What Are Horse Boots Used For? (Question)

They are versatile boots designed to be used for training, flatwork, lunging, hacking, or turnout. They protect the lower part of the horse’s leg from the opposite hoof knocking into it, which is referred to as brushing. Brushing boots also protect the splint bone which is a common area of injury for horses.

Do horses really need boots?

Horses have no padding from muscle tissue in the lower leg, so boots can help prevent potentially debilitating injuries. Unless there is a pre-existing condition that needs protection, most backyard pleasure horses do not need any leg protection.

How do you know if your horse needs boots?

“ If your horse regularly beats up the inside of his pastern and/or fetlock, he needs to wear boots,” states Richard Markell, DVM, who specializes in treating dressage and show-jumping sporthorses at Ranch & Coast Equine Practice in California.

Why are horses legs wrapped?

Bandages are used on a horse’s legs to do two things: provide support or protect from injury. These bandages are generally used on a horse’s hind legs, and they typically have a pad under the horse’s fetlock to help prevent abrasions when the fetlocks sink toward the ground during weight bearing.

Are horse boots better than horseshoes?

Results confirm that Cavallo Trek Hoof Boots benefit horses, giving them more comfort and minimizing hoof damage. We also found that the tread of the Cavallo Trek Hoof Boots was thicker and would provide more space to contact with the ground than a metal horseshoe.”

When should horses wear boots?

Horse boots are used to protect the horse’s legs from injury during riding, lunging or turnout, as well as absorbing some of the shock on impact as a horse’s hoof hits the ground. Horse boots can protect a horse’s legs from interference that can lead to abrasions and splints.

Why do horse riders wear boots?

A horse boot is a protective boot or wrap designed to prevent a horse’s lower leg or hoof from experiencing trauma. These injuries could result from activities like walking on rough terrain or damage from a gait irregularity. Horse boots offer protection and also absorb shock when a horse’s hoof hits the ground.

Can you use brushing boots on back legs?

Brushing boots can be used on fore or hind legs depending on the horse’s requirements.

What is the point of bell boots?

Bell boots, sometimes called overreach boots, cover a horse’s front feet from the pastern over the coronary band and the hoof wall down to the heel. Bell boots provide protection from interference from the hind feet, which can overreach or clip the front feet during riding or turnout.

Why do they put socks on horses?

They provide just enough compression and warmth to aid circulation, without constricting natural movement. Horses that train hard and then stay stabled, like competition sport horses and racehorses, can use the socks to prevent stocking up after hard workouts.

Can you turn a horse out in standing wraps?

Stable Wraps or Standing Bandages In the stall, standing wraps or stable wraps help prevent ‘stocking up’. Stocking up is when fluids settle in the legs because the horse is standing on a hard surface and not moving around to keep the fluid flushed out of the tissues. Horses can be turned out in wraps.

Where is the horses fetlock?

Fetlock is a term used for the joint where the cannon bone, the proximal sesamoid bones, and the first phalanx (long pastern bone) meet. The pastern is the area between the hoof and the fetlock joint.

Should my horse wear hoof boots?

A horse should wear hoof boots when its feet need protection; for example, a horse’s hooves must be protected on the rocky or snow-covered ground when it doesn’t wear metal shoes. You can also use them with horseshoes, or if your horse has sore feet or an abscess, you should try using boots.

What do horses wear on their feet?

Horses wear shoes primarily to strengthen and protect the hooves and feet, and to prevent the hooves from wearing down too quickly. Much like our finger and toenails, a horse’s hooves will grow continually if not trimmed.

Can horses with shoes wear hoof boots?

We often get asked if hoof boots may be used over horse shoes, and the straightforward answer is that no, hoof boots are not designed to be used over horse shoes; doing so will more than likely invalidate any warranty that may be offered by the hoof boot manufacturer.

Does my horse need to wear boots?

Boots aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of gear and the significance of keeping a horse safe. But they should be. But horses’ legs and hooves are protected from harm, damage, and trauma when they are outfitted with boots. The sort of boots required for a certain activity is very dependent on the activity. For example, show jumping boots would not be appropriate if they were required for travel. It is important to take into account the demands and requirements of both the horse and the activity.

Tendon/Fetlock Boots, Overreach/Bell Boots, Travel Boots with Bandages, Therapy and Medical Boots (including Turnout Boots), Hoof Boots and Brushing Boots are some of the several types of horse boots available.

Boots for Brushing When it comes to horse boots, brushing boots are one of the most popular styles to choose from.

They prevent the bottom part of the horse’s leg from being knocked against by the opposing foot, which is known as as brushing in the industry.

