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Horse boots are used to protect horses' legs from injury during riding and absorb some of the impact as their hooves hit the ground.
Horse boots can protect the delicate structures of your horse's leg from cuts, abrasions and splints caused by bumping into obstacles or knocks from its hooves. They also help support the tendons and ligaments in the legs, as performance horses can be prone to straining these tissues.
There are many types of horse boots on the market, each designed for specific injuries and sports.
Hoof boots are a substitute for horseshoes as a backup for a thrown shoe or as protection for a barefoot horse.
Horse boots are commonly used for trail riding and endurance riding as well as for horses that need to work on hard roads and urban areas, such as police horses.
Veterinarians also use hoof boots to treat injured horses horse by protecting wounds from infection and further damage.
As a general rule are put on and taken off as needed.
Support boots are engineered to support a horse's tendons and ligaments.
The boot surrounds the leg and has a strap that cradles the horse's fetlock joint to prevent hyperextension.
Bell boots protect the horse from hitting itself with its hooves or knocks against hard surfaces when riding in rough or muddy terrain or negotiating obstacles.
The boots encircle the pastern, and the bell shape covers the entire hoof.
Brush boots, also known as splint boots, help prevent the horse from hitting itself during hard work and are commonly used during lunging, jumping and other fast moving sports.
The boot sits at or above the pastern joint to protect the lower bones and soft tissue of the lower leg. Thick padding on the inside of the boot protects the delicate splint bone along the inside of the cannon bone.
Shin boots cover the front part of a horse’s leg.
Racehorses and jumpers commonly wear them to prevent injury to the front of the leg when hitting a jump rail.
Fetlock boots are for protection when a horse hits itself.
They cover the pastern joint and fetlock areas of the lower legs. They are not meant to provide support.
Sports boots cover the lower leg from the pastern to below the knee and provide both protection and support to the tendons and ligaments.
Some boots are made to retain heat to increase circulation. Others are cool to soothe sore muscles, ligaments and joints, and prevent swelling and inflammation.
It's vital horse boots are hard wearing, low maintenance, breathable and provide the ultimate protection for your horse.
They're available in a variety of materials, including synthetic neoprene and plastic, sheepskin, leather and gel, and generally come in pairs with a left and a right boot.