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  1. #1
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    Default Bell boots, Brushing boots, Training boots and so on ...

    I'm curious to see what the purpose of these boots and wraps are?

    I have seen the Bell boots used on jumpers, is there any reason to use them within any other discipline?

    And what is Brushing or Training boots used for and does it matter the discipline?

    I understand what Shipping boots are for, it's a counter measure to possible injuries.

    Why do some wrap their horses legs? Is the a purpose for the different boots or is it all about the individual rider/horse combo?

    Thanks...
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  2. #2
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    Bell boots are typically for horses that over-reach or grab.

    Brush boots and splints are for basic protection, as are polo wraps.

    Open fronts protect tendons.

    I grew up in a program where "less is more" and boots were a rarity. Now I hardly ever use them unless I see a need. Young horses might get bell boots and splint boots but that's about it. But I'm also not doing a lot of galloping, jumping, etc.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  3. #3
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    Bell boots: for horses that overreach - so, the hind leg comes so far under that it strikes the heel of the front leg. Bell boots protect the heel from injury. Any discipline can use them - they're seen in the jumpers often, because it's a speed event, and alot of horses get really keyed up in the ring making their stride longer and increasing the chances of overreaching. Some horses tend to do it chronically, like my mare. People also use them in turnout with horses like that.

    Brushing/Splint/Galloping boots: For horses that interfere. Generally, they're for horses that travel too closely so a hoof might catch the inside of a leg. Ankle boots are also used for this purpose - it tends to depend on how badly the horse travels. My mare, for example, uses ankle boots on her hinds because she doest often catch herself above the ankle; in front she uses splint boots for flat work and open fronts for jumping. They're also often used on babies who haven't really learned where their feet are yet! (Open front boots have the same purpose as these other boots, but - as the name suggests- they are open in the front, meaning the horse can still feel it if they knock a rail, so they wont become lazy over fences.)

    I've never heard of "training boots" - maybe it's just another colloquial name for one of the above types of boots.

    Polos/Wraps: There's a lot of conflicting opinion/evidence as to whether wrapping a leg provides support for tendons/ligaments, or simply protects from knocks a la brushing boots et al. In terms of general use, though, boots are far more suited to riding out of the ring - through fields, on the trail etc. and can be used by people who haven't learned to wrap bandages or polos properly. Personally, boots are my first choice because they're much less time consuming. I like to use white wraps for a flat lesson because it makes my horse's movement more visible to my coach. Most of the time, I use boots.

    What type of boot a horse needs is pretty much dependent on that horse and their movement; however, like i said before - open fronts are designed for use o/f, and that's why you see them used for that purpose. Also, many horses don't need boots if they're mosying around a ring, but may require them out over XC for example. Or they may not require boots if a beginner is just putzing around on them, but may need them when an experienced rider gets on and makes them work - their movement thus being bigger. Lots of horses don't really ever need them.
    Last edited by kashmere; Jan. 29, 2009 at 11:44 AM. Reason: typos!



  4. #4
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    All boots are for protection from interference, nothing more. I also believe in using nothing if at all possible - boots trap and hold heat and if improperly applied can cause more problems than they prevent. Putting boots or bandages on a horse for the sake of fashion is silly and may harm the horse. Boots, if needed for protection must be kept clean, very clean or you will get rubs and burns, and even deep sores. I despise polos - they seem to be good for only picking up every bit of rubbish within 500 yards and for coming undone.

    That said, I come from the most boot heavy industry - harness racing. I have accumulated over the years a good assortment of boots: front shin boots (splint boots to the rest of the world), bell boots, knee boots, scalpers, quarter boots, knee spreaders...in short, everything but boots use on trotters. We generally do not put boots on any horse until just before a training trip or a race - there are exceptions such as horses that go to their knees all the time, no matter what the speed, and bell boots. Bell boots are the sole exception to long term wear - they are often used to keep a horse from grabbing a shoe and tearing up a foot; horses that like to pull shoes will often wear bells all the time.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAHorseGurl View Post
    I'm curious to see what the purpose of these boots and wraps are?

    I have seen the Bell boots used on jumpers, is there any reason to use them within any other discipline?

    And what is Brushing or Training boots used for and does it matter the discipline?

    I understand what Shipping boots are for, it's a counter measure to possible injuries.

    Why do some wrap their horses legs? Is the a purpose for the different boots or is it all about the individual rider/horse combo?

