Leg protection for a young horse who REALLY hates to rap his feet/legs on a pole?
I have a young horse (4) who is pretty well broke on the flat, but in starting him over poles and cavaletti, it's become obvious that he really HATES it when he touches any thing. He's been known to kick at a cavaletti when just passing by it if he's touched it earlier.
So, I'm thinking I might try some really good protective boots to help him gain some confidence that it wont hurt if he makes a mistake and touches a pole.
Suggestions? Would really love stuff that doesn't get too hot. But am thinking that maybe sports medicine boots might be the ticket with some really thick bell boots. But the S/M stuff is soooo hot.
While you should offer some protection, part of me thinks he just needs to get over it. Your horses are always AWESOME so I would think he would be smart enough to learn to pick up his feet!lol If he is just doing ground polls, I'm assuming he is hitting his feet. If they are raised cavaletti, is he hitting his cannon bones too? I don't think he would do any real damage to himself by hitting the poles, I would be more worried about him kicking himself, or grabbing a heel when he reacts to it. I would hesitate to really "boot him up" because you should want him to be careful and have some sort of a reaction if he hits a pole. I think a simple bell boot and splint/brushing boot should be all you need.
Off to stalk your website for new pics of your cuties!!
Originally Posted by JSwan
Prove it....Otherwise, you're just coming off as a whackjob.
Founding member of the "Not too Klassy for Boxed Wine" Clique
I really like the Dalmar eventer boots. They have strike plates on front and rear of the boot to reduce impact. Maybe give them a try?
I have the hind boots for another horse and LOVE them.
For this 4 yo though, I think they don't provide enough coverage down low where he might tap a pole. He's a special case, that's for sure. ;0)
As an example, one time last year, we were trotting along, and he bulged out a little bit so I put my outside spur into him just a tish and without missing a beat, he KICKED the sole of my boot with his outside hind foot. Ya, good luck to me with this one.
Ya, you read that right... he kicked my foot, which was firmly IN the stirrup, while he was trotting because he didn't like my spur. So you can imagine what he thinks of poles that might reach up and bite him. Poor thing.
I'm with T2T in that I would rather have a youngster afraid that the poles were going to bite him than teach him to even be the tiniest bit dull to the jump (because the extension of what you want to do is exactly that).
My personal preference in a case like this would be to boot him up as normal and hope he figures out how to not hit the poles and jumps. This is an awesome trait in the toned-down-grown-up version, so I would manage it as best as you can now and grab mane whenever you hear a "thunk" I definitely wouldn't encourage him to learn that hitting poles is "okay" because eventually it won't be.
__________________________________ Forever exiled in the NW.
The problem is that he HATES the poles if he's touched one. Wont go near them if he's made a little mistake and since my arena doesn't have fence around it he thinks he'd rather just leave. I'm concerned that he'll become a rusher if I don't build his confidence a little bit. He's a very careful horse so I don't worry about him getting lazy but I do worry about this tendency to LEAVE the ring. So, I'm going to boot him up really heavily and see if that doesn't help. I think once he learns where to put his feet he'll never touch them and then it wont be a problem at all.
If he weren't so damned sensitive it would be much easier to do like PNWJumper and T2T suggest, but I've known horses like him that turned out to be panic sticken rushers and I don't want that for my nice young horse.
The Toklat Valena woolbacks are pretty much the fluffiest fleece boots I've come across. I love them, and I think they provide more padding than SMBs(which I do use as well - the perforated ventech version). They hold up quite well if you care for them too, not like some fleece/woolback boots that get flattened out after not too long a time.
Maybe visit a tack shop and get your hands on the boots so you can see what you're getting?
Going to the rolex in a couple of weeks and figured I'd look at all the items people suggest here, while I'm there. Since the shopping is insane there.
He is okay about his legs.
Up until last year he wouldn't let strangers touch him. I would beg ANYONE who came to the farm to just take a minute and "Please, just pet him." He's extremely shy, although since he's been gelded he's become much more relaxed around strangers, you might even say he's getting friendly.
Have you thought about using those Eskadron Climawhatever liners under polos? It might be worth a try... Otherwise, I'd look into a pair of those thick, fleecy dressage boots and bell boots with a lot of fluff around the top.
Or, you could go a little extreme and get something like this :