  1. A soft fabric is typically used to construct these boots in order to accommodate the horse’s leg’s unique contouring needs.
  2. Brushing boots of high quality will also include some reinforcement, such as PVC, on the inside leg to provide further protection against impact.
  3. Boots for the Tendon and Fetlock These boots, which are similar to brushing boots in appearance, are designed to protect the tendons and fetlocks on the bottom part of the leg from being injured by an accident.
  4. Injuries caused by the horse’s rear hooves can be prevented by wearing tendon boots on the horse’s front legs during a jump landing.
  5. There are a variety of different styles to choose from.
  6. In addition to providing protection from collision with strong natural fences, closed front designs, commonly known to as cross country boots, are becoming increasingly popular in eventing and hunting.
  7. In addition to being called asbell boots because of their form, overreach boots completely encircle the whole hoof, providing protection from overreaching and other impacts.

Overreach boots are a popular choice for a variety of activities, including training, flatwork, lunging, hacking, show jumping, cross country, and more.

When a horse stands on the heel of a front shoe and pulls it off, these boots can help to prevent that from happening.

It is possible that certain horses may naturally overreach more than others, and that you will need to use them for all tasks.

It is also possible to use overreach boots on the hind hoof to protect them from brushing attacks.

Neoprene is a softer, more durable fabric that lasts longer and is more pleasant for the horse to wear than other materials.

Overreach boots may also include a fleece trim around the top for additional comfort.

Travel boots are designed to be far higher than regular boots in order to provide complete protection from the hock all the way down to the fetlock.

Riding a horse is a high-risk activity, and these boots provide the best protection of any that are now available.

Horses’ movements are restricted with travel boots, which compress the legs in order to decrease swelling that can occur when a horse is forced to stand still for extended periods.

Quality travel boots will have a robust outer shell for durability and a soft fleece interior for comfort, and they will be well-constructed.

Many horses may need to be introduced to travel boots in small increments before they are ready to be ridden.

The majority of the time, they were employed prior to the introduction of boot technology.

Boots are now preferred over bandages by many horse owners because they are much easier to put on and take off.

Magnetic boots, which stimulate blood flow in the horse’s leg, and ice boots, which are meant to be used after exercise to chill the horse’s legs more quickly and avoid damage, are two examples of common varieties.

WeatherBeeta offers a complete selection of boots to meet the specific demands of your horse.

If you want assistance in selecting the appropriate boots, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service staff, who will be more than delighted to assist you. All of our Horse Boots may be found here.

The Science Behind Equine Boots and Bandages – The Horse

Are you planning on going out for a couple jumps in the arena? Put on your brushing boots and buckle them up. Are you preparing to transport a load in the trailer? Put on your well-padded, hock-high transport boots and get to work. Is it necessary to treat a leg wound? Apply a layer of sheet cotton and a brightly colored flexible bandage to the wound. Just put, it’s what we’ve seen others do; it’s what we’ve been trained to do; it’s simply what we’re comfortable doing. But why do we do it in the first place?

But have you ever stopped to consider why and how these bandages protect a horse’s leg—or even if they are effective at all?

When you find that very little study has been done on the inner workings of the horse leg when wraps and boots are used, you might be astonished.

But, in the interim, we’ve reached out to some of the world’s leading experts in horse biomechanics to gain a better understanding of the science of the wrap and to assist us in unraveling some of its secrets.

Wrapping Leg Injuries

When you go into your horse’s pasture and see the awful leg gash, you know just how you feel. You’re not sure how he accomplished it, but you’re confident in your ability to deal with the situation. Bring out the bandages, since nothing says leg wound therapy quite like a well-done bandage job. Whether it’s something we’ve learned via personal experience, veterinarian advice, or reading about horse care, we all know that using padding and bandages to bind a leg wound is crucial first aid for your horse.

  • Yes, applying pressure to a cut will assist to halt the bleeding by stimulating the formation of clots.
  • You may also be aware that covering a leg wound might aid in the reduction of edema.
  • Veterinary surgeon Nathan Canada, DVM, MS, Dipl.
  • Canada practices at Texas Equine Hospital, which is located in Bryan.
  • According to Canada, the fundamental reason for this is a fascinating physics process.
  • Adler.
  • He compares the tendency for a leg injury to swell to the way a garden hose operates.

“The water is going to go from places of high pressure to areas of low pressure.” According to Canada, there is also a chemical process taking place at the cellular level.

That results in “leaky” blood vessel walls, which allows more fluid to flow into the surrounding tissues.


It is possible to convey pressure to soft tissues that are below skin by putting anything on the outside of the skin, according to Canada.

However, once you suffer from a tendon injury, one of the first things you should do is provide it with support by providing some form of ­pressure.” Despite the fact that pressure can be beneficial for leg wounds, the improper sort of pressure, he advises, can be harmful.

These pressure peaks can cause direct damage to the tendon or can impair blood flow to the tendon.

According to him, this is a prevalent cause of bent tendons. Using cushioning (e.g., pillow pads) beneath the wrap to assist distribute pressure and keeping bandage overlaps as equal as possible will help to reduce the chance of a laceration.

