There are many things horse owners have in common; with one of the main commonalities being our horse’s safety and well-being. And so many of us use boots to “protect our horse’s legs”. But how well do we know the true benefits of horse boots? Here we have all the different styles of boots and their leg protecting benefits and purposes!
Open Front Tendon Boots
Tendon boots are similar to the brushing boots. However tendon boots are typically constructed from a hard-wearing shell for further protection and impact absorption. They are used for all types of riding and disciplines, but are more commonly used for jumping. (i.e. Show-jumping, eventing, cross-country). When jumping, there is a higher risk of the hind legs catching and striking the front legs over jumps. Open front boots are also preferred as it gives the horse more leg-to-pole awareness. Designed mainly to protect the horse’s leg tendons, they also provide protection to the lower leg ligaments and fetlocks.
Over Reach Boots / Bell Boots
Over Reach Boots, also known as ‘Bell Boots’, are designed to help prevent your horse over-striding with his back toes and clipping the back of their front hooves. Over reaching is a relatively common occurrence for horses; and is especially common during any form of jumping, during turnout or in muddy conditions. They help protect the back of your horse’s front feet from being caught when over-striding, which can cause painful injuries and wounds. Over reach boots are usually made from rubber, however there are now many other materials, qualities and colours to choose from – so take your pick!
Brushing Boots are a highly popular choice when it comes to horse boots. But why? The lower part of a horse’s leg is the place most prone to occurring injury or splints. A place where the tendon resides, this is a place that can easily be damaged during riding, exercise or turnout. These can be used on all four of a horses legs to prevent knocks, scratches and bruises. Horses legs play a huge factor when it comes to purchasing or selling a horse, so it is best to try keep a horses legs scar and injury-free by using brushing boots during any form of exercise. Brushing boots are also popular for competition horses to ensure optimum performance and a clean appearance.
Bandages are a universal style of boot designed to prevent injuries and support/protect horses tendons and ligaments. Firstly, bandages can used as a from of a medical dressing should a horse endure a wound or splint. As it provides protection, comfort and warmth – they can help prevent matters escalating. Secondly, bandages are highly popular for competition horses; especially dressage. Made from a soft, elastic material, they help warm up horses legs to encourage optimum movement and flexibility.
Bandages can also be used when transporting a horse. Either worn alone, under travel boots or over bandage pads, as they are a great way to optimise protection. However, if applied too tightly, it can cause sores, rubbing and reduces circulation for your horse’s legs, so it is important to ensure they are secure but not too tight. Once fitted, slide two of your fingers down the top to check for a slight-give.
These are a popular choice during the colder months to prevent swelling, stiffness and impact injuries from hard, solid ground.
Similar to Over Reach Boots, Fetlock Rings are a doughnut style ring that fits around a horse’s fetlock. Constructed from a thick rubber band, a Fetlock Ring is designed to prevent over striding injuries or sores to the back of the front-fetlocks. Ideal for those horse’s who have a tendency of striking between the Coronet band and the ankle joint. A great tack-room addition for high-endurance exercising, during turnout or for green/young horses.
Wraps are a hybrid between brushing boots and bandages. Designed to fit similarly to bandages and provide the benefits of both styles, these are a highly popular style of boot for all horses. They are a great way to protect the tendons, ligaments and fetlocks during exercise and turnout. They’re also a beneficial for reducing stiffness and swelling. With secure, snug-fit, they prevent dirt from getting under the boot and causing irritation. Which means they’re also an excellent way to keep your horse’s legs cleaner. Offering flexibility and comfort, these are a fab option for all types of horses – competition, young, old, green or injured horses.
Transporting our horse can be high-risk for accidents and injuries. Whether your horse is a nervy traveller or is as calm as a cucumber, Travel Boots are always recommended! No matter if your journey is long or short, you want to protect your horse’s legs no matter what, and so travel boots are a fab way to do so. They are constructed to cover from the hocks right down to the horses fetlock on the back, and just over the front knee down to the fetlocks on the front legs.
Most commonly designed with Velcro-straps to offer a quick application/removable.
Pamper your horse, get them feeling their best and improve their performance with equine therapy Medical Boots. Here at Naylors we offer an array of different medical boots, varying in their purpose. From freeze boots, to magnetic boots to heating boots. Use before or after exercise or turnout to improve circulation, reduce swelling and encourage freedom of movement. Medical boots typically target tendons and joints of the lower limbs. Ideal for all horses, especially older horses, those in training, injured, post-injured horses and competition horses. Choose from either front boots, back boots or hock medical boots here.
Stable Boots are a way to keep your horse’s legs protected, warm and injury free whilst they’re in their stable. They can be used for most horses, but are particularly good for those with arthritis, elderly, post-injured and competition horses. And are a safe way to prevent your horse from injuring themselves when rolling in the stable. The use of stable boots are more popular during the colder months to reduce swelling and stillness caused by the cold weather.
There are many risks for your horse during turnout, and many horses endure injuries, scratches and sores whilst being out in the field. So turnout boots are a great way to minimise the risk of a pricey vet bill! The use of turnout boots are again great for any horse, but are highly popular for elderly horses, competition horses and post-injured horses. There are a variety of turnout boots to choose from, but a great pair for any horse are the Arma Mud Socks. Designed to protect the legs, the mud socks also prevent the risk of mud fever/mud rash.
Fetlock boots carry the same properties as brushing boots, however they solely target and protect the hind fetlocks. These are highly popular for show-jumping, cross-country and eventing, as it is common for horses to kick, scrape or catch their hind legs on their own fetlocks or a jump/obstacle.
Temporary Shoe Boots
Temporary Shoe (or hoof) Boots are designed to offer protection from injuries, bruises or soreness – after incurring an injury or if your horse has lost a shoe. These are a great option for those with sensitive soles from being barefoot or after/during an injury to protect the frog and soles from a solid ground. Temporary shoe boots should only be used for a short period of time and with a vets discretion.
We hope you found this article informative and gave you a better understanding of the benefits/purpose of horse boots! If you have any questions please feel free to ask us in the comments section below.