    Thanks...
    I use brushing boots for protection for my young horse. Sometimes it seems like he doesn't know where his legs should be going, especially if we are working on leg yeilding or even groundwork that involves legs crossing over.

    I was using bell boots but they seemed to be rubbing him so I have stopped that and I'm just keeping an eye out for injuries. I may put them back on if I need to.



  6. #6
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    Thank you all for this input!

    In regards to it, Pete trips a lot, I realize more work with cavaletties might help him, and I don't know for sure if he's ever struck himself, but do you think I might need to consider using the brushing boots or an open front boot?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAHorseGurl View Post
    Thank you all for this input!

    In regards to it, Pete trips a lot, I realize more work with cavaletties might help him, and I don't know for sure if he's ever struck himself, but do you think I might need to consider using the brushing boots or an open front boot?
    Boots will protect his legs from interference but will not do anything about the root cause of the tripping.

    Ok this is just a thought...

    But given what I've read in your posts-- that he is resistant in going forward, and now tripping also-- I'd have your farrier AND vet take a good close look at his feet. A lot of those stock types are prone to navicular and other pathologies.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    Boots will protect his legs from interference but will not do anything about the root cause of the tripping.

    Ok this is just a thought...

    But given what I've read in your posts-- that he is resistant in going forward, and now tripping also-- I'd have your farrier AND vet take a good close look at his feet. A lot of those stock types are prone to navicular and other pathologies.
    Flash, thanks for the input! I value what you have to say. I'll speak with the farrier and I'll put in a call to my vet.

    We did some sort of lameness test my vet recommended 3 months after he arrived and I noticed the tripping them. Would that be the same thing?? If so, the vet said I have nothing to worry about.

    If not, what do I need to ask my vet and farrier to do? If I just call my vet and tell them I'm worried about Navicular, will they understand what is needed to be done?

    And I can surely hear it now from my BO, I read too much and always over thinking things. But I have to do what is right by my horse right?
    Chronicle of My Horse
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  9. #9
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    Well, the tripping and balking and not wanting to go forward could be a lot of things.

    He could just be a pisser, who knows. That is entirely possible!!

    He could have an underlying issue. Is he shod or barefoot? What sort of lameness exam did your vet do? Radiographs are the only way to really see what is going on in there.

    I don't want to be an alarmist, it very well could be that he is just not in front of the leg, being lazy, hence the tripping.

    But the extreme aversion to going forward, that I've heard about in your other posts, and the tripping... just made me wonder!
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    Well, the tripping and balking and not wanting to go forward could be a lot of things.

    He could just be a pisser, who knows. That is entirely possible!!
    This is entirely possible and exactly what my BO seems to think is his overall problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    He could have an underlying issue. Is he shod or barefoot? What sort of lameness exam did your vet do? Radiographs are the only way to really see what is going on in there.
    Currently, as of December 1st, he is barefooted. However, he'd been shod prior to my purchase of him in July and had worn shoes since.

    I'd have to check my vet records on the lameness test, but I am sure it did not include radiographs.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    I don't want to be an alarmist, it very well could be that he is just not in front of the leg, being lazy, hence the tripping.

    But the extreme aversion to going forward, that I've heard about in your other posts, and the tripping... just made me wonder!
    Okay, what does it mean 'just not in front of the leg?'

    I know he is still somewhat herd bound and often times barn sour. We've made great progress with both those issues. I could be in the arena working and a RH is feeding other horses in the yard and he had in the past, attempted to make a dash out the gate towards them. We don't have that problem any longer.

    And while he still trips from time to time, it does not happen with ever ride anymore. Just on occassion. I've also asked the RH who's working with him to note any tripping and how often during each ride in the journal I've asked her to keep.

    Again, thanks so much!
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  11. #11
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    To answer the second question, your vet ought to have no problem performing lameness exams and being polite and informative even if you aren't sure that something is wrong (unless you're the sort who never pays them, but I would guess that's not you). Bad behavior can stem from physical discomfort, and it takes some digging around to find out exactly what the issue is, whether its' just that he's not listening to you, or whether his feet might hurt. A horse that was resistant and started tripping, I'd talk to the vet and farrier again. You might just have a farrier problem.

