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Shipping boots or not?

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  • Shipping boots or not?

    Today I groomed for my friend at a HT - I met her there. When it was time to pack up and go home I asked for her mare's shipping boots and she told me she has none.

    I have to admit I was a bit shocked by this as I've always thought/been taught that shipping boots/wraps are a must.

    Traveling just down the road, no big deal. But this place was two plus hours away.

    I otherwise consider my friend to be a competent horse person, hence my slight shock and distaste.

    What are your opinions of shipping boots and/or wraps. Essential or not?

    ETA: I do understand that wraps and boots do serve different functions.
    Barn rat for life

  • #2
    If your friends mare is not use to wraps or shipping boots, then forget it. More harm can be done by an agitated horse trying to undo this thing on her legs. I have shipped long distances with and without wraps without a problem.

    If you use wraps then teach your horse at home.


    • #3
      I always use shipping boots or wraps just to be safe, however for times such as long distance shipping (like across the country) shippers will not allow horses to be wrapped since they are usually traveling for multiple days with lots of horses they may not know so they dont want to have to unwrap/wrap all the horses every day. Even high end horses will wear nothing. Sometimes owners pull shoes to lessen the chance of injury, but it really depends on who youre dealing with.


      • #4
        The time most likely for an injury to occur is loading and unloading. A wrap or boot that is coming off for one reason or another, is the most dangerous time of all.

        Some horses also do not travel well in wraps or boots.

        Personally, I prefer to not use them, especially in hot weather.


        • #5
          I used to use them. I never do now. They generally cause more harm than not, and I've never had a horse cut or bash themselves in a trailer in any way a boot could have prevented. All my babies I've trailer alone and with others without boots or wraps no problems.

          I think horses are a lot more comfortable not being all wrapped up, especially in hot weather.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
            I used to use them. I never do now. They generally cause more harm than not, and I've never had a horse cut or bash themselves in a trailer in any way a boot could have prevented. All my babies I've trailer alone and with others without boots or wraps no problems.

            I think horses are a lot more comfortable not being all wrapped up, especially in hot weather.
            This. My horses don't get wrapped, either.

            I've noticed that I rarely see horses coming off vans/trailers with boots or wraps- even big bucks horses with VBNTs.


            • #7
              I would wrap for short trips (under 4 hours only) but even then prefer not to. I put bell boots on all the way around when more than one horse in in the trailer because some times their hooves look pretty close together through the mountains, but never acrually had an issue. I also put splint boots on one horse with old splint injuries that he paws and hits himself. I find the boots better for that than wraps and shipping boots are to HOT unless it's winter.

              I used to wrap or boot for every trip, but after my 4 coast to coast trip, I've seen the light


              • #8
                If I have someone to help me unload - then I don't wrap. If I am alone, he either gets shipping boots or wraps.

                Why? Because I saw a horse slip off the side of a ramp once, shave the metal ramp edging to a razor edge with his metal shoe as it slipped off and then almost cut his own leg in half on the edge. Sliced open a major artery/vein and almost bled out. 9 months of recovery.

                My horse doesn't always back off straight - so if I have someone to help me guide him off so he doesn't accidentally go off to the side, I can leave the wraps off bc I do agree with the poster that said most accidents occur on loading and unloading.


                • #9
                  Not everyone believes in wraps, not all horses tolerate wraps.

                  Personally, I put something on every ride, every time (just like my helmet ). Boots for short trips and cooler weather, standing wraps in the heat.

                  It's not MY horses I'm worried about. It's the bleepin' other driver who seem to think it's fun and ok to pull out in front of you to hit the brakes to make a turn, causing me to slam on the brakes and make the horses scramble. 5 minutes down the road doesn't matter - to me. Leg protection still goes on. And *especially* because of the loading and unloading, the last thing I want is a naked leg sliding down the side of a ramp.
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  • #10
                    I use them occasionally, but have gotten more away from using them. I think perhaps they can protect from little dings and scrapes, but otherwise I'm not sure they do a whole lot of good.


