Horse Boots 101: Part 1
Professional discusses the importance of boots for your horse's ultimate leg care protection
Professional’s Choice representative by day, professional rodeo cowboy by night -- Brodie Poppino knows first-hand the importance of protecting his roping horse, Ice Box, with class-leading boots. In a recent Q&A, Brodie detailed the importance of equine boots during both pleasure and competition riding, and just how necessary they are across all riding disciplines.
Why should horses wear boots?
When we get up in the morning, we put on two shoes to protect our two feet. Horses have four legs, so they need four boots. Anytime we work with a horse, and he is doing more than just natural movement, it is crucial for us to protect him with both overreach and splint or support boots.
What is the benefit of overreach/bell boots?
Often I’ll hear, “We don’t see a reason for the bell boot.” When in all reality, the bell boot should always be the first boot to put on. Horses can always overreach and clip themselves. A bell boot is somewhere around $30 a pair. I consider that cheap insurance to help save you as much as $1,000 at the vet clinic, if a horse clips himself badly.
Should horses wear both bell and splint/support boots?
I visit with a lot of people that use only splint or only bell boots. Why one but not the other? The horse hyperextends when they step. The main objectives of splint boots are supporting the ligaments and tendons, while also protecting from collisions of the leg. And when you add more power and speed, it only increases your need for both. For instance, when horses are shod -- even by the best farrier -- they may have nails sticking out slightly. I’ve seen the nails cut a horse’s leg open. Boots help protect your horse and will immensely cut down chances of injury.
Whether a horse rides English or Western, an extensive variety of boots are available for every discipline. Continue reading Horse Boots 101: Part 2 to learn more about properly applying and caring for boots.