I almost never use boots or wraps. I don't like the heat. I of course own several things, because I am a tack addict. I have Veredus boots (open fronts and ankle) for jumping, and I have white fleece-lined brushing boots for dressage and lots of polos, etc.
But seriously, I don't use anything unless the horse interferes or has shoes on. My current horse is barefoot and doesn't interfere.
I had always used the Heidi Front and Askan Hind Boots on the older horse since he interferes, but I made a switch.
I began using the Professional's Choice SMBII boots, but I have now decided that I DO NOT LIKE how much heat and dirt/girt they seem too hold. I love the support and the amount of leg protection for hacking out and trail riding, but they are WAY TOO HOT!
So, I went back to the old faithful fleece-lined boots. They are comfy, soft, easy to clean, and they don't hold grit or make the legs too hot. The young horse only wears the Heidi Front boots, but he doesn't interfere behind.
Both horses live in bell boots because they are shod - one all the way around and one with fronts only. My farrier likes the bell boots
After saying yesterday I don't really bother with boots my horse managed a nice slice on his back fetlock today. We were hacking out on the field/cross country course without boots and the terrain was good but not super even. Came home and saw dried mud and blood on his pretty white leg.
Whoops...guess I may have to rethink my booting rules for the future.
Everything I ride goes in Eskadron open fronts and ankle boots (or the Roma knockoffs thereof).
I personally don't believe that wraps or soft shell boots offer any kind of soft tissue support or are preventative of soft tissue strains whatsoever, so I use only hard shell boots for impact protection in case of leg interference.
I'm with meupatdoes with this one. Boots don't offer soft tissue support and certainly don't "stabilize" anything in the leg.
I will add boots if a horse has a tendency to interfere (my possible-shoe-pullers go in bell boots and one of my horses goes in bell boots and hind boots), but otherwise I ride them bare. I will put on Eskadrons or something similarly easy to deal with when I'm planning to jump at home, and I boot up if I'm using caulks (usually with Eskadrons, Equifit, or something similar). I'm also in agreement with meupatdoes in that I stick with hard shell boots.
__________________________________ Forever exiled in the NW.
Well for me it depends a bit on the horse. For most horses I ride I don't usually put anything on their legs unless we are jumping and then I use my Eskadron open fronts and ankle boots. Even then, if I'm just popping over a few crosspoles then I don't usually put anything on their legs either.
However, my mare is very prone to nicking herself on thin air so when I ride her, no matter what I'm doing, she always has boots on. If I'm riding her then it's the Eskadron boots mentioned above and if my mom is riding her she has another pair of boots she uses since apparently we can't share.
For my big young gelding he also has bell boots on 24/7. He may be shoe-less but that does not stop him from cutting his heel open by over stepping.
For shoes I use the same Eskadron open fronts and ankle boots, these boots have lasted me years and years and I just love them.
I used to have a different pair of boots I used for schooling and trails but they wore out eventually and I've just never replaced them. I will probably just get a new pair of Eskadrons for shoes and use my current ones for schooling.
Overall I think less is more in most situations but I just happen to have an accident prone horse so you have to just go with it sometimes.