August 26, 2021 5 min read
Horse hoof boots are becoming more popular, particularly with owners of barefoot horses. They can serve many purposes: replace a lost shoe in a pinch, offer comfort to a lame horse, protect the feet over rocky and inhospitable terrain, and even help to transition a horse from shod to barefoot. Choosing the right hoof boot that will both fit your horse and serve your purpose can be difficult. Luckily, there is a wide variety of sizes, makes, and models available on the market so you can be sure to find one that suits your needs.
Before you start shopping for horse hoof boots, take a moment and consider some factors that will impact your purchase. Understanding what you plan to use your boots for and your horse’s hoof size and shape will greatly narrow your options. Start your shopping journey not by reading reviews or window shopping, but by analyzing your situation honestly. Here are the questions you need to answer:
If you’re new to hoof boots, you may be surprised to learn that they’re being used in almost every type of riding and for a wide variety of purposes. Gone are the days where hoof boots were delegated to just being used in medical care, on the trail, or by casual riders. Now professional trainers are using hoof boots in the show ring. Manufacturers have created purpose-specific hoof boots to meet every equestrians’ needs.
Before shopping, take a moment to think about what you’ll be using these boots for. Are you looking for something to ride in? Boots that are tough enough to be worn in turn out? A boot that will only be used occasionally for soaking hooves or keeping medication on? Whatever you’re using it for, there is a hoof boot out there for you. Now, there are even hoof boots designed specifically to keep your horse comfortable during transportation. The Cavallo Transport Air Boot has built-in sole relief and additional cushion to help absorb the vibrations from trailering and prevent leg fatigue. The soft top reduces rubbing and keeps your horse comfortable.
Not all horse hoof boots are designed to accommodate every riding discipline. For example, the terrain on a gravel trail is very different from the soft sandy arena used by a dressage horse. Before you buy your boots, evaluate where you ride the most. Are you frequently going through water? Do you need a streamlined fit for lateral work? Do you often ride on pavement or over rocky ground? Answering each of these questions gets you that much closer to choosing the perfect hoof boot.
Just like people, every horse has a differently-sized and shaped hoof. Hoof conformation can vary a lot depending on how your farrier trims your horse’s hooves, the breed of your horse, and their particular genetics. Some horses have big round feet that may be wider than they are long. Other horses, like thoroughbreds, tend to have dainty narrow and more oval-shaped feet. If your horse has hooves that are more oval-shaped, look into EasyCare horse hoof boots as their sizing is designed for narrower hooves.
As the years have gone by, manufacturers of horse hoof boots have developed a wider range of shapes and sizes to accommodate a wider variety of horses. For example, Cavallo has developed a regular sole and a slim sole version of their hoof boots. The regular sole is designed for horses with round feet that are the same width as length. The slim soles, on the other hand, are more oval-shaped. Cavallo has also created a “Big Foot Boot” designed for the extra large hooves of draft horses.
At Breeches.com, we’re proud to offer a wide variety of hoof boots. With our broad inventory, chances are good that we can provide you with one that will fit your horse and meet your needs.
Horse hoof boots are a great way to keep injured hooves clean and provide additional cushion for sore soles. Some of our favorite boots for medical care are the EasyCare Cloud boots, EasyCare Rx Therapy boots, and the Tough-1 Hoof Saver Boot.
The Cloud boots are renowned for their cushioning properties and are often used for horses that may be suffering from laminitis or founder. Lightweight EasyCare Rx Therapy boots offer added stability and support for horses suffering from chronic lameness due to issues such as navicular disease. The Tough-1 Hoof Saver Boot is a bit different from either of the EasyCare boots. This boot is made from a durable rubber material and is designed to hold medications and eliminate the need for wrapping.
Trail riding has a reputation for being “easy.” The truth is that serious trail horses encounter a wide variety of terrain that top dressage horses would struggle with. Endurance riders often travel over seriously rocky terrain that require more grip than what horse shoes or bare hooves can provide. This is where Cavallo Sport horse hoof boots come into play. These boots have an aggressive tread for extra traction and are lightweight so as to not interfere with your horse’s natural movement. With a secure hook-and-loop closure, they won’t come off your horse’s hooves unless you take them off.
If you aren’t a die-hard endurance rider but still encounter rough terrain while riding, try the EasyCare Trail Horse Hoof Boots. These boots have a tough protective shell covering the outer part of the boot for added protection. At an affordable price point, they are perfect for the casual rider who enjoys heading out on the trail.
Mud can suck poor-quality hoof boots right off of your horse’s hooves. When you ride through muddy and wet terrain on a regular basis, you want a pair of horse hoof boots that will allow water to drain without coming off and can stand up to the aggressive suction of mud. If you ride in terrain like this, take a look at the Cavallo Trek boots. They have a unique honeycomb structure that decreases the weight of the boot while also preventing sand and debris from getting inside. The aggressive tread prevents mud and dirt from impacting the sole, while built-in openings on the sides allow water to drain while you ride.
Before heading to your next show, remember that horse hoof boots are not allowed in all rings. Rated dressage shows do not allow any material to come up above the coronary band, including hoof boots. Cavallo does not recommend barrel racing in hoof boots as they are not designed for the enormous amount of torque placed on the hooves around the barrels. Most hoof boots are also not designed for reining competitions as they do not accommodate sliders. However, disciplines like show jumping and cross country do allow you to compete in horse hoof boots.
When showing, you want a hoof boot that is sleek, streamlined, and looks great. The Cavallo Simple Boot features an all-leather upper that can be shined and conditioned just like your tall boots or saddle. The black color blends in nicely with most hooves. Altogether, its streamlined profile is discrete and does not draw the eye away from the horse.
Once you can answer the questions in this blog, you’re ready to start shopping for your next pair of horse hoof boots. Whether you’re looking for a medical boot, a tough pair for your next endurance ride, or a beautiful sleek set of boots for the jumper ring, you can find the horse hoof protection you’re looking for at Breeches.com. We proudly offer brands like Cavallo and EasyCare, along with a wide selection of hoof boot accessories.
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