Many horses will wear boots. Whether it’s for exercise, turnout or travel, horse boots come in a range of types and styles, and they serve various different purposes. This article briefly outlines the different uses for horse boots.
Travel and Turnout Boots for Horses
Some types of boots for horses are used for specific purposes. Travel boots are well-padded and designed to protect the horse’s legs from knocks when travelling. They tend to cover the lower leg right up to the knee or hock.
Turnout boots are sometimes used to keep horses’ legs clean and protect them from cuts and scrapes during turnout. Turnout boots are often used to try to prevent mud fever, an infection caused by bacteria entering the skin via cuts and abrasions.
Ice Boots for Horses
Ice boots are used after exercise or after injury in order to aid recovery. When used after exercise, ice boots take the heat out of the leg that has built up during exercise. This helps the soft tissues within the lower leg (i.e. tendons and ligaments) recover after exercise. Ice boots can also be used in the event of an injury, to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Cryochaps ice boots for horses are available in two models. The Cryochaps K2F ice boot is ideal for full lower leg coverage, whilst the Absolute Wrap is ideal for knees, hocks and fetlocks. The Absolute Wrap is handy in the event of an injury, as it can be used to apply ice and compression.
Exercise Boots for Horses
The most common use of boots for horses is for protection of the lower legs during exercise. The tissues in the lower legs are vulnerable to impacts and therefore many riders will opt for exercise boots. Exercise boots may be used for flatwork, hacking, lunging, jumping or cross-country.
Brushing boots can help protect the lower leg from the opposite hoof knocking into it, and they can also protect the splint bone. Overreach boots are designed to protect the front hooves from the back hooves. They can also help prevent the front shoes from being pulled off.
Tendon and fetlock boots are designed to protect the horse’s tendons and fetlocks from impacts. These exercise boots are more likely to be used for jumping, because they are designed to protect the legs from more serious impacts. Open-front tendon boots are more commonly used by show jumpers, whilst closed-front tendon boots are used for cross country and hunting because they help to protect the horse’s legs from hitting solid fences and other objects.
The Exoskeleton Exercise Boot From Cryochaps
The Exoskeleton exercise boot by Cryochaps is designed to provide strike protection during flatwork, jumping and hacking. This exercise boot is comprised of an external armour to provide protection where it’s needed most, whilst minimising heat build-up in the leg during exercise. The Exoskeleton exercise boots for horses will be available to purchase in Black and Tan from July 2022.
Please note that each sport’s governing body will have rules and regulations surrounding boots. Check with your governing body if you plan to use boots during competitions.