Hoof boots are often an important part of a management strategy for barefoot horses.
Horse hoof boots are a good horse shoeing choice in several circumstances:
When buying hoof boots for your horse, the first and most important step is to accurately measure your horse's foot. Until you've gotten your horse's hoof measurements, it's not really possible to determine which make or model of boot will be suitable for your horse.
When measuring your horse's foot, it's important to follow the measuring instructions that are issued by the boot manufacturer. For example, if you're interested in buying Easyboots, you'll need to follow the measuring instructions provided by their manufacturer, EasyCare, Inc. It's important to follow the measuring instructions very carefully because a difference of just a few millimeters (one-tenth of an inch or so) can have a big impact when it comes to determining your horse's boot size.
Hoof Measuring Advice From the Experts
According to one of EasyCare, Inc.'s customer service representatives, there are a couple common mistakes that people make that often prevent their horse from getting a correctly fitted boot:
Mistake #1: Measuring hooves when they're long and "grown-out".
To ensure that your horse gets a good-fitting boot, it's important to measure the hoof right after it has been freshly trimmed.
Mistake #2 Measuring the wrong part of the horse's hoof
According to an EasyCare customer service representative, the most common mistake that people make is measuring the wrong parts of the horse's hoof. A specific example? Including the heel bulb of the horse's foot in the hoof measurement when measuring for EasyBoot brand boots as opposed to measuring only the weight-bearing portions of the hoof. Avoid this mistake by reading the manufacturer's hoof measuring instructions very carefully.
Selecting the Best Hoof Boot for Your Horse
There are many different manufacturers and models of hoof boots. Here's a list of some of the major hoof boot manufacturers and some of their more popular models.
When selecting the best hoof boot for your horse, first and foremost, you need to pick one that will fit him well. Once you've figured out which hoof boots will fit your horse, you'll need to determine what kind of riding you want to do in the boots, and what kind of terrain you'll be riding on.
Some boots, such as Old Mac's, are designed for shorter rides and lighter use than other boot models. The trade off? Boots intended for shorter rides are often easier to put on and take off than boots designed for long rides.
Here are some factors to consider when deciding which model of horse boot to buy
Once you've carefully measured your horses foot and thoughtfully selected a model of hoof boot for him, you should get many miles of use out of your hoof boots. Happy Trails!