Hoof Boots: Protection Without Permanence

We all need protection from the elements. That goes for your horse’s hooves as well. Millennia ago, when humans first vaulted aboard equine backs and guided them over terrain they probably would not otherwise have traversed, the value of providing protection for hooves became clear–as the leather “hipposandals” and early iron shoes unearthed by archaeologists attest.

These days, of

Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

We all need protection from the elements. That goes for your horse’s hooves as well. Millennia ago, when humans first vaulted aboard equine backs and guided them over terrain they probably would not otherwise have traversed, the value of providing protection for hooves became clear–as the leather “hipposandals” and early iron shoes unearthed by archaeologists attest.

These days, of course, farriery has become both a science and an art, up to most of the challenges modern-day equines face. But metal shoes aren’t the only option for hoof protection, and hoof boots have become a viable alternative for many horse owners. This is especially true for the groundswell of holistically minded horse owners who’ve embraced the idea that barefoot is better.

Although there are many advantages health-wise to not putting nail holes in hooves, it’s equally true that many horses’ unshod feet don’t stand up well to pavement, gravel, and other unforgiving types of footing. Hoof boots provide an only-as-needed solution for those situations.

The boots come in a staggering array of shapes, sizes, materials, designs, and colors. Fortunately, they can be grouped into three categories: Reusable therapeutic boots designed only for soaking or medicating the feet of a horse in cross-ties or on stall rest, light-duty “spare tire” boots intended for emergency replacement of a lost shoe, and full-service boots designed to take on any task a steel shoe can, including turn-out, riding, or driving, even at high speeds

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Karen Briggs is the author of six books, including the recently updated Understanding Equine Nutrition as well as Understanding The Pony, both published by Eclipse Press. She’s written a few thousand articles on subjects ranging from guttural pouch infections to how to compost your manure. She is also a Canadian certified riding coach, an equine nutritionist, and works in media relations for the harness racing industry. She lives with her band of off-the-track Thoroughbreds on a farm near Guelph, Ontario, and dabbles in eventing.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

When do you vaccinate your horse?
338 votes · 338 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!