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Monday, April 5, 2010

Hoof Boots

So, my Silly Red Filly and I went for a trail ride this weekend and while she has really good feet and is about half mountain goat, the rocks did a number on her hooves. I want to get her some hoof boots to provide some extra grip and protect her little toes from getting all chipped up. I have never used them before and am not sure what brand/model to buy. I have looked a the Easyboots (specifically the Glove model) and the Boa horse boots, both are around the same price, but the Easyboots have the little gaitor thing that goes around their pastern to help keep them on. Do any of you guys have experience using them? My questions are...

How long do they hold up?
Do they stay on well?
Do they affect the horse's gait any?
Are they better than metal shoes for rocky ground?


  1. I know a lot of endurance riders like the Renegade boots.

    I've not used any boots personally as my little Arab's feet are so hard the farrier bitches about them. He can trot endlessly on gravel and his hooves come out of it looking like he did nothing more than mosey around a grassy field. We'll see what happens as we get farther along in our endurance training, but so far we've not needed anything. If we do, I'm going to give the Renegades a shot.

  2. Lots of info and opinions on hoof boots out there. For light, casual riding, your needs and what works may be different than those who do endurance. There is a Yahoo group for endurance riders who keep their horses barefoot, and they are one of the most knowlagable in hoop boots. You might check it out. (hope this link works)

  3. I have Easy Boot epics and I did not like them all that much. Seemed to work well at first, but after a while (maybe at 30-50 rides? Not sure) the wire that holds the clasp down started to stretch, and the boot wouldn't fit as tight... we had a couple instances where she spooked, and kind of stepped out of the boot, then ran along with it flapping about from the gaiter, thus ripping the gaiter.... *rolls eyes*. The material on the bottom has held up well, but the Epics, to me, are a pain to get on because the plastic material does not flex well to allow it to slip on the hoof.

    I am either going to try renegades or the easyboot gloves next. Renegades are pricey, but I ahve heard they are the creme de la creme of boots... and !BONUS! they come in different colors! (Do I sense a TTOTD post on tack hoof boots coming?)

  4. I am a blog reader (but lurker) and pro barefoot trimmer. I used to sell a lot of Epics and Cavallo boots but have switched completely to using the gloves since they came out. I LOVE them. They fit great (so long as you get the proper sized shell--definitely get the fit kit if you decide to use this boot) stay on through every imaginable condition and they are the easiest by far to get on and off. They suit customers who are casual weekend warriors to dressage divas all the way up to the 40km distance champ in DK. I still use other boots now and then but I keep coming back to the gloves.

    They're also the lightest weight of any model/brand boot and therefore the least likley to interfier with your horse's natural gaits. I work with a lot of Icelandic horses (my own horse is an Icelandic too) and have had a lot of success improving gaits in horses who were tense in their body due to hoof pain through a combo of natural horse/hoof care and boots.

    The gloves will last many many miles though you may need to replace the gaitor (a fairly cheep part) once or twice during the life of the boot. If you trail ride once or twice a week in your boots they will probably last you over a year. Maybe more. A lot depends on the conditions you ride in, how hard youøre riding, how well your horse moves (a clunky going horse or one that twists the feet a lot on landing will wear them out faster than a horse who is light on its feet and moves very true) and how large the horse is. Judging from the pic of your horse in the avatar and what you've described I would guess the boots will last you over a year (perhaps with a gaitor replacement).

    Good luck and let us know how it goes with the new boots. :)

    (If you do decide to do a post about tacky boots check out the Cavallo boots in pink, American and Canadian flag designs. Gag!)

  5. FOrgot to mention--yes, they are better than shoes for rocky ground because they protect the whole hoof including the frog and sole. A shoe doesn't do that and a shoe with a pad tends to get thrushy and withered then rocky trails are the least of your worries.

  6. OK, I just tried posting a LONG post on this and the blogger ate my post! ARRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  7. I am not going to me ( and I can do a rundown of boots...I am a trimmer and do over a thousand miles every season in endurance in boots, so have a good handle on them...two comments quick though: Gloves are good, but you need a proper trim and often to make them work (they do "fit like a glove") and FIT FIT FIT is important to all boots working.
    Tacky Tack: some of the cavallo's come in GAWDAWFUL colors (I think I saw pink camo as a "special" once...they were special alright!)
    Rocks...they are BETTER than shoes...think of this: how will a 1/4" RIM of steel, protect all of the bottom (as well as heelbulbs, etc) of your hoof against rocks that are mostly BIGGER than 1/4"?????? Also: Rubber is WAY less slippery on rock/pavement than metal...another added bonus :) And as to how long they last...depends on the boot and the use...I can get a minimum of 4mos, usually 6mos of E-rides and training rides out of mine...that is a LOT of miles. most "casual" riders can get YEARS out of most boots... so way cheaper than shoes in that respect too :)

  8. I have never used hoof boots because my gelding never had any problems. However, my barefoot trimmer said that if I ever do get boots, to buy the Easyboot Gloves. She highly recommended them as they do not have any gadgets on them that can get caught on twigs or leaves on the trails. They are also preferred for jumping because they don't catch on rails. Hope this helps :-)

  9. Used both. For my kind of work even the gaiters didn't keep them on worth a damn. We drive miles and miles, having commercial carriage horses. The boots provided too much grip for them on the pavement and came off too easily. We actually have our horses barefoot but when they are wearing more foot than they are growing (like summer when they may be doing 20+ miles pulling a carriage). Metal shoes were slippery when stopping, starting and going up hills and didn't last more than one shoeing. We actually switched to Easy walkers They, believe it or not lasted through a resetting with plenty left compared to metal shoes that we could literally bend in half with our hands at the end of 8-10 weeks. Our horses were also less fatigued and could pull the large carriages up hills easier.

  10. I have the easyboot glove with gaiters for my older mare and they work well. It only took about 5 minutes for her to adjust then she was fine. She really seems to enjoy them. You have to take very precise measurements or they will not fit right. They hold up well.

  11. In my views, horse boot should be comfortable. You must buy western boot for your horse. It will provide extra grip to your horse.
    horse boot