Wrapping for Travel

Are you planning a road trip? Remove the transport coverings from the vehicle. For the third time, we seasoned horsepeople understand that placing shipping boots or bandages on our traveling horses is just something you do on the job every day. Peer pressure is not, however, a valid basis for wrapping a trailered horse. However, leg pressure is a different story. There is, in fact, a purpose, according to Canada.” For horses, walking about all day is natural, and the blood flow in their legs is dependent on their being active.

  1. Any stationary horse can benefit from the pressure exerted by transport wraps to keep him from stocking up.
  2. What level of pressure is necessary?
  3. However, as compared to vascular (blood vessel) pressure, interstitial pressure is already extremely low.
  4. Another important reason to use transport boots and wraps, according to him, is the protection they provide against superficial injuries.
  5. They can also step on themselves or even be kicked if they are jostled around too much.
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Brush Boots for Impact Protection

Brush boots (also known as support, splint, or tendon boots) are the working boots we place on our horses when we ride them. We do so, again, in the mistaken belief that they would protect our horses, but we have no true understanding of how they will protect them. There are a range of leg covering options and fastening techniques available for these boots, which are mostly made of leather and polyurethane. According to our sources, there has been little to no scientific investigation regarding the efficiency of any of these boots.

Only one thing appears to be certain regarding their protective capabilities: they can protect the legs, and particularly the tendons, from impact-related injuries.

They feature firmer surfaces than transport boots, which lets them to disperse more powerful pressures, such as those caused by hitting a leap or self-inflicted hoof strikes, more effectively.

The boot absorbs the impact and distributes the force throughout its surface, resulting in a considerable reduction in detrimental peak pressures. According to Roepstorff, a horse can emerge from a severe attack with just minor or non-existent damage.

Boots for Preventing Overuse ­Injuries?

The widespread assumption is that brush boots can provide support for the big tendons that run down the backs of horses’ lower legs when they are exercising. Unfortunately, though, it is possible that this will not be the case. There has been no confirmation of this, and from a biomechanical standpoint, it is impossible to understand how something like this could even operate. Canadian believes that if a boot truly inhibits the downward movement of the leg’s fetlock, so that it does not overextend while coming down after a jump, for example, it is feasible (though improbable) that the tendon will receive some protective benefits.

This does not appear to have any effect on the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT), which runs beneath it.” Roepstorff is even more pessimistic in his assessment.

“Those are tremendous forces.

“Brush boots will not protect the horse from overuse injuries; they will only protect the horse from severe injuries,” Roepstorff explains.

Temperature Effects

We still don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a terrible thing, despite all of the positive effects we expect to achieve by wrapping and booting our horses. There is one crucial consequence that has been scientifically evaluated, and we still don’t know whether it’s a good or a negative thing. In fact, according to Simone Westermann, DrMedVet, of the Vienna, Austria, University of Veterinary Medicine, covering the legs with this type of equipment might result in a temperature increase of up to 30 percent, most likely due to heat being trapped inside the device.

  • While boots and wraps may provide some help in terms of tendon warming on really cold days, the rise in temperature may be detrimental to tendons in some circumstances.
  • Roepstorff concurs with this assessment.
  • During high-speed movement, the temperature of the core tendon has been observed to be 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).” “They practically start to dissolve,” says the narrator.
  • “Of course, the most common cause of tendon injuries is force, but I believe that the heating effect of boots and bandages may enhance the likelihood of injury as well,” explains Roepstorff.
  • More study is required to discover the precise advantages and disadvantages, if any, of the proposed solution.
  • According to Roepstorff, “we have a lot of assumptions about what these things do, but we don’t truly know what they do.” “And I’m not certain that it’s always a good thing.

“We certainly encounter a number of injuries in the clinic that are caused by improperly placed bandages and protective boots.”

Take-Home Message

When it comes to the function of boots and wraps in horses, there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to support their use. Physics, chemistry, and biomechanics, on the other hand, can provide us with insight into how they are likely to function. They appear to be beneficial in the majority of cases—at the very least in terms of reducing edema and severe impact injuries. More study, on the other hand, will help us gain a greater knowledge of how beneficial leg wraps and boots are, as well as how we can effectively utilize them to support our horses’ health and wellbeing.

Horse Boots 101

There are many things that horse owners have in common, with one of the most important being our concern for the safety and well-being of our horses. And so many of us put boots on our horses’ legs in order to “protect their legs.” However, how well do we understand the genuine advantages of horse boots? Here you will find all of the many kinds of boots, as well as the benefits and objectives of each style.

Open Front Tendon Boots

Tendon boots are quite similar to brushing boots in appearance. Tendon boots, on the other hand, are often made of a tough, impact-absorbing shell to provide additional protection and impact absorption. Despite the fact that they are utilized for numerous sorts of riding and disciplines, they are most frequently associated with jumping. (For example, showjumping, eventing, and cross-country) There is a greater chance of the rear legs catching and impacting the front legs while jumping over longer distances than with shorter distances.

In addition to protecting the horse’s leg tendons, they also give protection to the lower leg ligaments and fetlocks, which are particularly vulnerable.

