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Yikes! Bell boots can be dangerous

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  • Yikes! Bell boots can be dangerous

    My horse and I had a wreck last night while schooling dressage thanks to our bell boots. My poor horse stepped on a front bell boot with her hind and went head over heels. Right over, her hip just glanced off of mine (so so lucky) and my poor saddle is ok just filthy and my bridle too as she did a face plant. We both walked away covered in dirt but I had no idea that could happen. Granted, she was being at bit naughty and the step she took that did it was leading into a spook/scoot. She a definite over-reacher but I’d rather deal with cut up heal bulbs or a pulled shoe than ever risk that again. Thank god we didn’t get seriously hurt. She was in the Italian rubber pull on bell boots, I’ve had them completely rip or pull off before but not this time, maybe because they were newer and not weathered and worn. Dressage is so dangerous! Imagine if I was jumping...don't want to.

  • #2

    I had heard that a very (good) BNT once saw a horse go out on cross country with bells on the front and when said horse returned one of them was on its back foot!

    (Had heard that from my instructor who took lessons from him.)


    • #3
      Hate to tell you, but it happened to me without bell boots, so we now ride with them. I was cantering my mare and she caught a hind toe on the back of her front foot shoe. We both hit the ground. Thank goodness both of us were okay, but one side of her shoe was bent and looked like a high heel. So thankful she didn't get up and take off. I am using the Davis no turn bell boots. i think they are not flexible enough and are flat against the back of the foot so as not to create a tripping issue -- I hope. :-)


      • #4
        That is hilarious!

        Originally posted by Malmare View Post

        I had heard that a very (good) BNT once saw a horse go out on cross country with bells on the front and when said horse returned one of them was on its back foot!

        (Had heard that from my instructor who took lessons from him.)


        • #5
          I don't know what I would do re:bell boots. My horse is so long backed that he does not have a overreach problem so nothing I will have to worry about with him. I've never heard of this happening before, but I think I would do velcro rather than pull on so that they would be more likely to tear off.

          I often wonder how many of the horses that we see either turned out or working in bell boots really have an overreach problem vs how many are booted just because everyone else is. I boot my horse's back legs only, he toes out a bit and the wear on the boots at the fetlock tells me that he brushes enough to make me not stop doing it any time soon.


          • #6
            Yup...had it happen too without bell boots. Youngster cantering....just cantering down the long side, in a nice flat INDOOR ring. Overreached and went head over heels with a face plant. The footing stuck EVERYWHERE. He had so much on his face you couldn't see his white star. I looked like I came out of a coal mine. He landed on my leg but I wasn't hurt...just a bit bruised. Made sure he was sound and gave him a pat. Crap happens!!!!
            Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Dec. 20, 2012, 07:28 PM. Reason: typo
            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by BBowen View Post
              . I am using the Davis no turn bell boots. i think they are not flexible enough and are flat against the back of the foot so as not to create a tripping issue -- I hope. :-)
              I was thinking that could be an option especially if I tamper with the Velcro so they'll release easily. (Could get expensive for xcntry)


              • Original Poster

                Ugh! I don't want it to happen again without the bell boots. I wonder if we had more momentum (jumping or cross country) the boot or shoe would be pulled off (as they usually are).


                • #9
                  I jumped into a one-stride, my horse stepped on his bell, went right down on his knees, and as he was getting back up on his feet, stepped on his lip and tore it, got up to jump the oxer out, and I had no idea till I finished my course, there was a jagged tear in his lip and it was bleeding. Now I only use no-turn bells, and make sure they fit snug, no touching the ground


                  • #10
                    FWIW, Lucinda Green recommends never eventing with bell boots. She's convinced that they cause more problems then they solve. (Or so she has said to me in more than one clinic.)
                    They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                    • #11
                      I don't use bells on my guy for xc. I worry about stepping on the back while galloping or while taking off for a fence. As far as horses with overreach issues go I think the Davis no turns would be a good option. Not as much 'stuff' to step on as the rubbery bells.


                      • #12
                        I've always been very much "use only as necessary" kind of person regarding bell boots.

                        Vernon was a necessary case. He routinely heel grabbed while jumping and galloping (one time, even managed to slice himself even with bell boots). He also tended to lose shoes as a youngster. So, he lived in bell boots.

                        Then, at the 10th fence at our prelim LF three day, he stepped on his fancy no turn bell boot on the take off stride, which stopped him COLD, and I sailed between his ears. And that was the end of my three day.

                        I am now even MORE leery of them, and it is a battle to get me to use them. Technically, I'm supposed to use them on Toby (who is shod with onion heels and generously for support), but I almost never, ever break them out. I hate them.


                        • #13
                          This is why I like the no turn bell boots. They fit more snug and don't flop all over the place like pull ons. I always thought the "flopping" has got to be distracting to the horse. That being said, I only use them if I think it's absolutely necessary for that particular horse.


                          • #14
                            Meadow, re-read my post. Mine were no-turn. Nice ones, too.


                            • #15
                              I've never heard of injuries because of bell boots but I know of many injuries that would not have occurred if the bell boots had been on.

                              All of our horses wear bell boots 24/7 - even my youngsters - I have a 3 yr old that had a serious coronet injury and I never want to see that again.


                              • #16
                                Yes I've had that happen. On a 'school' horse that was so low powered that when he stepped on the front bell boot he just collapsed in a heap. I was like "how the heck did I wind up on the ground? That horse was barely moving in the first place?"
                                "Friend" me !



                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                                  Meadow, re-read my post. Mine were no-turn. Nice ones, too.
                                  Hate to say this YB...while stepping on his bell boots caused your fall...I suspect without the bell boots, he would have still stepped on him self with the same result.

                                  Only horror story that I've heard about bell boots was one I think Buck Davidson told. Horse stepped on himself and his hind foot got stuck in the front bell boot causing a fall. Not sure if it is true....
                                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                                  • #18
                                    Was the bell boot too big? I can't imagine the horse, on arena footing, getting a firm enough grip on a big enough chunk of bell boot to trip up the horse instead of taking a piece of the boot off. Mine just cover the back of the hoof and shoe.
                                    \"Non-violence never solved anything.\" C. Montgomery Burns


                                    • #19
                                      The best boots IMHO for protection and that are the safest because they fit SNUG are the leather trotting boots you see on harness and gaited horses. They're form fitted to the hoof and bulbs and the leather is HARD so if they knock it, there's no bruising or cutting.


                                      Buckle the bottom strap as tight as you can and the top you should be able to get a pinky under.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                        Hate to say this YB...while stepping on his bell boots caused your fall...I suspect without the bell boots, he would have still stepped on him self with the same result.
                                        Oh, I know. I consider them a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" piece of equipment, now! I've also paid the consequence of NOT having them (when Toby grabbed a heel that had already been grabbed a day or two before....had to pull him up on xc).

                                        I used rubber pull ons some this year. I am thinking of switching to inexpensive rubber velcro closed. That way, if they're snagged, they'll just rip off. Toby doesn't do as much damage to himself as Vernon did (why I always chose the hardcore no turns for him).