Hoof Boots

It may be necessary to use hoof boots for a while when you first start transitioning your horse to go barefoot. Often a newly de-shod hoof is not able to cope with the varying surfaces you may encounter when trail riding or during turnout so boots are used to make the horse more comfortable until the hoof has built up condition. Some horses are lucky and don't need them but for most horses it is something that you do need to invest in - although the majority of horses only need them on their front hooves.

They can also be used to make a horse more comfortable when they are suffering from abscesses, laminitis/founder or navicular.

Another scenario where boots are useful is if you keep your horse on a soft terrain but want to ride on hard, abrasive terrain. It is not fair to expect the hoof to cope with the harder terrain when it hasn't been conditioned to it, but by using hoof boots you can overcome this issue and keep your horse comfortable.

Some have accessories which help prevent rubbing. Also there are pads available that can be used on sensitive horses or to help stimulate weakened areas of the hoof, such as the frog. By cutting the pad into the shape of the frog and either taping over the frog or attaching it to the boot, extra stimulus is provided to help develop the frog and digital cushion. Pete Ramey has written a great article on the use of boots and pads click here to read it.

Hoof Boot Comparisons

This page gives you the chance to review and compare the wide range of boots that are now available so that you can get the best horse hoof boots for your horse.

In general, they fall in to three groups:

The riding group is further split into two with the option of glue on boots which are glued directly onto the hoof.

Most of my experience has been with the Boa's, Old Macs and Easyboot Epics and out of those three my preference for riding in is for the Easyboot Epic's as the rigid structure of the boot does not come above the hairline so there is less interference with joint articulation and less chance of rubbing. They also take pads well. The Old Macs and Boa's however are more forgiving when selecting a size and will accommodate wrappings such as a poultice which is not possible with the Epic's due to their fit.

As of July 2011 there is a new boot on the market called the Equine Fusion Jogging Shoe. These boots have many great benefits (see below) but the main one is that the sole is flexible which allows the hoof to function more naturally. I think this is the way forward as recent research by Dr Bowker indicates that sole stimulation is very important to the hoof and helps increase blood flow to micro-vessels in the hoof. I like these boots so much that I became a dealer - click here for more info.

Each of boots listed here have unique benefits so the final decision should be based on what your horse's needs are at the time of purchase as you may find certain boots will be more suitable than others.

The photo on the left shows a hoof in a well-fitting Easyboot Bare. The boot has been cut to show how the hoof fits snugly into the boot and also illustrates how breakover is actually improved by this hoof boot - many people wrongly assume that breakover is extended when using boots.

Each hoof boot manufacturer has slightly different size ratios so you may find some boot shapes more suitable than others for your horse's individual hoof shape. This is an important fact to remember when deciding which boot to purchase as the better the fit, the less problems you will encounter.

Scroll down and click on the links to get a detailed description about each type of hoof boot and links to the manufacturer's website.

Measuring

It is important to match the width and length of the hoof to the hoof boot size. The front hooves of most horses tend to be more round in shape and wider than the hind hooves. The best fit may require a smaller size for the hinds.

How to get the correct size hoof boot for your horse:

  1. Measure the width of the hoof across the bottom at the widest point.
  2. Measure the length of the hoof from the toe to the buttress line of the heel. The buttress line is the farthest weight bearing point of the heel.
  3. Compare your measurement with the proper size chart for the boot. If you are taking your measurements in inches, use the imperial size chart. If you are taking your measurements in millimeters, use the metric size chart.
  4. Ideally, the width and length measurement will fit into the same boot size. If the width and length measurements indicate different boot sizes, select the larger boot size.

Soaking Boots

Prices shown are the manufacturer's recommended retail price (RRP) in US dollars.

Davis Horse Boot
from $29.95 each
Width: 92-241mm

EasySoaker
$33 each
Width: 95-184mm

Hoof Wraps Soaker
$34.95 each
One size: up to 152mm

Smart™ Soaking Boot
$54.95 each
One size: up to 242mm

Therapy Boots - for hooves during rehab

These boots are primarily aimed at hooves that need protection. Some are a suitable hoof boot for horse turnout - although this should be in a limited area so as to lessen the chance of the horse loosing the boot.

Hoof Wrap Bandage
$18.95 each
Width: 102-140mm

Soft-Ride Comfort Boot
$175-$200 per pair
Width: 70-171mm

Equine Slipper
$40 each
Width: 121-191mm

Castle Plastics Boot
$37 each
Width: 115-143mm

HOOFix Boot
$38 each
Width: 115-133mm

Easyboot Rx
$72-$83 each
Width: 98-192mm

Riding Boots

This section includes hoof boots for trail riding and arena work. Some of these boots, such as the Equine Jogging Shoe, can also be used for turnout.

Boa Horse Boot
$170 per pair
Width: 89-133

Easyboot Backcountry
$88-$106 each
Width: 99mm - 141mm

Easyboot Bare
$80-95 each
Width: 78-192mm

Easyboot Epic
$87-$102 each
Width: 78-192mm

Easyboot Glove
$72-$82 each
Width: 96-131mm

Easyboot Grip
$80 each
Width: 111-139mm

Easyboot Trail
$62-$106 each
Width: 100mm - 155mm

Easyboot Transition
$88-$106 each
Width: 89mm - 152mm

Equine Jogging Shoe
$215 per pair *New*
Length: 100 - 150 mm

Hoofwing Boot
$259-$434 per pair
Width: 76-229mm

Marquis Boot
$299 per pair
Width: 95- 158mm

Old Mac's
$176-202 per pair
Width: 105-120mm

Renegade Boot
$84.50-$179 each
Width: 106.5-152mm

Simple Boot
$144.95 per pair
Length: 102-157mm

Swiss Horse Boot
$87.50 each
Width: 86-152mm

Glue On Boots

Easyboot Glue On
- $31 each ($102 for 4)
Width: 96mm - 131mm

Marquis Glue On
$69.99 each
Width: 95-158mm

Renegade Glue On
$14.95-$29.90 each
Width: 106.5-140mm


Return from Hoof Boots to Natural Hoof Trimming




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