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What are your Favorite Bell Boots?

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  • What are your Favorite Bell Boots?

    Tell me your favorite bell boots to prevent pulling shoes from over reaching.

    In the past I have used the Italian pull ons with the extra thick rubber bottom. Is there anything new and improved in the few years?


  • #2
    I have 2 pairs. One is the professional choice ballistic no turn and I find they rub and get really stiff over time. I have been recently using the the plain rubber velcrow closure one and I like that those seem to cover the who,e backside of the hoof better the the professional choice ones. I have a friend who swears by the Davis rubber boots. It comes down to what fits and doesn't rub your horse in the end
    No Worries!


    • #3
      RES Boots. Great Company. Owned by a great guy. The Velcro on them is interchangeable, and if it breaks you just change the Velcro. Very cool product.



      • #4
        IMO the italian bell boots are still the best option for XC or hunting. For horses that get rubs (or if you want to use on a daily basis just for riding and don't want to deal with pull-ons), I like the Eskadron Pikosoft bell boots.


        • #5
          My gelding thinks it's a game to destroy bell boots (he lives in them; short backed and long legs = he hits himself constantly). The Pro Choice Ballistic boots I *love* for working him, but because they don't turn...well, they are the easiest prey to his boredom. The Eskadron hook and loop seems to offer better resistance than most (usually there are the two smaller hook and loops, as opposed to the full long loop), but even those are prey, in my guy's mind.

          The ThinLine bell boots, I have to say, have the best closure of all - however, I would not recommend those for 24/7 use, or turn out. They say they don't absorb water, but I wouldn't trust it - and they're pricy!

          I am giving these a shot now: http://www.doversaddlery.com/grab-boots/p/X1-04267/

          They actually might be good!
          The Rodeo Project - Tracking an Event Horse


          • #6
            I have an extravagant mover that lived in bell boots 24/7. For every day wear I like the plain old rubber boots with velcro closure (preferably double). For XC, I liked the Eskadron rubber ones. I have also tried the Dalmar ones. The pros to those were that they were supposed to be "no turn" with the extra protection over the heels and good velcro, won't hold water. They did turn on my guy and for a horse with taller hooves, they are too short and didn't protect his heels all the way to the ground (which was made worse when they turned because the front was shorter than the back).

            If he's ever sound to ride again I'll probably stick with the Eskadron for showing and plain old rubber to live in.


            • #7
              The grab boots were useless for Pie.
              The only bell boots that really seem to work for us are the pull on italian rubber ones.
              Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
              Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
              Take us to print!


              • #8
                Classic Equine no turns. They don't rub ( I bought them for my sensitive Mr. Chestnut Princess) they really protect the heels from heel grabs, and they cover enough of the inside wall of the hoof to help prevent sprung shoes when a horse steps on its self. I only used them for competition.

                Unrepentant carb eater


                • #9
                  OP, I use the thick Italian pull ons 24/7 and my horse lives outside. Anything that closes with velcro he manages to tear up. He slices in two one of the pullons about once a year, so they're worth the price.
                  "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


                  • #10
                    I'll add another vote to the thick Italian pull-ons. I've tried everything else over the years and haven't ever found anything to be as good. I had high hopes for the fitted ones and the ballistic ones, but nothing has ever held up well AND not rubbed the horses.

                    I'm really curious to hear if anyone has tried this: http://www.farrierspages.com/shoe_secure.htm

                    I'm not sure I would worry so much about my horses on turn-out, but I have a GP horse who "whacks" his RF shoe off once a horseshow (when we're showing on grass), and I'm eager to hear reviews.
                    Flying F Sport Horses
                    Horses in the NW


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks for all of the suggestions. I ordered some of the Italian bell boots. And got a pair of the Classic Equines. The "ballistic" material intrigued me.


                      • #12
                        My favorite XC boot is the Ballistic Boot (Professional's Choice)- I wasn't a fan of them at all until I ran XC with them; and at the end of the ride they were the only bellboots my horse hadn't turned and looked exactly the same way they did when I first put them on. That being said, they are a lot lighter than normal bellboots and don't move - which I think is best as they don't "interfere" in any way. The ballistic composite material also does a very good job of 'buffering' any strikes - think like a splint boot. They should not be used in full turn out, however.

                        The italian gum boots are good, but expensive - and they still rip and break. THOSE I would use for turnout.
                        AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
                          I'm really curious to hear if anyone has tried this: http://www.farrierspages.com/shoe_secure.htm

                          I am curious about these too. It doesn't look like you can use studs with them though.
                          Kanoe Godby
                          See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CDE Driver View Post
                            I am curious about these too. It doesn't look like you can use studs with them though.
                            IMHO, I wouldn't try it. I worry about anything that constantly rubs/"smothers" the bulb of the heel - I've seen a lot of horses that lived in bellboots and as a result had terrible, soft heels - some even with thrush and other maladies in them - and while I'm sure they had poor feet to begin with, I can't imagine having that area be "anaerobic" is good for the health of their feet/heels?
                            AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CDE Driver View Post
                              I am curious about these too. It doesn't look like you can use studs with them though.
                              I e-mailed the company a month or so ago and asked about riding in them. They said that you can use studs with them and that it would be possible to show in them, though they didn't have a lot of feedback from people doing that. They offered to work with me to do it with my guy and I'm toying with the idea of trying it this summer. GPs are so darn expensive to do 3/4 of a course minus one shoe (and wedge pad, and studs, etc.)...not to mention the extra stress that puts on that one leg.

                              I'll definitely share my experience if I try them, but it would be great to hear from people already using them (even if not in competition).

                              Beowulf - that's on my mind with a "permanent" solution like that as well. 2 of my guys live in bell boots that I never flip up, and haven't had heel problems. But then the bell boots can move around, so I don't feel like they have the same potential of holding mud and wetness against the foot.
                              Flying F Sport Horses
                              Horses in the NW


                              • #16
                                I like the Pro Choice Ballistic no turn boots. I do a fair amount of rougher trails and trappy footing. My TB mare had gotten so she was clipping the back of her shoes and pulling them off. With these I have not had problems with pulled shoes or rubs. Fortunately, she doesn't do this in turnout so she doesn't wear them for that.


                                • #17
                                  For 24/7 use, I have a pair of heavy duty, double-velcro rubber ones. For riding and XC I use Prof. Choice ballistic overreach boots. We used them on a younger TB as 24/7 boots and never had an issue with them rubbing.

                                  I also love the Prof Choice quick-wrap bell boots for daily use. It's been really wet here lately though, and they do collect water/mud, hence the reason I'm using the rubber ones.
                                  runnjump86 Instagram

                                  Horse Junkies United guest blogger


                                  • #18
                                    For everyday use, Davis by far, QH has found a way to tear every other kind, last pair lasted a year and only had to be replaced due to stitching on the Velcro the boot itself still in good condition, worn everyday all kinds of weather and mud. No rubs of any kind.
                                    "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

                                    "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


                                    • #19
                                      For competition - Pro Choice ballistics or Classic Equine no turns. Fortunately none of ours require bell boots for turn out.



                                      • #20
                                        Great thread timing. I have been wondering about a pair for my boy just for XC and stadium. I used Davis, and noticed he had sliced them, so I know I need something more substantial. However, he wears a size 5 shoe, so it seems I never know what size to buy - large, x-large?
                                        Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair spins.