Why do horses need boots?
Horses have very sensitive legs, which is why their limbs are constantly vulnerable to various injuries. It is worth preventing them, or at least minimize their frequency and level of discomfort they cause. This is what boots are for.
Some horses tend to hook one leg on the other. It is called strickling and stems directly from the horse’s built. In such a case, to protect the horse’s legs from injuries, boots are necessary. Boots are also necessary for horses taking part in show jumping. Horses in this discipline often hit the obstacles with their front legs and cause injuries.
However, many horse lovers recommend to use boots virtually for all occasions and prevent any hurt, regardless of the horse’s inclination to strickling or misjumps. It is always better to prevent than to treat. You never know what type of terrain you will encounter while leaving the paddock. Would it be soft or hard? Would there be rocks? Would it be moldy, muddy, or grassy? All these obstacles might affect your horse’s gait. Boots will work also in dressage and leading. Arch riding carries a greater risk of strickling, namely hurting one leg on the other.
Which boots to choose?
Felt boots are the cheapest, but they also easily absorb water and are not very durable. They would work, but mostly on covered manages or in good weather. Leather boots are way more durable, but they require time-consuming maintenance. Many riders choose boots made of synthetic materials that imitate leather. They are very durable and their maintenance is simple and quick.
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No matter what materials where used to produce boots for your horse, it is important that they have foam or rubber liners absorbing shocks and thus minimizing the risk of injuries. Another exceptionally important thing is the type of fastening. Buckles allow to best adjust the boots to the horse’s legs, at the same time fastening them really well. But using buckles might be arduous, especially if your horse is nervous. Following many riders, you could choose boots with velcro closures. They are much easier to use. However, you need to remember to clean, or even exchange them, as dirty velcros will not work as intended.