Over Reach Boots / Bell Boots

In addition to being known as “Bell Boots,” over-reach boots are meant to assist prevent your horse from over-striding with his hind toes and cutting the back of their front hoof. When it comes to horses, over reaching is a rather typical occurrence. It is especially prevalent during any sort of jumping, during turnout, and in muddy situations. They assist in preventing the backs of your horse’s front feet from becoming entangled during overstriding, which can result in severe injuries and wounds to your horse.

Brushing Boots

When it comes to horse boots, Brushing Boots are a very popular choice among riders. But why is this so? The lower section of a horse’s leg is the area most susceptible to injury or splint formation in the horse. This is the location where the tendon is located, and it is a location that is readily damaged while riding, exercising, or turning. It is possible to apply them on all four of a horse’s legs in order to avoid knocks, scrapes, and bruises from occurring. If you are buying or selling a horse, the condition of the horse’s legs is quite important.

It is preferable to preserve a horse’s legs scar- and injury-free by using brushing boots throughout any sort of activity. Brushing boots are also popular among competition horses, who use them to guarantee that they perform at their best and have a clean look.


Bandages are a universal form of boot that is meant to prevent injuries and support/protect the tendons and ligaments of equine athletes. First and foremost, bandages can be used as a form of medical treatment in the event that a horse sustains a wound or splint. Because it gives protection, comfort, and warmth, it can assist to avoid situations from becoming more serious. Second, bandages are quite popular among competitive horses, particularly in the dressage discipline. They are made of a soft, elastic material that aids in the warming up of the horse’s legs, allowing for maximum mobility and flexibility.

They may be worn on their own, beneath travel boots, or over bandage pads, and they are an excellent method to increase protection.

It is thus necessary to ensure that they are secure but not too tightly fitted.

The use of them is quite popular during the winter months since they help to minimize edema, stiffness, and impact injuries caused by hard, solid ground.

Fetlock Rings

Fetlock Rings, which are similar to Over Reach Boots in appearance, are a doughnut-shaped ring that fits around a horse’s fetlock. A Fetlock Ring, which is made of a thick rubber band, is intended to prevent injuries or sores on the back of the front fetlocks caused by overstriding. Horses with a predisposition to strike between the Coronet band and the ankle joint are ideal candidates for this product. A fantastic tack room addition for high-endurance exercise, turnout, or for green/young horses who require a lot of attention.


Wraps are a cross between brushing boots and bandages in that they are flexible. These are a very popular form of boot for all horses since they are designed to fit similarly to bandages while providing the benefits of both styles at the same time. They are an excellent technique to preserve the tendons, ligaments, and fetlocks of horses during activity and turnout situations. Also, they’re good for decreasing stiffness and swelling in the joints. They prevent dirt from entering beneath the boot and creating discomfort because of their tight, snug-fitting design.

These are an excellent choice for all sorts of horses, including competition horses, young horses, old horses, green horses, and horses who have been wounded.

Travel Boots

It is possible that our horse will be injured or killed while being transported. Whatever your horse’s travel style, whether he or she is nervous or placid as a cucumber,Travel Boots are always suggested! No matter how short or how long your voyage is, you’ll want to keep your horse’s legs safe at all times, and travel boots are an excellent method to accomplish this.

They are designed to cover the horse’s back legs from the hocks all the way down to the fetlock, as well as the front legs from just above the front knee all the way down to the fetlock. Most typically, Velcro-straps are used to provide a rapid application and removal of the garment.

Medical Boots

Equine therapy may help you pamper your horse, get them feeling their best, and increase their performance all in one. Boots for medical use. Medical boots are available in a variety of styles and functions at Naylors, each with its own unique function. From freezing boots to magnetic boots to heated boots, there’s something for everyone. Use prior to or after exercise or turnout to enhance circulation, minimize swelling, and promote flexibility of movement in the joints. Lower-limb tendons and joints are often the topic of medical footwear treatment.

Front boots, back boots, and hock medical boot styles are all available here to choose from.

Stable Boots

In order to keep your horse’s legs covered, warm, and injury-free while they’re in their stable, you should consider using Stable Boots. They may be used on almost any horse, but they are particularly beneficial for horses with arthritis, the aged, the wounded, and performance horses. They are also an effective method of preventing your horse from harming themselves when rolling around in the stable. During the winter months, the usage of stable boots becomes more popular as a means of alleviating swelling and stiffness produced by the cold weather.

Turnout Boots

There are several hazards for your horse when he is sent out in the field, and many horses suffer injuries, scrapes, and sores as a result of being turned out. Consequently, turnout boots are an excellent approach to reduce the likelihood of a costly vet bill. When it comes to turnout boots, they are beneficial for any horse, but they are particularly popular with senior animals, competitive horses, and horses who have been wounded. There are many different types of turnout boots to pick from, but the Arma Mud Socks are a terrific pair of boots for any horse.

