Chapter Six

Fitting Hoof Boots

Chapter Seven

Booting Different Sized Horses

Chapter Eight

Using Hoof Boots for Rehabilitation

Best for longer distances

Today, many barefoot horses will benefit from the use of modern hoof boots, especially through the transitionary phase [after de shoeing] and sometimes beyond.

Modern hoof boots are used to increase weight distribution over a wider area on a hard, flat surface - they provide shock absorption on concussive surfaces and are used by many horse owners just through the transitionary process - e.g. when the horse is de-shod, until he is comfortable and has strong, conditioned feet. However, many amateur and professional riders go on to use hoof boots for performance work, notably in the field of endurance riding!

A horse that is booted when it is ridden or exercised has all the advantages of modern hoof protection when they need it. Even when booted (in correctly-fitting hoof boots), a horse’s hoof function is not effected as it is in metal shoes, so the hoof is still ‘bare’ in essence, as far as the horse’s body and the hoof function is concerned, when wearing hoof boots.

There are some great hoof boots on the market for riding durations or under 25 miles at a time, which suit most leisure riders; but here are some hoof boots suitable for riding longer distances:

Renegades

Renegade hoof boots are instantly recognisable with their heel captivator section at the rear, and a range of eye catching colours in metallic and primary shades. Claiming the accolade of ‘The World’s Highest Performing Hoof Boots’, the Renegade is certainly popular, and has been proven to excel over long distances. Interestingly, the manufacturers have a model with traction studs for use on ice, snow, slippery grass and leaves, which neatly addresses concerns from horse owners who compete barefoot on grass surfaces. The brand has the original Renegade hoof boot and the Viper Boot within its range.

The modern Viper is, despite having the more robust tread of the two boots, about 15% lighter than the original Renegade hoof boot, and has more lateral clearance on both the hoof boot shell and the heel captivator. Like its sister product the original Renegade hoof boot, the Viper is recommended for all levels of riding work, although of course the fit of the boot becomes more crucial with longer distances or more challenging terrain.

The manufacturers state that the Renegade Hoof Boot range is the result of a quest which lasted over three calendar years and consumed an estimated 20,000 ‘man hours’ of development time, coupled with simultaneous field-testing by over a dozen competition endurance-horse and rider teams covering thousands and thousands of training and competition miles. The Renegade Hoof Boots are claimed to ‘highly respect the soft tissue of the [equine] hoof capsule and lower leg’.

Easyboot Glove

Easycare's Easyboot Glove is a very precisely fitting hoof boot that offers a seamless fit and hugs the hoof. the glove hoof boot responds like a natural foot and is flexible and tough, giving the horse added traction and protection to the sole while allowing a free stride and breakover. the glove hoof boot stretches over the hoof and clings to the wall like a second skin, which helps to prevent debris from entering, even in sandy or muddy conditions.

The Glove hoof boot is made from durable urethane, with a neoprene-based gaiter with Velcro-style fastening. It is ideal for endurance equines, or those covering a lot of miles, as the boot fits below the hairline and offers a form fitting and seamless fit. The Glove is also available in a Wide fitting version, which offers more fitting options for those owners with horses who cover a lot of miles, but are trickier to fit!

New Mac

Although strictly recommended as a boot ideal for riding distances of under 25 miles at a time, Easycare's New Mac Hoof Boots warrant a mention, because they can often be used for much longer periods if the fit is correct, as they are generally comfortable for the horse, and durable. the new mac has a unique, high-tech performance outer-sole, incorporating the unique 'hoof suspension system' . the sole of the hoof boot is constructed from thermoplastic urethane, which absorbs shock and aids recovery from concussion-related injuries, as well as helping to prevent them. this thermoplastic urethane sole helps make the new macs a very durable option for anyone that is looking for boots that can be used for longer distances. the upper roll on the new mac also now features a double neoprene roll for comfort, while the inner roll is a close weave, to help prevent burrs sticking and embedding into the fabric.

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