                    • #11
                      Growing up used them all the time. Discovered my horse does not like boots, paws more and kicks more with them, wraps he is ok with. Then at a show barn he rarely traveled with wraps even on and decided he likes it best that way. Where he is now he goes without because most of the kids that take him to shows can't wrap well enough for comfort (for me!), and actually my friend now hauls most of her horses without as well. If the personally owned horses want something they have to do it themselves or they all go naked. It helps her out because while she does own enough wraps/boots for her own horses (school horses) kids are horrible about washing them and returning them in a timely fashion.

                      It is something that I don't think is weird if you don't do or if you do.


                      • #12
                        Great thing about these threads, something always comes up and I learn.

                        Living in the frozen north I don't usually think about too much heat, but yeah, on a longer trip wrapped legs could get too hot.

                        Will start checking leg temps as I pull off shipping boots.


                        • #13
                          One of many things in life and the horse world where passionate and polar opinions exist, horror stories illustrating both sides abound, and where there is no "right" or "wrong" way of doing things.

                          FWIW, I boot 'em up for all but trips to my trainer's, 3 miles away. And young, foolish or unpredictable ones are booted even for that short drive. Costs me 15 seconds to put them on. I don't, however, give people the hairy eyeball when they do it their way. *shrug*
                          Click here before you buy.


                          • #14
                            I had one get his front legs up into the manger on a friend's trailer. Thank the good lord I had some heavy-duty shipping boots. They get booted or wrapped every trip now.
                            Last edited by Hampton Bay; Jul. 3, 2011, 03:50 PM.


                            • Original Poster

                              Thanks everyone for your insightful responses; gave me some things to think about.

                              Like I said, my friend is a great, responsible horsewoman, and her, naw, no shipping boots, just got me thinking.

                              And no, her response did not produce a harry eyeball or dirty look from me. I merely digested it, thought about it further on the way home and decided to get you all's thoughts (Which I often find quite valuable!) on here.

                              I guess it boils down to personal opinion but I've certainly now heard some great arguments for not using them!
                              Barn rat for life


                              • #16
                                Most of the time, most of our horses go in at least something (shipping boots, wraps, galloping boots if it is a short trip and they will be ridden soon after arrival).

                                I have a couple that do not tolerate shipping boots and ride better without.

                                And there are times where I think they are worse off with them on then off...like yesterday, hauling home from a long show. Putting hot shipping boots on them when they were already hot and tired from a long day. They were all good travelers, so I felt comfortable with them riding nekkid.


                                • #17
                                  I generally don't use shipping boots or wraps on my mare, she's a good traveller and has been on many long distance (4+hours) trips with no issues. She recently got shipped to a new barn where he's being free leased and the lessee requested I put some sort of protection on her so I did, not a big deal.

                                  When I was showing with my coach we always wrapped/booted at his request and since they were his horses and I was paying for his services and use of his horses that's what we did. If I had a new horse or one I wasn't familiar with I would probably boot/wrap since I don't know what they're like en route. I've had experiences with horses who thrash around and kick out in the trailer and tend to scratch themselves up quite a bit. Thankfully though, I've never had any horror story experiences and *knock on wood* hopefully won't in the future.

                                  I once knew a guy who never wrapped for shipping, his reason? If nature required the extra protection they would be born with wraps. My answer was "Ya, and if they were meant to be shipped and ridden they would be born with trailers, saddles and bridles." lol


                                  • #18
                                    I don't use anything when my horse goes on long trips. My entire barn doesn't. They're all easy haulers and (knock on wood) have not hurt themselves in the trailer. The one time I did do that, my horse ripped off the wraps and quilts and peed on them. But I have no problem with it! I say why not!


                                    • #19
                                      I've heard horror stories about horses not wearing wraps or wearing wraps. I think it really depends on the horse and the person driving.


                                      • #20
                                        I am less worried about the traveling itself and more worried about a miss step or goof up going up and down the ramps.