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Fetlock Boots

Fetlock boots have the same characteristics as brushing boots, but they are specifically designed to target and protect the rear fetlocks. Due to the significant frequency with which horses kick, scrape, or snag their hind legs on their own fetlocks or on a jump/obstacle, they are extremely popular in show jumping, cross-country, and eventing competitions. Please accept our sincere thanks for reading this post. We hope it helped you gain a better grasp of the benefits and purposes of horse boots!

Types of Boots to Protect and Support Your Horse’s Legs

Horses competing in televised competitions may be wearing leg protection, and you may be curious as to why they are wearing it, or if your own horse need this form of protection. Despite the fact that they are referred to as ‘boots,’ they do not serve the same purpose as ‘hoof boots.’ In order to protect the delicate structures of the leg from bumps against barriers or the horse’s own feet, leg boots must be worn at all times. They also aid in the support of the tendons and ligaments in the legs, which can be strained in high-performance horses due to their athleticism.

  1. Most backyard pleasure horses do not require any leg protection unless they have a pre-existing ailment that necessitates it.
  2. A person’s poor conformation frequently leads them to strike oneself, especially when they are weary – similar to how a person can fall over their own feet when they are tired.
  3. As a bonus, high-level performers like hunters, jumpers, endurance horses, barrel racers (as well as reiners and other breeds) may benefit from the added support and protection provided by a leg boot.
  4. Boots from different manufacturers are not generally referred to by the same name.
  5. It is critical that leg protection is properly fitted, that it is maintained clean, and that it be examined on a regular basis in case the boots are chafing.

Boots can become unpleasant as a result of the accumulation of perspiration, grit, and dust, thus it is important to clean them on a regular basis. Leg protection or leg boots that are most usually used are listed below.

Horse Boots 101

Is your hunter prone to overextending his rear legs and cutting his front heels on a frequent basis? When your dressage horse is trotting, do his feet swing inward, as if he’s “dishing”? Do your pony’s legs come into contact with one another? Amy K. Dragoo is credited with this image. Boots can assist in protecting your horse’s legs from the risks of the workplace. “If your horse consistently beats up the inside of his pastern and/or fetlock, he has to wear boots,” says Richard Markell, DVM, who practices at RanchCoast Equine Practice in California and specializes in treating dressage and show-jumping sporthorses.

  • If so, seek treatment immediately.
  • Our narrative will assist you in determining which style of boots will work best for your horse based on the task he is performing.
  • FEATURES Protective characteristics that have been enhanced are a common denominator in today’s horse-boot industry.
  • In recent years, “we’ve seen a lot more electronics in boots,” says Maria Trout, a horse-boot purchaser for SmartPak.
  • Even though the boots do not actively cool a horse’s legs, everything that can be done to reduce heat buildup in the legs and tendons is beneficial.
  • Markell recommends that the leg be cooled to the lowest temperature possible.” In addition, high-tech synthetics, which are becoming increasingly popular, generally offer the advantage of being simple to maintain and clean.
  • Boots made of leather and many of their modern plastic-based equivalents, on the other hand, have the ability to conform to each horse’s leg, which is beneficial for ensuring a perfect fit and preventing pressure spots.

Markell treats have their own boots and do not share them with other horses in their herd.

Markell believes that claims that boots give tendon support should be treated with a grain of salt.

Boots with an open front are the most common type.

They are mainly worn by jumpers to heighten their sensitivity when they come into contact with the rails.

Splint Boots: The interior of the cannon bone and fetlock joint are the primary areas of protection provided by these boots.

Therefore, if your horse suffers from regular interference issues, they are a smart option to consider.

Galloping, brushing, dressage sport, and all-purpose boots are examples of such broad protection.

Puffing, lining, and impact protection are all different in terms of volume and kind, and closing mechanisms range from basic hook-and-loop fasteners to ones that effortlessly click into place.

Hind-Leg Boots: Ankle boots that protect only the fetlock region are commonly used in the jumper ring, and they are typically matched with open-front boots.

Button Boots: These boots wrap over the hoof and provide protection from excessive stretching and interference.

In contrast to closed bell boots, open bell boots are easy to put on owing to the use of hook-and-loop fasteners or buckled closures.

Fleece-lined cuffs that reduce irritation at the heel and coronary band, as well as a range of cuff heights, are frequently included in the design.

Boots give far more protection than polo wraps, but they are much more difficult to put on correctly.

Boots manufactured to order: These can be made to safeguard those with peculiar leg difficulties.

SIZESome manufacturers provide size guidelines on their websites or on the back of their products.

In a leg boot, a small size is frequently appropriate for a large pony or an Arabian weighing less than 1,000 pounds.

Warmbloods and larger-boned Thoroughbreds will almost certainly require an extra-large.

The boot must be tall enough to cover the length of the cannon bone and inner fetlock without obstructing the movement of the horse’s knee or hock, according to the manufacturer.

