Chapter Six

Fitting Hoof Boots

Chapter Seven

Booting Different Sized Horses

Chapter Eight

Using Hoof Boots for Rehabilitation

Riding in mud with hoof boots

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

Hoof boots not only give total protection to the sole of the barefoot horse, but with the use of specialist pads inside the boots, replicate the support and feedback that the horse would receive when worked barefoot on good going.

Muddy conditions

However, not all hoof boots are alike, and you may find that if your hoof boots get ‘sucked’ off the hoof in muddy conditions, or that mud renders the fixings dangerous or inferior or causes rubs due to debris entering the boot, you may need a different type of hoof boot.

Here are our top tips for selecting a hoof boot that may used in muddy conditions-

  1. You may need to upgrade from a leisure hoof boot to one designed more for performance - e.g something that has a secure, close fit for faster work, such as a Renegade, may be preferable to a more basic hoof boot like a Cavallo Simple.
  2. Go for a boot with as few fixings as possible. The Easyboot Glove, for example, ‘stretches’ over the hoof and clings to the wall like a second skin - it has no external fixings to come undone or get clogged up with grass and mud. Something with a buckle system like the Easyboot Epic, while a very secure boot, may be trickier to manipulate by the owner in muddy conditions.
  3. Don’t discount Velcro (hook and loop) systems. Whilst it is fair to say that a simple boot like the Easyboot Trail or the Cavallo Trek may become over-faced in mud, something like the Easyboot Transition may fair better, as its Velcro fastenings are industrial strength, and more complex.
  4. Look for a hoof boot with a high top - something like the Floating Trainer boot is a good example, as it has a secure gaiter and a neoprene 'sock' liner. A hoof boot that secures above the hair line of the coronet is less likely to have debris and mud drop inside the boot than a more basic leisure boot.
  5. Some hoof boots may be worn with studs for extra grip in wetter conditions; check with the manufacturer.

Finally, do dry and clean your boots after use, and try to brush out any dried mud from the boot itself and the fixings. Make sure the boots are a close fit to the horse’s hoof, as if they are a little loose, riding in mud could become dangerous if the mud’s suction causes them to twist.