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Bell boots on long term? Prevent pulling shoes off?

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  • Bell boots on long term? Prevent pulling shoes off?

    My farrier suggested getting bell boots to keep my horse from pulling her shoes off by over reaching. She has them on backwards because of founder. But she managed to pull off the one that was on regular too!

    I found a pair that were made of two layers of "petals" instead of a solid piece that might work but not trap moisture up inside as it is often wet here esp. this time of year. I would think a one piece might cause more problems with fungus or just keeping her heel/coronet too wet and soft. I don't even know if they would keep her from taking off the shoe anyway, they might not go down that far. She is out 24/7.

    Has anyone had any experience with this?

    At least she is much happier in her new shoes/pads but at $92 I want them to stay on as long as possible!!
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

  • #2
    I used to do this with my gelding - he had a huge stride and would pull his custom (read: expensive!) front shoes off at the drop of a hat. I'll confess that I put regular bell boots on him - rubber, with double velcro - and just left them on. Obviously I took them off for grooming, hoof oil, etc, but otherwise he lived in them. It was easier than risking him going out for the day without them and yanking off an expensive shoe, and it didn't seem to cause him any harm.
    In memory of Rebuff (1974-2009)

    Rest in peace, my sweet man

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    • #3
      My TB gelding lives in regular bell boots. He has such a huge stride that he will rip his heels up if he does not have them on, and when he does have shoes if he does not have the bells on he will have them off in a jiffy. I've had no problems with having them on all the time.

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      • #4
        I used to let mine live in regular bell boots. You'd think horses could keep off their own feet! But I really hated wet winter and all that mud, I hate all the extra moisture it traps around their heels and always felt it might make them more prone to getting a little thrush starting, but I'm no expert. The petals might offer more air circulation, but I've never used them.

        My current young horse went up a size on shoes on his back feet and *magic* no longer clips himself up front. happy horse owner. I'm not really sure how that translated to no longer overreaching or if it was just him growing up (just turned 6) but I dare not question it.

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        • #5
          My guy lives in his Davis bell boots. I check his heels and coronet bands, but after two years he has not had a single problem. I tried every other kind of bell boot out there and he destroyed all of them except for the Davis ones.

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          • #6
            My TB/Percheron cross lives in pull on Italian bell boots (the only ones that fit). He's been wearing them for two years now without any problems (other than him eating the boots if I forget to spray Rap Last on them every few days). Prior to using the boots, he would lose a shoe every month or so. He has not lost a single shoe in two years. I, however, have spent a small fortune on bell boots and rap last!!!!

            I flip them inside out whenever I hose him off so they can dry. If he's been out in the mud, I sometimes pull them off at night when he comes into his stall. Other than that, I've had to do nothing else. Important to get boots that fit right, however, as I've seen other horses get some nasty sores.
            R.I.P. Ollie (2007-2010) You were small in stature but huge in spirit. You will never be forgotten.

            Godspeed, Benjamin (1998-2014). A life well-lived. A horse well-loved.

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            • #7
              My horses also live in high-neck pull on bell boots 24/7 - they are the only ones that do not rub them and that do not get sand stuck in them. I think it's because I get them a little large so that the bellboot rests on the ground behind the heels. That way I know the shoes are protected. Since the boots have the high neck there is zero pressue around the horse's pastern and no rub. Low-neck pull ons and velcro boots do not work for me - they make pressure on the ankles.

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              • #8
                The solid one piece bell boots are easy to flip up after turn out to allow the heels to dry. They last for a long time and are easy to use once you have them on.

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                • #9
                  My trainer's event horses live in bell boots 24/7, and the horse I just leased is wearing them right now as he has pads in front. I've never done it with one of mine, but this new horse is really active and plays a lot and I figure "more good than harm" so on they stay. No signs that any of these horses have developed rubs or other problems.

                  ETA that when it gets muddy/snowy/yucky I will probably rethink the equation, depending on how the heels and skin look.
                  Click here before you buy.

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                  • #10
                    My TB is also very prone to grabbing his heels and pulling off his shoes. He's been in the pull-on Italian rubber bell boots all summer. It's a bit of a bother when it is muddy - but I just flip them up, hose him off, and let him dry. Because he's prone to scratches, if the weather is wet, I'll poof Keratex Mud Shield powder on him when he's dry. No scratches or any other problems thus far, I'm happy to report.

                    It's not perfect, he has managed to pull a shoe off despite the bell boots, but it definitely cuts down on the frequency.

                    I would be curious to know what folks with these sort of problem horses do in the winter (in snowy areas.)
                    Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

                    Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs

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                    • #11
                      The horse I lease also lives in the pull-on gum rubber bell boots, after losing several velcro ones. They keep his shoes on (the farrier is happy not to have to see us so often!) and don't rub, even though he's your typical thin-skinned chestnut TB. I take them off when I ride and make sure they're clean. As far as trapping dirt/moisture, this horse is prone to scratches, but this year he didn't get them, and I wondered if it was because of the bell boots.
                      "A canter is a cure for every evil." -Benjamin Disraeli

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                      • #12
                        My horse has lived in pull on bell boots for years. No issues.