    In the meantime and to answer your first question, IMHO and I realize that this opinion varies greatly between horsepeople, I feel that there are many types of boots today that are very simple to put on and conform well to the horse's leg anatomy. I personally would rather have boots on if I suspected there was a problem going on and have the boots get scratched up rather than risk having my horse slice her leg open or knock herself badly. That's just me. Some people think that less is more, and I don't disagree there, but having had my fair share of leg injuries, I'd rather try to prevent the ones that I can and then work on the cause than end up with a horse that's tripping AND now has his legs all banged up.

    Have your trainer show you how to put the boots on, keep an eye on his legs for excessive heat or boot rubs, and get some that fit him really well and are really easy to clean afterwards. Woof boots are really awesome all around, protect the whole lower leg, hose off really easily, and come in cool colors. Weatherbeeta makes a knock-off version that are cheaper and I really like using them. I have the same opinion of bell boots: better to have them on and not need them especially if your horse is tripping. You'd rather have him hit the bell boot and slide off than grab a piece off your horse's coronet band. Get some that are made well, such as the Davis ones that are thick and have Velcro fasteners. Again, watch the backs of his ankles really closely to make sure they're not rubbing. You may have to trim the bottoms to make them a little shorter and keep the rubbing to a minimum. You don't have to buy super-expensive boots to make it work, but if you're concerned, throw some boots on him.

    I think open fronts are generally only good if you're on a sometimes lazy jumper over higher fences, otherwise you're probably on a green horse who needs more flatwork or an older horse who is just a crappy jumper and whacking rails isn't going to fix the problem either way.
    send some of their smart literate deer who can read road signs up here since ours are just run of the mill dumb ones who get splatted all over creation because they won't stay in the woods



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAHorseGurl View Post
    Pete trips a lot
    Have you had the farrier come out to check on him? Tag along with my farrier revealed a paint horse that would trip a lot. Come to find out, he had hoof and bone problems. Could be something simple though - not necessarily anything severe.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by HydroPHILE View Post
    Have you had the farrier come out to check on him? Tag along with my farrier revealed a paint horse that would trip a lot. Come to find out, he had hoof and bone problems. Could be something simple though - not necessarily anything severe.
    I'm due to speak with my Farrier this weekend about my concerns. And I've put in a call to my vet to see what they suggest.

    Candle, thanks for the insight, but as I'm strickly Western at the moment, and haven't jumped in nearly 20yrs, I think you've given me enough to know that boots aren't really what I need to be considering at the moment.

    Thanks everyone!!
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  14. #14
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    My mare wears bell boots 24/7 to protect her shoes from coming off, she seems to lose them playing in the pasture and during long and low warmup if she doesn't have them. On a hunters pace she lept through a muddy spot and took a huge chunk of a heavy duty bell boot off, I was glad it was the bell boot and not her heel!



  15. #15
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    Tip wears bell boots in turnout because when he takes his shoes off, he tends to take his foot off with them. Farrier suggested bell boots.

    He wears open-fronts when we jump to save him from my idiocy.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAHorseGurl View Post

    Okay, what does it mean 'just not in front of the leg?'
    As in, he is not on your aids... not "forward"... not responsive, or listening, or working...

    If he were, he wouldn't be tripping (unless he has a physical issue) or napping to the gate, spooking, rearing, etc.

    It is great that you have an experienced rider working with him. Sounds like he needs someone to really instill a "go" button, I think he'd get over a lot of the goofiness if he knew he had no choice BUT to go forward....

    Good luck!!
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  17. #17
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    My point was more to the idea that no matter what you're doing, even if it's in turnout, I would rather have some well-fitting boots that get scraped up and banged if my horse is going through a growth phase, has some issue that's causing clumsiness or is tripping or interfering a lot. It's not a big deal to throw some boots on your horse and it's easier than cold-hosing and wrapping because he did something dumb for 0.2 seconds and now he's all banged up. There are some good quality cheap boots to be had out there, and I'd rather replace boots than fix legs.

    I would stay away from the all neoprene boots that have the roller slidey thing and the velcro strap velcroes back on itself. I think those are really easy to over-tighten, and that can cause tendon issues. The single strap ones seem to be easier to apply correctly IMHO.

    Use whatever you feel you need on your horse for any particular time, and I consider boots protective gear, so don't hesitate to use protective gear if you feel you need it during a time period. That better?
    send some of their smart literate deer who can read road signs up here since ours are just run of the mill dumb ones who get splatted all over creation because they won't stay in the woods



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