Horse boots

101d

Member
I’ve heard it said that hoof boots can completely replace horse shoes. Can anyone tell me how accurate this is? I would also appreciate hearing your personal experiences with hoof boots
 

SM1199

Member
From what I understand, the brands vary wildly. I've heard some bad reviews about the boots that you velcro on after attaching sticky velcro pads to a horse's hoof. Some other ones that slide on with leg straps instead of velcro on, I've heard great things about (still depends on the brand though) and lots of people use them for endurance horses.

Quite honestly, I don't think you're going to get a great variety of answers here. Perhaps head over to horseforum.com - I have an account there as well - and ask your question there. You will get many more experienced responses!
 
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101d

Member
Thanks for the help!
 

averyNOLA

Member
I ride hunter jumper horses/ show in a competition barn. None of our horses go in boots (for their feet, many are ridden in open front/splint boots up front and ankle boots behind). Personally, I think finding a good, experienced farrier and putting shoes on is a far better route to go. I know some people are against horse shoes, but most horses are FAR more comfortable with shoes than with out them.
 

EmiliyaCossack

Member
It depends on the horse, but I don't recommend switching to horse boots instead of horseshoes. I have used both. I actually went the barefoot route and my horse was better for it, but he had incredibly hard hooves and I had an amazing ferrier. I used to have to get his feet trimmed about every six weeks though, or less, because it was so important to keep up on his trimmings since he didn't have shoes. I think there are a lot of benefits to going barehooved with horses, and there are benefits to using the horse boots for certain kinds of rides. for example, if you're doing a 25 mile ride on rocks and your horse is barefoot, I would get boots. But for the most part, I didn't have to use boots at all on my horse. Plus, it would get really frustrating having to pick out all those little weedy seeds out of the velcro after every ride! I am an advocate for barefoot horses, but like one of the posters said for jumpers, I think it's better to shoe them. I was an avid trail rider and not a competitor, I think that shoes have a place for competitive horses.
 

SecretiveFish

Member
My horse is not shod, so I have played with the idea of getting boots for her for the one trail ride a year we seem to do. I may still follow through but haven't yet.

If my horse was consistently having tender feet or I was heavily competing or I was jumping a lot, I would go with the shoeing route instead of boots. With what we do, my mare has been fine without them for the handful of shows we have been to and the handful of trails we have been on.
 

Dart

Member
I don't shoe my horses, but I have considered booting. The benefit of booting only when needed is the sole and hoof still gets better circulation, but if you have a horse that truly needs shoes for a reason (eg. navicular, etc), then I'd just put shoes on. They each have their place, IMO.
 

averyNOLA

Member
Not all of ours go in shoes. My junior hunter wasn't shod behind until a few months ago when a trainer told us it would be easier for him to get a lead swap with hind shoes. He was jumping courses regularly without being sore without shoes but I think a lot of horses are just way more comfortable with shoes.
 

Maryellen

Member
101d said:
I’ve heard it said that hoof boots can completely replace horse shoes. Can anyone tell me how accurate this is? I would also appreciate hearing your personal experiences with hoof boots
I’m quite late to this thread, but as a dressage rider I’ve learned (while it depends on the horse and what you’re doing with it) shoes can make or break the horse. Boots can be great for super sturdy horses in lighter work, but I’m for horseshoes all the way.
 

JamesVader

Member
This is an aquarium forum! Lol
 

Toothless17

Member
JamesVader said:
This is an aquarium forum! Lol
I know, right? My first thoughts were.....horse boots as an aquarium decoration???
 

Toothless17

Member
I'm also late to this thread.
I personally don't think hoof boots can replace horse shoes.
Not every horse can go barefoot. I know my gelding could not: despite regular trims & proper nutrition, his feet would chip really quick. Horse shoes were a must for him for protection & support.
Hoof boots don't offer support, rather more protection from bruising &, depending on the boot, some traction, although I'm not sure if it would offer the same traction as borium or corks would on a nailed on shoe. But perhaps as much as an uncorked rim shoe?
That being said, my only experience with a boot was with the Easy Boot almost 25 years ago when my gelding bowed his tendon & my vet needed his heel lifted to relieve tension on the tendon. She suggested the boot & 3 wedge pads in it to start off with. He was on stall rest with this on for a month & then short hand walks. That boot used to come off his foot, even with it sized properly & adjusted right - such a pain!
 

Brizburk

Member
I used easyboots on my horses about 10 years ago. Only when I knew we were going to be on very rocky trails. The boots I used had the metal grips on the side that helped hold the boot in place. They weren't easy to put on or take off. The big downside to them was rocks and dirt and sand could get in and cause pain, I'd have to get off, remove the boot and empty it, put it back on. Since then there's been a lot of advancement for boots. I'm a barefoot advocate for most horses but like others have said, not all horses can go barefoot, mine all did, even my OTTB (he had really good feet). There's even advancement in composite shoes (non metal) that glue on instead of nail on.
 

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