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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at purchasing hoof boots. We are thinking to go barefoot with a farrier coming to give a trim every 6 weeks. We are looking to cut cost in the long run.

We ride in very rocky rough trails. We have always had to use shoes. Once I tried to ride without shoes and the horse became lame fairly quick.

My question.... Of all the hoof boots out there I like the look of the renegade best. I have heard/read about the renegade viper but cannot find any place on-line that has info/sales on them.

Can you give me info on going from shoes to hoof boots, and can you give me an address for the vipers?? Also.... can I just use front boots or do I need them on all 4 feet??? When it comes to the hoof boots we are totally clueless!

Rhonda
 

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Vipers are still in "pre release". You can buy them if you contact the company directly. Instructions on how to measure are on their site but vipers run differently so you will need to consult with them about sizing too.

If you're using hoof boots because the horse goes lame on the terrain then the horse should get boots on all four feet. Otherwise he'll just go lame in the hooves without boots.

First find out if your horse can go barefoot and stay comfortable. If he can't then the rest is moot.

Good luck! I just got a set of four studded original renegades a week ago.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dancing, We don't ride in the summer (heat/Flys) so the horses are barefoot all summer long usually 3-4 months. They are fine then.. I guess the question of 2 verses 4 boots is something we will just have to figure out as we go.. right now I just am trying to figure out which boots!!

I went to the Renegade site and could not find any info on the vipers at all. where would I find it???

Rhonda
 

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Hey great question,
First you should know that I'm a graduate of Ok state Horseshoeing school and a member of the AFA. I get this question a lot. A lot of farriers are recommending these boots for light trail riding for their barefoot clients an even putting vettec pads under them for added protection in the pasture depending on their pasture environment. Horses put 70% of their body weight on their front feet and only 30% on the hinds. Boots like this are usually worn in pairs on the front. Make sure you know what size shoe your horse wears because the good boots come in shoe sizes..00,0,1,2..etc. make sure they are snug but not tight and know that if you ride a lot of concrete or gravel they will have to be replaced. Make sure your horses feet are clear of any debris and water before applying. Vet wrap around the top will prevent sand from entering and irritating on the ride :) Happy trails
 

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What do you feed your horse as this is crucial when considering going barefoot? Just a tiny bit too much spring grass and my rock crunching tb is suddenly footie. Boots are very good to help transition. but having used Renegades I now prefer easyboot Gloves by far (but you need a perfect fit), Renegades are just too slippy in uk wet conditions.

So get the diet right (low sugar, low starch and balanced minerals), create movement with the help of boots to allow the hoof to strengthen in comfort, and don't allow anyone to trim the sole or frog if possible. I personally would not be trimming every six weeks ut that would depend on how much you can do without boots and how fat your horses hooves grow.
 

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There's a flaw in the idea of trimming every 6 weeks. If you go barefoot and will need hoof boots that will fit well enough to ride, you will need to maintain the trim more frequently. If you want boots that don't pop off every time you want to ride above a walk, the hoof needs to stay the same size. If you wait 6 weeks, you will most likely need 2 pairs of boots. Also, most farriers charge more for the trim than the shoes, so you might not be saving as much money as you think considering the cost of purchasing hoof boots. If you are unlucky enough to have a farrier who doesn't trim well, it will create far more problems barefoot than with a shoe on.

Transitioning to barefoot is entirely different from horse to horse. You can do all the right things and still end up with an ouchy horse. I tried for a full year and ended up back in shoes. You will need to learn how to do touch up trims, have the time to hand walk your horse daily on hard surfaces to help him acclimate his feet, apply hoof boots as needed, and possibly have to modify his turnout area in case he is ouchy there too. There will be times when you cannot ride because the soles have shed and the new ones need time to toughen up. Rainy weather can bring out sensitivity. If you're like me, you will spend most of your rides looking for hoof boots you lost on other rides. I like the idea of barefoot, but it certainly did not work for me. I spent more money, not less.
 

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Why would your farrier charge more for the trim than the shoes? Does not compute.
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Shoes here are between £60 and £80 for a set, a trim is £20:?

