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Bell boot horror story!?

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  • Bell boot horror story!?

    Hi COTH,

    Today, I was hacking a a fit 17.2hh TB who was wearing these specific bell boots (had never used them other than on this one horse, who came with them and had worn them for quite some time):


    At one point during our ride, the boot had come off and I looked down to see a red hoof! The whole front of his left forw was bleeding and he had a downward-facing chevron cut, with somewhat of a skin flap hanging down. This horse can be slightly careless - hence the bell boots - but I fear that these boots caused this injury. I will certainly be writing to the company tomorrow, but wanted to get some input from fellow riders who are familiar with the boots. Anyone had similar experiences? I also talked to a mentor of mine who has completely sworn off bell boots when riding out. Thoughts? All constructive input is welcome and appreciated.

    Horse is sound, happy, and well, and seems to not even really notice this cut that looks so horrible to us humans. So that is a relief - he matters most.

  • #2
    How would the bell boot have caused this? Was the horse shod?
    Boss Mare Eventing Blog


    • #3
      I’ve used these and honestly can’t see how that could cause any type of injury. Over the years I’ve had many different brands of bell boots and can say that they all fall apart at some point. As they come on and off things get looser and they stop staying in place. It happens. If the horse is prone to doing this type of thing then bell boots do help, but it truly depends on the horse. Mine has bar shoes and when she first got them the farrier said always turn out and ride in bell boots. Well turnout was fine but she hates riding in them. Can’t tell you why but she couldn’t stand it so we stopped using them. Got to the point we gave up using them at turn out too and have never had an issue. Thing is she’s always been good about keeping shoes on and it was only right after the bar was added the farrier was worried.


      • #4
        was the Bell still on his foot or had he pulled it off?

        this is probably better than the alternative. I have one that steps on himself often. I don’t use the gummy ones when riding because one time he tripped himself at the canter stepping on one, fell to his knees, came up MAD and nearly bucked me off. But he has to have some sort of bells because he gets exuberant and would tear himself to bits otherwise. I use the rubber ones in turnout all the time.

        cant tell you how many bells I have lost jumping this horse. Last summer I was jumping through a water jump and as I went up the bank to another jump I watched one bell boot sail through the air and jump the jump ahead of us. Hahaha! And yes, sometimes he will get a scrape when he rips them off though who knows whether the bell or the incident caused it.

        Sorry your fellow got hurt but I would blame his clumsiness rather than the product. Just think what the back of his hoof would look like if he hadn’t been wearing them whenever he pulled it off with that much force!

        You might try something like the Prof Choice bells. IME they come off fairly easily. They can rub, though, so you can’t leave them on all the time.


        • Original Poster

          Sorry - forgot to mention that the cut is on the front! No way his hoof could have caused it. And yes, he is shod!


          • #6
            I wasn't saying his hoof caused it, just that if he had hit the hoof instead of the bell with his other hoof, with enough force to rip it off like that, then it could have been MUCH worse. Also it could have been worse in a pull on type boot because it likely would have tripped him.

            Horses can cut themselves on all sorts of equipment or even on a log they stepped over, etc. Switch type of bell boots but I wouldn't think the boots are particularly dangerous.


            • #7
              I can’t for the life of me figure out how the Gator bell boot would have caused an injury?
              Leap, and the net will appear


              • #8
                Sounds like something got lodged between the foot and the top of the boot, and rubbed away at his skin. He could have caught the front of the boot and scraped the leg when stepping over something, also. Hardly a horror story though, could happen with any bellboot.
                ... _. ._ .._. .._


                • #9
                  I have used those type of bell boots before and even had horses that lived in them for years and never seen them cause an injury. I don’t see how that type of material could possibly cause a cut. The only thing I could think of related to the boots themselves would be what was stated above, that maybe something got stuck in them.

                  More likely Id think was he whacked himself on something, or nicked himself. Were you trotting/cantering? His other foot could’ve come down on the front of it somehow if he’s clumsy.
                  My mare wonders about all this fuss about birth control when she's only seen a handful of testicles in her entire life. Living with an intact male of my species, I feel differently! WAYSIDE


                  • #10
                    Can you clarify/describe how you think the bell boot caused this injury?
                    Let me apologize in advance.


                    • #11
                      I'm wondering if he could have stepped on something that cut through the boot enough to make it easy to fall off and also cut through to the skin. Is it a clean cut or more like a rub? Can you take a picture?
                      "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer