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Bellefarms
Dec. 5, 2011, 08:34 AM
What boots do you use on your horse? For shock absorption, protection and support?

echodecker
Dec. 5, 2011, 09:18 AM
I know there are folks on both sides of this, but I truly believe that boots don't offer support or shock absorption. What they can offer is strike protection from other legs or external objects. If your horse is one that likes to crack himself in the legs, then go for it. But realize that protection is all they are providing, and often at the cost of moderate to extreme heat buildup in the leg. And heat buildup like that is very very bad for soft tissue. It's a balancing act.

For my dressage only mare, I use no boots up front and Eskadron ankle boots in the back (she interferes occasionally). When she had front shoes on, I also used bells because she enjoyed pulling her shoes off.

For my 4 year old that is eventing, I use no boots period except on the XC course or for XC schooling. For that I use N.E.W. lightweight competition boots. They retain hardly any water, very little heat and have kevlar on the outside and titanium tendon guards. I only use them because I don't want to have to worry so much about a brush or bump over a fence during a XC run.

When I'm starting babies, I use the Dover neoprene brushing boots, they are sturdy and inexpensive. Babies don't know where their legs are and I'd hate for one to have a bad experience by hurting themself when I could have prevented the scrape or cut with boots.

Once they know what's going on, I pull the boots off because there is also benefit in knowing where their legs are and if they want to act up and knock themselves they should know that it will hurt just like if they do it in the field.

My general plan is minimal booting to get the required strike protection.

BaroquePony
Dec. 5, 2011, 09:22 AM
Agree with the ^ above.

quietann
Dec. 5, 2011, 09:22 AM
Agree with echodecker... This subject comes up so often I have a standard answer.

My horse doesn't interfere unless she does something super-silly. I prefer to leave her legs bare, but use the basic Woof splint boots (a) when she has her winter shoes with studs on (for riding and turnout) and (b) when we hack out, because we go over a lot of rocky and uneven terrain, and take an occasional narrow mountain bike path through the trees and brush.