bother with my current (stout) mount.

I'm from the 'weaken and develop dependancy' camp.
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    05-11-2013, 08:59 PM
I live in an area where there is a lot of mud. I mean, a LOT. The soil is blue clay and the water just sits on top of it, even if there hasn't been good rainfall for days/weeks. It simply doesn't drain because there's nowhere for it to go.

I don't put any leg protection on my horse when I ride the trails. I figure it's more likely to get bogged down with heavy wet mud, or torn or caught up in underbrush.

But, if this is a new horse and you're not sure how he'll do on different terrain, I don't think there's any harm in trying him in some leg protection first. As you go along, you may or may not decide to continue using it.
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    05-11-2013, 09:11 PM
Green Broke
I use to put boots all around for trails, but it's not worth it if there's going to be a muddy trail (all year round on some part of any of our trails, lol). The mud weighs those boots down BAD. The mud usually adds about 5lbs to my boots if I put them I've been leaving them off unless we're doing all arena work.

I also ride rather rocky, rough terrain with steep hills..Unless I find boots that comfortably cover the whole hind leg up over the hock (which just isn't feasible, lol), the boot isn't going to do much good because my mare's hocks get the brunt of it. There's usually two or three good scrapes if I ride the one trail with the steepest hill. I try to avoid going down the hill..but sometimes I can't add on another hour of trail to bypass it.
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    05-12-2013, 01:51 AM
Just make sure your horse is used to the supports before you go. My husband's gelding would have no part of the things so we gave it up as a bad idea and resold them on ebay. We normally leave the legs bare and the only reason we got them for the gelding was a vet we normally don't use said it was a good idea. Turned out it wasn't...especially in HIS (the horse) opinion.
I think there are valid pros and cons on the use of sport wraps. If the horse needs the support or needs protection then they are good. Some riders like them as a cover against scrapes and cuts, and others don't want to risk getting sticks and junk up under the wrap if they do a lot of off the trail riding.
Pretty much simply a personal choice.
    05-12-2013, 10:24 AM
Originally Posted by michigancowgirl    
K! Thanks!:) I have had multiple people tell me that boots will actually weaken the muscles in the legs because they are so supportive........Better safe than sorry!
Horses don't have any muscle from the knee/hock down. I usually wrap my mares legs to go out since there's a lot of hills and rocks, and if she slips I don't want her to clip herself. I've seen legs gouged out on trails because the horse scrambled for footing and ended up nailing themselves with their feet. I don't like to wrap on trails if I know I'll be in water or rained on though.
    05-12-2013, 10:30 AM
Thanks!;) that's the thing we always have to cross a river......
    05-12-2013, 10:39 AM
My wraps get wet once in a while on trails because of the mud puddles, but its never muddy enough to cake the wraps and weigh them down. I use them for protection, not support so there's no reason why you can't get a pair of galloping boots and just take them off before the water and strap them back on after the river if you wanted. I'm a stickler about leg protection because of the things I've seen while fox hunting and with the polo ponies.

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