I have never used shipping boots...not ever. My old-school British trainer instilled in me from my very first day of riding some 20+ years ago that there are some modern conveniences we just don't use.
Well, in case you haven't noticed, there's a special on shipping boots today on tackoftheday.com. I am more than slightly tempted...
So, tell me your thoughts! Are they safe? Are they convenient? Do they hold up? Would you use them?
I have used shipping boots similar to those (not the same brand, but...) for years. They are easy to put on and stay put well as long as they are snugly fastened. I have never had any issues with them, hauling multiple horses over short and medium distances.
I have only had good haulers, so I can't speak to a horse that climbs around like a monkey, but...
I'm not sure why the horse world takes particular pride in admitting that archaic ways of doing things are to be clung to no matter what.
Boots or bandages . . . you can make high drama out of it if you want to, but basically it comes down to personal preference. And for every person who passionately falls on their sword for one method, there's another who would do the same for the opposite. That's life.
In the end, it's doing something simple to help protect your horse's legs while shipping. Some people don't even bother, and for the most part they have a very decent argument as well! Boots and bandages are hot, some horses object to them to the point of making matters worse, and they don't always stay put.
Everyone has a horror story (myself included) and those stories can include "why I will never use boots", "why I will never use wraps", and "why I always/never ship with naked legs".
In the end, do what suits YOU and your horses. I do all three: boots for most trips (because they're much faster and do a nice job), bandages if a horse might swell on the ride, and naked legs for the 3 mile trip to my trainer's barn, acknowledging that "anything can happen" but comfortable with "it's unlikely on an 8 minute trip with my quiet horses".
All safety decisions float or sink on the surface of our own perception of what is "safe" or "unsafe".
In other words, try the boots if you think you might like them--they're a deal and I am tempted to get some myself!
Growing up in Pony Club- I was firmly in the shipping wrap camp. I practiced, and I do them well. However, horsie does not like to walk in them, and when trainer ships my horse- she doesn't know how to do them.
I switched to stable wraps with bell boots, for several years.
Then last year, shipping on a semi to a show, horse kicked the wall and cut the point of his hock open. It wasn't bad, but it was clearly in an area that would have been covered by shipping boots- but was not by wraps.
Now, I use shipping boots on any horse that tolerates them because of the extra coverage.
Shipping boots! Not the really cheap thin ones though, I like boots that can stand up on their own. You don't even have to tighten them and they stay put. They cover a lot more of the horses leg (from hock to hoof), are faster to put on, and a whole lot less laundry. If I'm wrapping for other reasons (such as poulticing after a show) I still put boots over top.
Disclaimer... this is only for my horse that isn't very good about loading/shipping/unloading. He'll be fine for months, then freak out and try to kill himself. So he ships in 4 bell boots and shipping boots every time. My other horse usually go naked, or if I feel like it I'll put boots on.
Originally Posted by pinecone
I can't decide if I should saddle up the drama llama, dust off the clue bat, or get out my soapbox.
I have spent all afternoon trying to decide if I wanted to buy the TOTD boots. Finally decided that yes, i would go for it. They are sold out. This is what I get for trying to do my research before I commit.
Don't despair, I find that Tack of the Day RARELY has the best deals, usually you can find whatever they have on sale for the same price at other retailers who take returns, and charge less for shipping.