Markell takes the fit of boots very seriously.

“Every horse’s boot is a bit different in size and shape.” The usual guideline is that boots should be tight, with just enough leeway between the horse’s leg and the boot to put a finger between them.

If the boot is too loose, mud or footing material may be able to seep inside and create an irritation.

Many boots are labeled as “right-leg boots” or “left-leg boots,” and fasteners are always located on the outside of the leg in either case.

The professional grooms that Dr.

In order to minimize heat accumulation, boots should be removed as soon as possible after activity.

Horses can be protected against a variety of industrial risks with today’s boots.

Following are 15 new boots that incorporate the most recent fashion trends into their designs. This story first published in the December 2013 edition of Practical Horseman. It has been updated. Save

Should I Boot My Horse?

To boot or not to boot, that is a subject that is commonly discussed these days. Opening any popular horse magazine or catalog may cause the reader to become overwhelmed by the variety of equine protective leg wear available. The right boot for you will be determined by a variety of factors, including the conformation, movement, use, and even history of your horse. There are numerous reasons to boot a horse, but the most important is to keep the horse from becoming injured. Despite the fact that there have been many exciting advances in equine lameness diagnosis and treatment in recent years, tendon injuries are the most common injuries in performance horses, necessitating lengthy rest and rehabilitation periods as well as a high incidence of recurrence of the injury.

  1. Tendon injuries occur as a result of the wear and tear that occurs on a daily basis.
  2. Bland trauma can occur as a result of the horse’s own actions or as a result of the surrounding environment (rocks, jump poles, sliding, etc.).
  3. Forms of over-reaching include forging (same side hoof impacts front foot), scalping, or cross firing.
  4. Interference is a phrase used to describe the limbs contacting one other during foot flight.
  5. Toed-out conformation causes a horse to bring the limb toward mid-line during foot-flight, also called ‘winging.’ Booting may also protect against lacerations of the lower limb from any of these contusions, which are prone to develop exuberant granulation tissue (proud flesh) (proud flesh).
  6. Splint boots refer to boot that extend from below the knee or hock to the level of the fetlock or just below.
  7. If these splint boots extend down below the fetlock, they provide more support for the drop of the fetlock in weight bearing and support the tendon’s stretch (see the Professional’s Choice Ventech Elite, SMB II, or SMB 3).
  8. Shipping boots extend from the ground to the level of the knee/hock or above and are used when transporting a horse in the trailer to prevent contusions.
  9. Performance boots should not be used for support wraps during rest due to the lack of padding and horse’s sensitive limbs.

There are many types of boots available on the market and many factors to take account of when making your decisions-please allow your veterinarian and trainer to help find the right product for your horse’s needs. Always remember, prevention is easier than rehabilitation!

What Are Tendon Boots Used for? (A Complete Answer Guide)

What is the purpose of tendon boots? Horse boots appear to be a joke at first appearance, but as you’ll discover, a tendon boot has a precise purpose and helps to limit the danger of damage. You’ll learn more about their function and why your horse might require leg protection in the sections that follow. Let’s get this party started!

What Are Tendon Boots Used for?

To begin, let’s speak about what horse tendon boots are and why they’re so popular with horse owners in the first place.

What Are Horse Boots?

When horses are required to perform on rugged terrain or compete in show events, they are more susceptible to severe injuries. In addition, if the animal is able to recuperate, it might take months for him to do so. As a result, a horse boot or a wrap serves a purpose other than as a fashion piece. Its purpose is to protect your horse’s lower legs and hooves, minimize the likelihood of leg injuries, and rectify gait irregularities in your horse. There are various different types of horse boots available, depending on the region you wish to protect.

But first, let’s address the question, “What are tendon feet used for?”

What Do Tendon Boots Do?

Consider the image of a horse leaping over a barrier. When an animal is landing, the tendons in the front legs might be struck by the hind hooves or the jumping pole, which can cause severe pain. Furthermore, while a horse is racing at full speed or leaping an obstacle, one of the horse’s hooves might impact the opposite leg, resulting in what is known as a brushing injury. It is more often than you may expect for such “accidents” to occur, which is why many people wear tendon boots on show jumping horse breeds.

Tendon boots are worn by horses on their front legs to protect them against tendon injuries or brushing damage caused by other horses.

Neoprene, leather, synthetic fabric, sheepskins, and other materials are used to construct these protective footwear options.

Tendon boots are most commonly seen on horses competing in show jumping and eventing, although they are also occasionally seen on horses competing in racing.

Why Use Tendon Boots for Horses?

Let’s speak about why tendon boots for horses are so crucial, especially when it comes to show jumping, and how to properly use them.

1 Reduce the Risks of Tendon Injuries

When it comes to inexperienced horse owners, a tendon damage doesn’t appear to be a huge concern. However, it is one of the most common ailments that horses suffer. When horses gallop, jump over fences, or engage in other strenuous athletic undertakings, “tendons are approaching their breaking strength,” according to an equine specialist. And anything that comes into contact with the tendons can result in a major injury, which is especially dangerous when the horse is running at full speed or jumping over an obstacle.

