Booting Barefoot Horses FAQ’s
My horse has his width in one size, and length in the
next size up/down, which size should I choose?
If one measurement is in the smaller size, and one
in the larger size, you must go for the large size or ideally look to see if another
hoof boot is more appropriate. If you go for the smaller boot in this instance,
you risk rubbing or not being able to get the boot on at all!
My horses measurements are at the top of one size and
the bottom of the next size up, which size will work best?
If the width and length fit into both sizes, go for
the smaller size as this will offer the closest fit and we have found that they
work best with a tight width in particular.
Can I return the boots if I buy them and they do not
fit or I don’t like them for any reason?
You are welcome to return the boots for a full refund
as long as they are restored to us in the same condition we sent them in. We attach
instructions to every boot to describe how to try it for size and keep it pristine,
boots that are tried without care and are returned with any marks or dirt on unfortunately
cannot be refunded (this does not effect your statutory rights).
I like a certain hoof boot but my horses measurements
don’t really fit into any of the sizes, can I still use it?
Every type of hoof boot as its merits, but a hoof boot
that fit’s the size and shape of the horses foot most closely is more likely to
give miles of stress free riding than a hoof boot that doesn’t fit properly. The
best hoof boots that are the incorrect fit tend to get trodden on or fall off/break
and generally cause hassel so it is better to choose one that may not be your first
choice but you know is a good fit measurement wise first.
Can I use hoof boots over shoes for a shod horse?
Hoof boots were not really designed to be used over
shoes as this can cause excessive wear in the boots, but some people have had to
use them like this for very old or injured horses. The old mac G2 normally fares
best if they are to be used for long periods and turnout, but in all cases using
boots over shod hooves will more than likely invalidate any warranty that may be
offered by the hoof boot manufacturer.
Can I turn my horse out or keep him stabled in hoof boots?
Hoof boots have really be designed for working barefoot
horses, and horses under saddle are normally more in control than horses at liberty.
Hoof boots and in particular the old mac G2 do fare well being used during non ridden
situations, but there is a greater chance of the boot getting damaged or pulled
off particularly when rolling etc. Shod horses are also more likely to loose shoes
in the field than when being ridden for the same reasons!
Can I boot just the fronts or hinds of my horse and leave
the others bare/shod?
Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to boot just a pair
of feet (but never one hoof of a pair, or one front and one back) as they fronts
and hinds serve different purposes to the horse. It is common in approx 75% of cases
than only the front (weight bearing) hooves need protection, and the hinds are comfortable
without. With driving horses it is often the reverse as the hinds do so much pushing
they need the protection more than the fronts! As a rule if your horse is feeling
his feet boot them, if not don’t.
Can you jump and do everything you can with a shod horse
when wearing hoof boots?
Yes, with the correct hoof boots correctly fitted (this
is paramount!) there is no reason why your horse cannot gallop, jump, splash through
rivers and everything besides as you would with him shod.
What are the best boots for long periods or riding/ endurance?
The easy care range such as the epic and bare are ideally
suited to performance horse work, as they are lightweight and fit below the hairline.
If your horses feet fit this style of hoof boot we would always recommend them first,
but often the foot shape is such that another style is more suitable in which case
that is the best boot. Every hoof boot can perform well for long periods, boot that
fit above the coronet band may require you to protect the horse from potential rubbing,
but this is little trouble compared to an epic or bare that doesn’t fit properly
because of the foot shape and is ripped off or lost on a regular basis!
Can I use studs with hoof boots?
Yes, we do sell studs for use with hoof boots, but
advise they should only be used on soft surfaces as with any stud. The easy boot
grip is also an excellent boot for a stud like grip if your horses feet fit the
shape of them.
Will hoof boots stay on in deep mud/water?
As long as the boot fits well and is correctly fitted,
there is no more chance of loosing a hoof boot than there is loosing a metal shoe
in mud or water.
Do I have to use the same make of hoof boots on all 4
No, you boot the horses feet as pairs, and as the front
feet are usually a different shape from the hinds, you will find one style of boot
will fit the front feet and a different style for the hinds.
When should I consider using a pad in the hoof boots?
If your horse is sore, is susceptible to concussion
or has feet that need to improve internally/ externally you should use a 12mm comfort
pad of a style to fit the boot you are using. The 6mm pads are a good ‘insurance
policy’ and offer shock absorbance and continued hoof improvement for already healthy
Should I go up a size if I am going to use hoof comfort
pads or sole mates?
If you are using any of the hoof boots we sell with
the comfort pads (12mm or 6mm) that we sell to go with them, you should not need
to alter the size you need to buy. This means when you no longer need to use the
pads, the boots will still be a good fit. Solemates sometimes supplied by trimmers
for hof improvement vary greatly and can be 1” or more thick- the hoof boots have
not been designed to be used with pads this thick and you may need to go up a size
to accommodate their thickness, we always advise that you consult your trimmer in
this situation first.
How do I know if the hoof boots fit properly?
Each style of hoof boot we sell comes with comprehensive
fitting instructions and pointers to tell if the hoof boot is fitting correctly.
Universally good tests are to try putting the bottom of the hoof against the outside
bottom of the hoof boot to see where the hoof will be sitting in there and if it
looks a neat fit, and when the boot is on it is usual for the boot to not be able
to turn more than 5 degrees wither way (the boot should move with the hoof). Sometimes
the only real test is to ride or work the horse in them which is why we always advise
you to hire hoof boots from us first if you are at all unsure.
How long do hoof boots last?
Hoof boots are very durable, and on average will outlast
steel shoes 3:1. Add to that the fact that most horses will not be wearing them
24hrs a day and they really can be a significantly cheaper option than shoeing in
the long term! Some horses are very hard on their boots (as they are with shoes)
and action, conformation and terrain all play a part but the average seems to be
6 months-1 year for a pair, the most extreme cases I have seen were 2 weeks (the
horse dragged its toes and brushed due to a very poor action) and over 4 years for
a horse hacking lightly across the moors a couple of times a week.
How do I know when to replace the hoof boots with new
As long as the hoof boots fit well, do not rub and
give sufficient grip there is no reason to buy a new pair.