I would like advice on the correct protocol for turning a horse out with boots on. Particular horse is playful and trying to avoid him knocking himself. How long can you turn out with boots on? Can you turn out with polo wraps on? He always sports bell boots, but needs more protection. I just have a fear of turning him out for too long with leg protection and creating problems. What type of boots are best? Any and all information is appreciated.
Definitely do NOT turn out in polo wraps!!! BAD idea. Some people turnout in boots, but there are pros and cons. Pros are that you can avoid interference bangs and scrapes. Cons are that it keeps the leg a lot hotter and hot is not good for legs. Go for boots that will hold the least heat.
I usually turn out from 7:30AM - 5PM, so around 10 hours. My barn help is there around 4 so can probrably reduce that down a bit. May be able to work a deal with someone that could bring him in around noon or a little after. I just worry that turning out with boots for a duration of time can cause issues just like turning out with wraps. He is VERY playful and this is one of my attempts at being proactive.
I HAVE turned out in polos on some rare occasions, though only for a few hours (usually when trying to keep a wound clean and protected). Not a great idea, but not the worst thing ever if you're around to keep an eye on things. I wouldn't do it for every day.
I don't like to turn out in boots because I think doing so causes more problems than they are worth. I also have a fear of them being forgotten (why, on the occasions I do turn my horse out in boots, he goes out in WHITE boots on his black legs!). All that being said, I will turn clients' horses out (and mine, occasionally, as he can be quite wild) if asked. I don't like to do it over night, but will do it with little concern during the day when I'm around and can spot a loose or spun boot.
If you do turn out in boots, pick good ones that fit well. Be sure that whoever will be doing the dressing of your horse knows how to put them on properly so they don't slip or spin. Keep them clean! This is one of my biggest reasons for not liking them. They just breed gross funk and can cause skin on legs to get grody and funky, so be sure to wash them regularly and/or have multiple sets so your horse can always have clean ones.
If you board, may I suggest things to make your barn staff's life a little easier. Provide boots that are quick to put on. On MY horse, I use the inexpensive fleece lined boots from Dover (he's allergic to neoprene). Part of the reason I like these is they have two straps. They are quick and easy to get on and adjusted right. One of my clients has Woof boots for her horse (all the way around, too), and while they are nice boots, they are NOT quick and easy to get on and off correctly. So, I strongly urge you, for the sake of your barn staff's sanity, to find boots with less straps
If the horse is more likely to take his leg off without boots than with them, I put boots on. Polos are a bad idea. I like the WB or Roma galloping boots with double lock velcro. I've used single Velcro straps in the past but have found that on horses who are really dedicated to being stupid, they come off or shift too easily.
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
I do remember leather galloping boots, that were unlined except for a padded area designed to go on the inside of the leg. They survived water, brush, etc. of the Old Format Three Day, along with day in-day out schooling. They had about 5 finger boggling buckles, but they fit.
They don't have the overheating properties of all these neoprene boots, and they do stay put.
Finding them may be a challenge. Everyone seems to be into lining with this that or t'other.
Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.
We have two horses that go out in boots. My trainer's FEI dressage horse goes out in these: http://profchoice.com/i-7261562-leat...ion-boots.html to keep him from knocking himself, which he is rather good at when he gets to bucking and playing. He's not hard on the boots and doesn't try to chew them, unlike the next horse...
The other horse is a young, gangly TB who is convinced his mission in life is to either pull a shoe, eat a bell boot, or kick himself every. single. time. he's turned out. He goes out in the thickest, heaviest-duty bell boots we can find (complete with duct tape) and these: http://profchoice.com/i-7261575-vent...ion-boots.html
Both horses are usually out for about 4-5 hours at a time. We haven't noticed any excessive heat after playtime, either.
My current horse wears ankle boots any time he's being ridden or turned out, so between 8-14 hours depending on the time of year. He's had the same set for 4 years and never had rubs.
I had a 4 year old 17 hh OTTTB that wore splint boots on all fours, plus double bell boots, for 7-8 hours of turnout everyday. I had to replace them occasionally when he trashed them, but no sores or rubs, and judgng by the damage to the boots, they were worth it!
I have used bell boots on my horses in turnout before but not splint boots. As long as it's a pair that can get filthy and messed up if necessary, I don't see any harm in it as long as they are removed and checked each day and cleaned when necessary.