A superficial injury or tendon inflammation, on the other hand, should not be overlooked because the damage increases over time. Because of this, it is preferable to utilize tendon boots to cushion the impact damage that your horse may get while leaping or galloping.

2 Extra Leg Protection

When a horse leaps or spins quickly, pebbles, stones, and other sharp things fly through the air and land on the ground below. These can strike the front legs, causing cuts, scratches, and bruises as a result of the impact. Furthermore, when your horse competes against other horses, there is always the possibility of brushing injuries occurring.

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3 Clear the Jump

For jumping, tendon boots with an open-fronted design are typically recommended by professionals rather than closed-fronted ones. There’s a legitimate explanation behind this, believe it or not. A horse wearing closed-tendon boots will be less likely to clear the obstruction since the boots will reduce the impact of crossing the impediment. However, for the reasons stated above, it is not a good idea to go without footwear. That is why we have boots with an open front. Their fronts are open, allowing the horse to feel the obstacles while jumping over them when they are not in use.

Other Types of Horse Boots

Horses are frequently at danger of suffering a lower leg injury, particularly while sprinting or walking on unforgiving terrain. As a result, we provide numerous different styles of boots for hoof and leg protection.

Bell Boots

A bell boot, with its bell form, covers the whole hoof and heel, protecting the front legs from hind leg interference while turnout or riding, and it is made of leather. That’s why they’re sometimes referred to as “overreach boots.”

Fetlock Boots

A fetlock boot, like a tendon boot, is designed to prevent the rear legs and fetlocks from being injured by brushing during jumping or running. They are sometimes referred to as ankle boots.

Hoof Boots

Hoof boots for barefoot horses are a popular alternative to horseshoes since they are less expensive and allow the horse to move more freely in its natural state.

Therapeutic Boots

Horse therapeutic and medicinal boots assist the animal in recovering from a hoof or lower limb injury or disease. Because they are comprised of heat-retaining material, they are effective in increasing blood flow and decreasing inflammation. The design of certain boots is unique to the illness being dealt with. For example, foot boots for horses suffering from navicular disorders.

Shipping Boots

When a horse is transported in a trailer, travel boots are worn to protect the hocks and lower legs from injury and discomfort. They’re less difficult to put on than a bandage or a bandage wrap.

Brushing Boots/Splint Boots

A splint boot is used to protect the leg against brushing injuries, with particular attention paid to the cannon bone and fetlock joint. They’re quite similar to tendon boots in appearance and function.


Tendon boots and brush boots are similar in appearance and function. Tendon boots, on the other hand, are worn on the front legs and are composed of a more durable material to absorb stress. Brushing boots, on the other hand, contain additional padding to prevent the cannon bone and fetlock joint from being struck by a branch.

Can You Wear Brushing Boots in Dressage?

Generally speaking, your horse is not permitted to wear boots, wraps, or bandages during the performance.

However, you should double-check the regulations of the competition.

How to Put on Tendon Boots?

Place the tendon boot directly below the back of the knee, making sure that it completely covers the fetlock. (See illustration) Then you tighten the straps, making sure they aren’t too tight so that they pinch or irritate the skin. Watch this video to get an example of how it’s done. Conclusion Tendon boots are excellent for protecting the front legs of your animal’s legs from tendon or brushing injuries during competition. It is important that the tendon boots are neither too tight so that they restrict blood circulation or too loose so that they fall off your horse’s feet when he is racing.

Do not forget to keep an eye out for tendon injuries as well!

Did you know that tendon boots are used for a variety of purposes?


  • “Functional Anatomy of the Horse Foot,” according to the title. Missouri.edu is the website for the University of Missouri. To Put on Tendon Boots | Horsemart in the year 2021.” Ané. 2020. Horsemart.co.uk. 2021. Horsemart.co.uk. “5 Signs Your Horse Might Have a Tendon Injury | Onlinepethealth Sales.” “5 Signs Your Horse Might Have a Tendon Injury.” Onlinepethealth.com. The date is October 29, 2020. Dulai Wenholz’s work from 2017. “Frequently Asked Questions About Tendon Injuries.” English riders will benefit from this expert advice. English Riders can benefit from expert advice. Boots to Protect and Support Your Horse’s Legs” was published on August 31, 2017. The Spruce Pets will debut in 2021. What is the purpose of tendon boots? Please share your opinions on this issue in the comments section below! In her childhood, Grigorina SGrigorina was surrounded by animals — dogs, cats, cows, goats, lambs, and horses – which helped to form her into the person she is today: an animal-obsessed cat woman who always has room for one more cat (or a dog). She has two female cats – Kitty and Roni – and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy – of her own, but she also provides food for the cats of her neighbors when they come to see her. I’m just not able to say no to them. Follow her on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Check out her most recent ARTICLES. Find out more about HER

How to Select Horse Boots

Equitation boots are intended to protect a horse’s legs from damage while riding, lunging, or turning out. They are also useful in absorbing part of the stress that occurs when a horse’s hoof strikes the ground. Horse boots may protect an animal’s legs from interference, which can cause abrasions and splints if the horse does not wear them. The use of protective boots is especially crucial if your horse has a lot of movement in his gaits, has been injured, or interferes, which means that he has a tendency for one or more of his hooves to contact another leg while moving.