I have two horses that self trim and never see the farrier, I used boots for a while but don't any more - it is much cheaper:lol:
 

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Why would your farrier charge more for the trim than the shoes? Does not compute.
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I just mean the, a farrier who charges $120 for shoes, would still charge $90 just to show up and trim without shoes. It's not like no shoes cuts the price in half.
 

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I have only lost, without a trace, one hoof boot in about 8 years. And that was because we were up the side of a mountain when I realized it was gone and I didn't want to go back and look for it. So, at least for me, it's not like they get lost all the time! I think I have also had one or two come off when either the cables broke or I was using a size too big for the horse, but in those cases the "gaiters" (these were Easyboot Epics) held them on the foot so I never lost them. Maybe me and my horses are lucky, but I have never had loosing a hoof boot to be a real issue. We canter here and there and do LOTS of rocky mountain terrain.

What I do find to be a pain is that occasionally parts break, like the buckles or cables. But I have gotten pretty good at replacing cables with cable from the hardware store. The buckles generally break under warrenty, and I patch worn gaiters myself. Again, I use Easyboot Epics.

I haven't had good luck with Old Macs or Easyboot Bares.

I really, really want to try the Renegades or the Vipers.

I ride all the time, probably 50% of the time bare and 50% of the time in front boots, depending on who I am riding with and where we are going and when the horses were last trimmed.

Which brings me to trimming. I find that if the feet get long enough (like towards the end of the trim cycle) I don't even need to use boots because the feet have enough hoof on them for protection in the rocks. But I pretty much always use boots right after a trim. If I need touch ups to get the hoof small enough to fit in the boot, I just use a rasp. But I also do my own trimming so I can trim whenever I want and don't have to rely on a farrier.

But I have been "doing barefoot" for about 8 years now. I can't imagine ever going back. But I understand shoes are more convenient for some folks. For instance, I have one friend who gets all her horses shod and won't even bother with a boot if she looses a shoe....she just waits for the farrier. But I'm not like that. I would rather be in control of my own horse's feet. And I never have to worry about lost shoes. :)
 

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I ordered another pair of Renegades the first of September. I called Landers and asked about the Vipers.....I was told they were 6 months away so look for them sometime next spring.
 

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I just mean the, a farrier who charges $120 for shoes, would still charge $90 just to show up and trim without shoes. It's not like no shoes cuts the price in half.
If that's what your farrier does, you're getting ripped off.

My farrier charges $35 for a barefoot trim and I think shoes are something like $100 but I've never had my horse shod. $90 for just a trim is insane.
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That's how they do it in my neck of the woods. They are all like that.
 

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I probably could find a farrier that worked cheaper than mine does, but my farrier shows up when he says he will and that's something I didn't get in the other farriers I tried.

After all, time is money so when they don't show it cost me money and it's cheaper to work with someone who's dependable.

Rhonda Lynn, did you order the Renegades yet?
 

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My experience is similar to TrailHorseRider: after riding 5 years in boots, only once a boot came off and was found later. No loss. I train for endurance so there is a fair amount of trot-canter in my rides.
I also boot in the front only, when they are freshly trimmed and on longer rides on hard surfaces-gravel roads. Otherwise, later in the trim cycle, they usually go bare comfortably.

My preference goes to Gloves and I have an array of sizes to accomodate changing hooves. A good investment, the first pair I bought is still ok (became a winter boot with studs). Then, the Renegades are close seconds in my favorites. Then the Epics. (also became studded winter boots). Vipers on my wish list...

I wouldn't go barefoot to save money though. To have a happy horse bare, it takes dedication: a look into feeding, management, footing etc. You might save if you learn to trim yourself, with a professional once in a while to correct things if needed.
Good luck RhondaLynn, let us know how it goes. :wink:
 

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Only lost my Vipers once. We went to a pond to drink and the horse sunk up to his knees. There was no way even shoes would have stayed on on that mud. Had to get down on hands and knees to get them. Renegades and Vipers are expensive but well worth the money. Stay on in everything except soul sucking mud and they are easy to use.
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Only lost my Vipers once. We went to a pond to drink and the horse sunk up to his knees. There was no way even shoes would have stayed on on that mud. Had to get down on hands and knees to get them. Renegades and Vipers are expensive but well worth the money. Stay on in everything except soul sucking mud and they are easy to use.
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How did you manage to get your hands on the Vipers?
 
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