Do you have a horse that needs some leg support?
Where to begin, right?
There are so many options now that it’s easy to choose exactly what your horse needs for where they need support. Leg protection can be used for a few reasons – as a preventative, as a barrier, or as support.
Let’s start with the easy one – Bell Boots.
Is you horse tracking up too far and catching his back hooves on his front hooves? Does he pull his shoes occasionally?
Bell boot come in two basic styles with some variation – Pull On Boots or Velcro Boots. For people who use Bell Boots for turn out, or know their horse can get the Velcro off, the Pull On boots are for you. After a little bit of stretching over your horse’s hoof, the bell boots will stay on as long as you need them and are incredibly sturdy! The second style is the Velcro attachment, these come in a few more options such as having a fleece lined top, no turn style, or wrap style to fit your horses comfort level! Velcro Boots are great for protection while working your horse.
Next up – the Polo Wraps.
Do they serve a purpose?
When I was first learning about horses I was taught to polo wrap your horses’ legs for all around leg and tendon support. Years later while working for a dressage trainer, I learned the safe and effective way to wrap Polos. It does take practice to be wrap the correct way in order to help your horse while in work. Polo Wraps are beneficial during intense workouts and training sessions to support the horse’s lower leg. One of the best bonuses of Polos, is that they come in so many different colors to match your tack!
Specialized Sport Boots
Following the faithful Polo Wraps – Sport Boots
Do you want Open Front or Fleece Lined?
Before mastering the polo wrap I looked into sport boots, there are a few options and some of them have better uses depending on what your discipline is (although most can be used for any discipline).
Open front jumping boots have a strong outer shell to protect the horses fetlocks when jumping over poles or cross country obstacles. They sometimes have a matching back set of boots to protect the horses hind legs from knocking as well!
Dressage Sport Boots offer protection on the inner sides of your horse legs that help prevent rubbing or knocking into each other when doing those advanced movements. These boots are either neoprene or fleece lined for extra padding and protection.
I personally love the DSB boots!
Specialized Western Boots
We covered Open Front and Dressage Boots – how about western?
How are Skid Boots different than Athletic Boots?
For Reining and Western Riding, skid boots wrap around your horses fetlock and cannon bone and have a soft neoprene lining. There is a skid cup around the bottom to prevent the sand from scraping your horses fetlock when doing sliding stops or cutting.
Skid Boots are very similar to the Athletic Boot style which has an extra supportive strap that wraps along the bottom of the horses fetlock and helps with dropping fetlocks and overall support with the tendon. They can be used on both the front and hind legs.
These can come in fun colors and patterns – sometimes with matching bell boots!
Splint and Tendon Boots
Last and certainly not least is the faithful Tendon/Splint boots.
Are Splint and Tendon Boots ideal for general leg protection?
Splint Boots are usually padded on the inside with Velcro straps on the outside of the leg. These boots offer cannon bone protection and helps with brushing of the legs and support the most important tendons on your horses legs.
Tendon Boots are great for just adding to your horse as a preventive that helps add a basic level of protection for your horses legs for a great price.
So which is best for you and your horse?
Well, first you need to question where your horse needs that extra bit of support. Then, what level and type of riding are you doing?
If you have any further questions and can’t quite decide call us here at Big Dee’s and we would be happy to find you the right fit!
Written by Laura Brubaker, Customer Service Representative