  • Different styles of horse boots may be equipped with hook and loop closures, buckles, or hook and stud closures, among other features.
  • The boot closures are meant to be on the outside of the horse’s leg, as opposed to the inside.
  • It is possible that the closures, which are positioned on the inside of the leg, may interfere with one another and come undone, causing the horse to stumble.
  • However, if you identify your primary goal in putting boots on your horse, as well as the types of horse boots that are appropriate for your riding discipline, making a decision will become much simpler.
  • Horse boots are generally classified into five categories:
  • Cross Country Jumping Boots: These boots are designed to protect your horse from the rigors of cross country courses. They are often composed of a lightweight, durable material that is not overly bulky. They’ll be equipped with robust strike pads that will give additional protection to the internal side of a horse’s leg when riding. Most of them feature heavy-duty hook and loop closures, are simple to clean, and do not collect water, which would result in the addition of additional weight. Some riders choose boots that are colored to match the colors of their team or stable when they are choosing eventing footwear. Jumping Boots with an Open Front: These boots normally feature elastic straps and classic hook and stud closures, while some designs are available with hook and loop closures as an alternative. As a result of the open front design, a horse is more cautious when jumping over fences, as the animal will feel the fence post if he accidentally strikes it. The tendons on the rear of a horse’s leg are protected from being struck by the horse’s hind hooves thanks to the boots. Horse boots are available in a range of styles and materials to suit your needs. Open front boots are often placed on a horse’s forelimbs, whereas ankle boots are typically placed on the horse’s hindlimbs, according to the breed. Riders typically choose for a matching set of open-front pants and ankle boots in modest colors. In the jumper ring, these boots are authorized, however they are not permitted to be worn in the hunter ring. Equitation boots suited for dressage or flat work: Dressage boots protect a horse’s legs from interference and can be a more time-efficient alternative to polo wraps. Dressage boots are often lined with fleece or neoprene, and they are composed of materials that are readily cleaned with a little soap and water. Because of the legacy of elegance in dressage, the most preferred colors for dressage boots are white and black, with some riders opting for brown boots to match their chestnut ponies, which are also popular. The wearing of boots (as well as polo wraps) is not authorized during a dressage test, although they are acceptable in the warm-up area. Boots for Support: This sort of boot is designed to provide support for the tendons and ligaments of a horse. The boot wraps over the horse’s leg and is equipped with a strap that cradles the horse’s fetlock joint to keep it from hyperextending. These boots are especially beneficial for horses that have had a history of or a propensity to support-related ailments (such as suspensory injuries). In a range of hues, support boots are available for purchase. Splint Boots for All Purposes: Splint boots are an essential piece of equipment for horses who cause interference. All-purpose boots are designed with a strengthened inner strike region and are often among the most economical types of horse boots available on the market. In a range of hues, support boots are available for purchase.

How to Determine the Size of Your Horse’s Boots A few manufacturers provide scaled-down versions of their boots to accommodate ponies and extra-large horses, while the majority of boot makers offer small, medium, and large sizes. Some manufacturers, particularly those that manufacture support wraps, include size charts with their product packaging. This is especially true for support wraps. In general, the height, weight, and breed of your horse, as well as the circumference of its leg, will give you with an estimate of the suitable boot size to try on your horse before purchasing the boots.

Many horses require a smaller size boot on their front limbs and a bigger size boot on their rear limbs, which is a common occurrence.

Quarter Horses and Morgan types with heights ranging from 15.1 to 15.3 hands, as well as fine-boned and smaller Thoroughbreds, will fall into the intermediate categories of medium-sized boots, with heights ranging from 15.1 to 15.3 hands.

Your finger should be able to slide between the two surfaces with ease.

If the boot is overly tight, it has the potential to cause harm to the horse’s tendons.

When designing the boot, make sure it does not extend over the rear of the horse’s knee and interfere with regular mobility. While it should be long enough to cover the cannon bone area and the inside of the fetlock, it should not be too lengthy to be uncomfortable. Tips:

  • Remember to apply consistent pressure to each strap as you make your way down the leg when tightening horse boots. It’s important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s directions for your particular model of boots, and to avoid overtightening them. As soon as possible after your workout, remove the boots from your horse’s legs to enable any stored heat to leave and to allow the skin and hair to dry
  • Maintain the cleanliness of the boots and keep them clear of accumulated dirt, filth, and perspiration, which can be unpleasant to a horse’s delicate skin.

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