Leg Protection for Your Horse

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Depending on what type of training you do with your horse, you may find that his legs require additional protection from scrapes and bruising.? Here are several of the most common types of leg boots and wraps available, and their uses.

  • Bell boots.? Usually made of thick rubber, these boots fasten at the fetlock and hang down over the top of a horse?s hoof.? They are primarily used with horses that, for one reason or another, are at risk of over-reaching, hitting their front foot with their hind one when moving out.? These can prevent cuts and lameness on the front feet, and also protect shoes from being pulled.
  • Tendon Boots.? Typically used in show jumping, these boots protect a horse?s legs from damage when hitting the rails of a jump.? It is important not to fit boots too tightly, as this can cause pressure and damage to the canon bone.? However, also beware of doing the boots up too loosely and allowing them to slip.
  • Travel Boots.? These are typically fitted to the front and back legs and are used when trailering a horse to prevent damage from them banging their legs while in transit or when loading or unloading.
  • Hoof Boots.? These boots, made to fit over a horse?s entire hoof, act as an alternative to a horseshoe.? They are useful should a horse throw a shoe, and can also be used on barefoot horses when trail riding to provide protection to their feet.? Additionally, hoof boots are often used when poulticing a hoof injury.

Remember to get your horse comfortable with the boots first before putting them on, and always do up your straps from back to front.? Fastening too tightly can cause pressure and cut off circulation, but too loosely can allow the boots to slip and cause your horse to stumble and possibly injure himself.? If you are unsure about how to properly put on a boot, talk to an experienced horse person or trainer.

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