What boots do I need for my horse?

When buying horse boots, there may be several factors to consider to ensure that you choose the right type and size of boots for your horse’s needs. Horse boots are designed to provide protection to your horse’s legs during various equestrian activities. There are some key things to think about:

What is the correct size boot for my horse?

It’s crucial to select boots that fit your horse correctly but there are so many ways of classifying size, cob, full, medium, large, small, pony. The best way to ensure a good fit is to measure your horses leg to determine the appropriate size, and follow the manufacturer’s sizing guidelines. At Cryochaps we have done a simple chart showing the differences in measurements in a boot classed as medium.

SizeRecommended to fit Horse HeightBoot Height back of spineBoot height sideCircumference of hard outer shell at top strap and bottom strapTop Strap LengthBottom Strap Length
Equilibrium Large16h – 17h22cm24.525cmVelcro N/AVelcro N/A
Premier equine M15.0-16.2hh23cm 19cm14cm15cm
Zandona M16.-17.3hh19.5cm23.5cm21 – 21cmVelcro N/AVelcro N/A
Kentucky M16.3-17.3hh19cm23cm20-21cm10.5cm- 13cm11.5-14cm
Veredus MNone stated20cm23cm21-23cm11.5-14cm12.5-15cm
Range of sizing for medium horse boots

Ensure that the boots provide adequate coverage without being too tight or too loose. Exoskeleton boots aim to fit a middle leg circumference of 19-23cm.

How do you choose the correct horse boot?

  • Breathable horse boots

Horses’ legs can generate a lot of heat during exercise, so it’s essential to select air flow boots for horses that allow for adequate ventilation to prevent overheating and sweating. Look for boots made from durable and breathable materials that means air can be circulated through, making a breathable boot for horses’ legs.

  • Protective boots for horses

Check for a material that has been designed specifically for impact protection. The unique properties of the material should enable forces to be dissipated and protect against interference, brushing and strikes.

  • Lightweight boots for horses

Make sure they are lightweight, so they do not interfere with gait of the horse.

  • Type of straps on horse boots

Check for quality stitching and closures and what closures suit you. Straps are usually velcro or, elastic with studs. Velcro may mean they will fit a wider range of leg measurement but fill with dirt, hay and straw easily. That means you must keep the Velcro clean to keep their stickiness and longevity. Elastic straps with studs may fit a smaller range of horses as you can only tighten or stretch so much, but they are far easier to apply and remove and keep clean. If using for competitions check the straps are legal, some organisations do not allow elastic straps in certain classes for hind boots. Check boot rules.

  • Quick to dry and do not hold excess water

Look for boots that are easy to clean and maintain, and most importantly dry quickly so they can be used again even in winters’ wet and muddy conditions.  Wicking materials do not hold water or sweat and are more likely to dry quicker.

  • What price should you pay for a horse boot?

Prices can vary significantly depending on the brand and type of boot, the cheaper versions can be £30 going up to £300 just for a front pair of boots. Keep in mind that investing in quality boots can provide long-term benefits for your horse’s health and performance and they may not always be ones with the biggest price tag . Exoskeleton horse boots are priced to be affordable for every day use, and more importantly have better impact protection and air flow than most boots on the market today.

Does my horse need boots?

It’s essential to recognize that not all horses need protective boots, and in some cases, they may not be suitable. Don’t just use them as everyone else uses them or they are pretty, or match your saddle pad. Here are some additional considerations:

  • Proper hoof care, including regular trimming and shoeing, can contribute to leg and hoof health and reduce the need for boots in some horses as confirmation traits that cause interference and brushing can be modified with the correct shoeing.
  • If you’re unsure whether your horse needs protective boots, get a friend to trot the horse towards you and away from you and look how close the legs are to the other leg when they move through flight. If they are very close you may need boots and one simple way to test is check for scratches on boots you have been wearing.

Ultimately, the decision to use protective boots should be based on the horse’s specific circumstances and requirements.