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                        • #13
                          I got rubs with the velcro bell boots because they filled in with mud and then rubbed the joint.

                          I had good luck with petal bells for 24x7 wear. Eventually (months) he ripped the petals off. I assume those would have been the shoes coming off. Of course I haven't replaced them yet...
                          DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Addison View Post
                            The solid one piece bell boots are easy to flip up after turn out to allow the heels to dry. They last for a long time and are easy to use once you have them on.
                            My horse is in these 24/7. I get the ones at Dover that are I think $9.95 per pair - so not the super-expensive Italian ones, but the ribbed/gum ones. You know they work when your horse either pulls one off (without ripping them sometimes! which is mind-boggling to me) or when he tears one off. I always think had he not had them on, a shoe would be gone. He wears them 24/7 and for all riding. In 6 months he has probably pulled 5 or 6 off, so not bad. Only one ripped so far. The rest come off and are laying the field ?! and can be re-used. We've had no issues with rubs, fungus.

                            Good luck!

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                            • #15
                              I had a gelding who lived the last 18 or so months of his life wearing Schneider's Ultra® Non-Twist Bell Boots 24/7. No rubs, no turning. Once I found these he stopped pulling off his very expensive shoes and pads (advanced navicular cyst case). I kept two pair so I could alternate when one got dirty or wet.

                              I can't recommend Schneiders for blankets any more, but these bell boots appear to be the same as the ones I was using about 5 or 6 years ago.

                              ETA: He never destroyed a single pair of these. And he completely demolished other types, including rubber bells, before I found these. In rain, snow or mud I just alternated between the two pairs I had so I could clean/dry the pair I'd just taken off. Never seemed to have a problem with snow, ice or mud packing inside these between the boot and leg/hoof.
                              Last edited by VivaBaby; Nov. 16, 2009, 06:53 PM. Reason: adding info

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by johnnysauntie View Post
                                My TB is also very prone to grabbing his heels and pulling off his shoes. He's been in the pull-on Italian rubber bell boots all summer. It's a bit of a bother when it is muddy - but I just flip them up, hose him off, and let him dry. Because he's prone to scratches, if the weather is wet, I'll poof Keratex Mud Shield powder on him when he's dry. No scratches or any other problems thus far, I'm happy to report.

                                It's not perfect, he has managed to pull a shoe off despite the bell boots, but it definitely cuts down on the frequency.

                                I would be curious to know what folks with these sort of problem horses do in the winter (in snowy areas.)
                                Yep...my TB managed to pull the shoe/pad off his front hoof last summer and the bell boot was untouched.

                                I told my farrier that it must have been a site watching this gelding out in the field saying..I MUST GET THIS SHOE OFF, SO SHE WON"T RIDE ME TOMORROW"..with a horse/teeth gritted together..with two back feet standing on that one shoe.

                                The only time it has happened in in three years of wearing bell boots

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by dalpal View Post
                                  Yep...my TB managed to pull the shoe/pad off his front hoof last summer and the bell boot was untouched.

                                  I told my farrier that it must have been a site watching this gelding out in the field saying..I MUST GET THIS SHOE OFF, SO SHE WON"T RIDE ME TOMORROW"..with a horse/teeth gritted together..with two back feet standing on that one shoe.

                                  The only time it has happened in in three years of wearing bell boots
                                  OMG.. I can so see him doing this
                                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                  ---
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                                  • #18
                                    For those with horses in bell boots 24/7 I have heard the Davis boots with "glitter" in them last a lot longer then the regular ones. Am not into "bling" but would consider them if mine were wearing them long term.

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                                    • #19
                                      my gelding is the master of pulling shoes and when he can't pull them off, he strategically finds mud and walks through it until it is sucked off.
                                      I'm yet to find any fool proof bell boots but have certainly been through enough of them. At this point I'm on the velcro closure ones from Smartpak for $15. And yes, white is easier to find in the field than any other color and no one cares how silly your horse looks because you look sillier covering the field searching day after day.
                                      "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by tpup View Post
                                        My horse is in these 24/7. I get the ones at Dover that are I think $9.95 per pair - so not the super-expensive Italian ones, but the ribbed/gum ones. You know they work when your horse either pulls one off (without ripping them sometimes! which is mind-boggling to me) or when he tears one off. I always think had he not had them on, a shoe would be gone. He wears them 24/7 and for all riding. In 6 months he has probably pulled 5 or 6 off, so not bad. Only one ripped so far. The rest come off and are laying the field ?! and can be re-used. We've had no issues with rubs, fungus.

                                        Good luck!
                                        When my horse is in 4 shoes all around, the Easy Stretch Bell Boots are my choice too (that's the ones you're talking about). My horse only pulled off two in over 6 months and one of them was pulled off on an XC course. They are $2 cheaper at Miller Harness than at Dover:
                                        http://millerharness.com/Product.aspx?p=X4-0410

                                        PS to those of you who love the pricey Italian bell boots: If you have never held up an Italian bell boot to the Dover Easy Stretch, you really should. They are the exact same product in practically every way except that the Dover Easy Stretch has a double-as-thick rim near the bottom. And they sure are easier on the pocketbook than the Italian boots.
                                        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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