We bought a horse a few months ago and he has always been ridden with front and hind boots. I only have fronts.. What kind of boots and why would you reccommend for front and/or backs? Easy on and off is best, my 11 year old daughter will have to put them on.
Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
"And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"
I've tried all kinds of boots over the years and what I like best for every day riding are the 2-strap Woof brushing boots for front and hind (http://www.doversaddlery.com/woof-al...ot/p/X1-04348/). For the price, they hold up rather well for regular use, although not as well as some of the more expensive synthetic brushing boots.
My preference for neoprene lining in boots is due to the ease of keeping them clean, although I've had one horse that reacted badly to neoprene so he could only do polo wraps. Thankfully, he was a "show" horse who didn't need to get his legs wet or dirty too often LOL! I do use Dover's fleece-lined boots (the inexpensive ones) for lessons but the fleece is a pain in the butt to keep clean for everyday use.
Also have to say that my decisions are based on size, since everything we have is 14 to 14.2 hands and finding boots in a cob or pony size is no walk in the park!
I know many people don't use boots for everyday work but I've had more instances where I've wished I've had boots on than not. Actually, I've never been in a situation where I wished I didn't have boots on my horse! Even went fox hunting this winter and felt foolish that I was one of the few people with brushing boots on my guy...but wouldn't you know that we slipped and fell on an asphalt road and those boots saved his legs! Had lacerations above and below, but the boots kept everything in between clean and tight.
I'm sure you'll get lots of good suggestions! I'm looking forward to seeing what others have to say.
First I ask, why is the horse in boots? Does he actually interfere? I HAVE had occasions where I wished I hadn't used boots and I only use them sparingly -- such as when they created some sand rubs. And, er, I don't run on asphalt, so...
My philosophy is definitely less is more. My horse who does not interfere goes barelegged. My OTTB does hit one hind ankle (and pastern when he is shod) so he goes in ankle boots behind. And that's it. Saves a lot of cleaning too, LOL.
As for types, there are SO MANY out there, it pretty much depends on how much money you want to spend. I don't want to spend any, but I do want things to last, so mine are mostly Roma, Woof, or Moxie and I've had them all for years.
The only time that I use boots is when I am schooling or showing cross country jumps. I use the four strap Woofs on the front and five strap on the back. Because of the neoprene heating up while running cross country, they are the first things that come off when I am done.
I tend to boot as a preventative, but I also have a horse that tends to bounce around and be silly, and boots definitely come in handy then. He does have a neoprene allergy, so I use the inexpensive fleece lined boots (prefer the ones from Smartpak, but also have the Dover ones). They are kind of a pain to keep clean, which is why I have several pairs to rotate between. For competing and lessons he has Equifits for show jumping and NEW boots for xc.
Otherwise, I'm perfectly happy with just about any type of boot like Woofs, Nunn Finers, etc.
I normally use the cheap Dover fleece-lined boots, or the Woof 2-strap boots. Both hold up very well to regular use. And I love my fleece-lined boots, but I also do the majority of my riding on grass, so theres less of an issue of the footing getting up in the boot.
I typically don't school on the flat in anything, my horse is pretty surefooted and doesn't interfere. If we're doing pole work or jumping I'll just throw on some Eskadron open fronts, which I love. Of course there are many Eskadron "knock-offs" that are much less expensive and probably work just as well.
At shows I jump stadium in just the open fronts and use the Woof two-strap boots on all fours for xc. This is also just lower level stuff, no higher than Training at the moment.
If I'm doing a ton of lateral work in a flat school I MIGHT wrap in front or even all fours with polos. I've used the Dover fleece lined boots in the past and while they do their job just fine, in my experience they like to slide quite a bit because of the fleece lining. My guy is also on the small side so that may have something to so with it.
I'm also a fan of the Davis three strap splint boots. Those are actually really nice boots, I stopped using them on a regular basis only because they are kind of a pain to put on all four legs.
flat, Ecogold ankle boots (my guy travels close behind and may rub)
SJ - eskadron open fronts and ankle boots, but I'm thinking about upgrading (they are really easy to use)
XC - dalmar front (love the single piece of velcro), premiere hinds (both are ventilated which I consider important for XC)
For everyday, Toklat Valena fleece boots. Better than 'regular' fleece boots in my opinion as they have the 'woolback' fleece. Wool is naturally very wicking and will not trap heat/moisture against the leg. They are easy to clean - I just knock the dust off after each ride and when I'm feeling ambitious they go for a tumble in the washing machine. They come out sparkly and haven't been worse for wear despite about 2 years of use at this point.
I have also been very impressed with them because they do not hold water. I can use them hacking and for schooling water jumps and the water just drains right through (boots will be damp but definitely not waterlogged).
For competition I love the NEW cross country boots. Great fit, protection for cannon bones and the fleece interior keeps all the crud away from my horses' legs. In a perfect world I will be looking to pick up a pair of their brushing boots as I would like to see if they have any advantages over the Toklat boots, but I haven't gotten there yet...
Edited to add: I am not a fan of the neoprene boots as IMO they hold too much heat to a horses legs and still allow sand/arena dirt to get in there and rub. To each their own but they are not for me. I much prefer fleece boots that keep the sand out.