Horse Boots – Types of Horse Leg Protection
Horse boots are designed to protect a horse’s legs when being trailered, turned out or while being ridden. Many horse activities place tough demands on a horse’s delicate legs. Protection is needed to prevent injuries from occurring. Some conformational faults in horse’s predisposes to striking themselves accidentally while being exercised.
TYPES OF HORSE BOOT Splint boots or Brushing boots have a feature padding down the inside of the leg to protect the small splint bone and tendon area.The boots should start just below the knee and end just below the ankle or fetlock. Hind splint boots are usually longer than front splint boots and will protect the cannon bone.
TENDON BOOTS This boot is designed to protect the tendons which run down the back of the horse’s lower front legs. These boots should be placed high enough to protect the tendons and extend far enough to protect the ankle or fetlock joint. When you hear the term Speedicut boot it is the same as the tendon boot but is applied to the rear legs.
OPEN FRONT BOOTS Seen mostly on show jumpers because they protect the back part of the leg when taking a jump. Yet if the horse bumps or rubs the bar he will feel it. Because of there use open front boots are a bit more heavy duty than most of the synthetic boots and usually have elastic straps to help hold them in place without putting putting undo pressure on the leg.
FETLOCK BOOTS Are no more than a shortened version of brushing or splint boot that is used on the hind leg .
SKID BOOTS are used by Western riders and are used to prevent injury to the back of the fetlock while doing sliding stops.
BELL BOOTS Also known as overreach boots prevent overreach injuries that occur when the toe of hind hoof strikes the heel or coronet of a front hoof. There are several ways to manufacture bell boots. Originally bell boots constructed with gum rubber and were called PULL ON BELL BOOTS . To use them they are to be turned inside out and then pulled over the hoof which was quit easily done. However as compounds were introduced the rubber did not stretch as easily. Thus the use of Velcro was introduced so they could be placed on the ankle with less trouble.
FETLOCK RING This device is used to prevent brushing or striking problems. It is merely a hollow rubber tube with a strap that passes through the tube and has a buckle.
SHOE BOIL BOOT Sometimes called a sausage boot was once made of leather or canvas and then stuffed. Today they are made of a molded sponge with a tough shin to prevent wear. They are used on stabled horses to prevent injury to the elbow when the horse lays down.
There are many other types of boots such as therapy boots, poultice boots, hoof socks and even more wraps. The point is that a horse’s legs are quite delicate when you consider that most are about the size of a humans wrist yet support so much weight. Consider this, at the gallop a horse strike the ground at about 2900 pounds per square inch of foot and you will understand why it is so important to support and protect this valuable animals legs.