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The Different Types of Hoof Boots


When gearing up your horse with equine supplies, hoof boots may be one of the items on your list. Hoof boots are used to protect your horse’s hooves from the elements as an alternative to shoeing. Farriery has become very common in today’s equine solutions. This option uses metal which is nailed into the hoof for continuous protection or in other words, a horse shoe. However, some holistically minded horse owners have embraced the idea of leaving the hoof free of a shoe and using hoof boots for an as needed solution.

A horse’s hoof does not stand up well to pavement, gravel and other terrain that allows for unsure footing. In these cases, a hoof boot can offer protection. But when choosing the right type of hoof boot, there are many factors to look at to ensure you have the right one for your equine needs.

If cost is a concern, a single set of hoof boots may seem prohibitive when compared to a single shoeing, though cost alone isn’t the only thing to take into consideration. A shoe is a permanent solution placed on the hoof; therefore it is constantly being worn down. Hoof boots are removable and only used when needed. Therefore the costs tend to even out over time. Hoof boots come in a vast array of shapes, sizes, materials, designs, and colors. Fortunately, they can be grouped into three categories which are, reusable therapeutic boots designed only for soaking or medicating the feet of a horse in cross-ties or on stall rest, light-duty boots intended for emergency replacement of a lost shoe, and full-service boots designed to take on any task a steel shoe can.

Some other considerations regarding shoeing versus hoof boots, are that shoes can be very slick on rocks or pavement. A barefoot horse tends to do better with traction on most surfaces as compared to shod horses. If additional traction is needed for a barefoot horse, hoof boots can provide that traction without the danger of slipping on hard surfaces. Shoes are often used to correct gait, however hoof boots are made of more malleable material than steel shoes allowing for the gait to more natural.

Regardless of your reasons for choosing hoof boots, you want to make sure to looks for some distinct qualifiers. No one brand can fulfill all the requirement of every horse, but there are some issues that are more important than others. The hoof boots should be easy to remove and clean and allow for adjusting to accommodate for the horse’s hoof from trim to trim. They should also allow the stay on in all types of terrain while allow the hoof to flex and breathe. Lastly, they should not twist or rotate on the foot and provide adequate tractions.

If hoof boots are the right solution for your horse and your equine needs, make sure you have all the necessary information about which ones to purchase before adding them to your equine supplies.