Horse Boots: Will They Prevent Tendon Injuries?
Horse boots can help when your horse regularly sustains lower leg injuries during an active day of roping. Horses that are engaged in physically intense sports can benefit from wearing horse boots because their lower legs are made mostly of tendons, joints, skin and bone. A lack of muscle makes this area of the body more susceptible to injury.
By protecting the lower leg tendons from blunt force trauma and supporting them as the horse undergoes strenuous activity, horse boots make the difference between a healthy and a hobbled horse.
The Different Types of Horse Boots
There are many different types of horse boots, all designed for a specific purpose.
- Splint boots: This type provides extra support to the cannon bone and fetlock joint of the front legs. These boots usually have extra padding covering the inner tendons to protect against knocks and bumps.
- Bell boots: This type covers the entire hoof, protecting the heels from banging and bumping. It can be difficult to get on and off, and must be cleaned regularly to prevent dirt from collecting inside.
- Open-front boots: These are usually used for horses that jump, with protection wrapped around the sides and back of the leg, and an open area in the front. This keeps them sensitive to their legs touching the rails.
- Brushing boots: Brushing boots, also called galloping, sport or all-purpose boots, simply provide basic protection from the fetlock joint up to the knee. These boots have various amounts of padding and can be made from a wide range of materials.
Does Your Horse Need Them?
Interference is when the horse’s legs hit each other while it’s running. If this is a serious problem for your horse, make sure you have a professional examine its gait. There could be an underlying cause, such as ill-fitting shoes or a neurological disease.
However, it’s also normal for healthy horses to experience a certain amount of interference at one time or another, and that’s what horse boots can help prevent.
Find the Right Size and Fit
Finding the right size horse boot is important — too tight and it will do more harm than good, too loose and it could trip up the horse. While boot manufacturers commonly size their products based on weight and leg circumference, you may need to try out multiple sizes in order to find one with the right fit.
You should always be able to place a finger between the horse boot and the leg, but the fit should still be snug. The goal is to keep the boots tight enough to prevent dirt from getting inside and rubbing uncomfortably against the horse’s skin, but not so tight that they prevent proper blood flow.
Check out the horse boots available at Frontier Trailers & Roping Supply to protect your animal’s health and safety and keep them in top roping condition. We have a range of products to fit any size horse.