Early Days

Let’s Talk Tack: Horse Boots

This month I want to know about your horse’s leg support and/or protection.  Do you regularly use boots or wraps on your horse?  I hope you’ll vote, and share your reasons in the comments!

Do you regularly use boots or wraps on your horse’s legs?


Most of the time


Rarely to Never

pollcode.com free polls

I rarely use horse boots or wraps on Hemie. The potential negatives of irritating/rubbing legs, getting caught on something, and overheating outweigh the need for protection in his case. Hemie is very careful with his legs and rarely hits a rail. When he does, it’s with his toes (I know this from paint transfer). The boots I own do not offer “support” – just impact protection. However I do use boots when doing XC because solid fences have much greater impact if he does hit a jump. I’ve never been a believer in polo wraps, although I think they look nice.

Will boot for photo challenges, though. Pink boot collection ftw.

Last month I asked where you do your shopping: online vs brick-and-mortar stores. Here’s the results!

The majority of voters do 25% of their shopping in stores, and 75% online.  I’m not surprised given the quantity of mega online tack stores, which offer incredible product variety, comprehensive reviews and ratings, and rewards programs. Its interesting to note that many brick-and-mortar stores now also offer online shopping – my local saddlery just came out with their own app which includes a horse-cookie punch-card rewards feature! So tech savvy!
Thank you to everyone who votes and participates in these informal polls. Very interesting!!
PS. I’m not sure how I forgot to have a “100% online” option (sorry Karen!).

Previous Let’s Talk Tack posts:

Online vs Brick-and-Mortar (Tack Shopping)


Riding Boots & Saddle Pads

18 comments on “Let’s Talk Tack: Horse Boots

  1. I don´t use wraps or bell boots, but I do use neoprene padded open front boots on my horse´s front legs every time I ride. (Like Eskadron Flexisoft, don´t know what that kind of “boots” are called in english?) :) In Sweden we call those “shin guards” (but in swedish), and the pink kind that your horse is wearing on the pic is “boots” to us. ;) In the cross country I use XC boots only on all four legs, no bell boots. (I use boots like Premier equine or Dalmar).


  2. isabel occasionally dings the insides of her hind fetlocks, esp when she's nearing her next farrier appt, so i will frequently put hard protective boots there, and neoprene splint boots up front. i worry about heat and rubbing too tho… so i guess my routine is still in flux here


  3. I pretty much never boot for jumping. Bobby gets very lazy with his legs when booted and enjoys smacking them against rails. When naked, he's very careful. I boot or wrap more for dressage schools because he interferes behind.


  4. I used to boot/wrap all the time, but now I only boot for XC schooling/riding, and sometimes for jumping. Fiction does wear bell boots 24/7 though, because he has a tendency to over-reach and hit himself. It's never pretty when he does, so better safe than sorry :)


  5. I really should boot every ride, but honestly I'm lazy and forget often. I need to start being better about it!


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  7. Once upon a time, riding just the QHs and Paints, we polo-wrapped or used SMBs every time we rode. Then my mare had two suspensory tears, I read some of the new literature on neoprene + heat on legs and haven't put a pair on her since. The reiners and working cow horses obviously are a little different, and get boots every time we're on them. Same with the OTTB I rode all summer who routinely forgot he had four legs to keep track of at the trot, or any horse I'm jumping – open fronts (just bought new Equifits) to protect from some of the hitting. Interested to see how the memory foam on the Equifits compares to the older neoprene boots.


  8. I always put boots on Chester, and Moe also wears boots. I don't use the soft kinds like polos though because they are hard to put on correct and can be bad if they are incorrect.


  9. For dressage I never liked using boots unless the horse interferes, I think boots heat up the tendons a bit and generally don't like having extra steps between not riding and riding, BUT then my dumb horse fell down and cut up his legs a couple of years ago and I refuse to ride him without them. He has protective cross country boots with strike guards.

    Future horse won't have boots unless he ALSO falls over when riding, but I hope I don't have something so dumb again.


  10. I use leather/neoprene open fronts for jumping or polos (if it's not that hot out). She bangs herself with or without so i figure better to protect a bit. I do bell boots all the time now because I'm tired of watching Holly tear her shoes off. In have some Dover brushing boots for turnout, which I doubt do much but make me feel better.


  11. HAHAHA! I bet you would have had other people like me pick that option. :0) It's not that I wouldn't use a tack store, but I just don't have one. I did do some shopping at a tack store when I went to the Championship. It was fun to see and actually touch stuff. I also spent a bundle at one of the vendors on the show grounds. I think I would be in trouble in I had an actual building in which to shop, especially if they sold breeches! :0)


  12. Miles wears bell boots on 95% of our rides, but I only add open front and ankle boots when we jump (approx. once a week).


  13. I always try to use leg protection, and use cooling gel on Oscars tendons after an intense workout. It's not necessarily a good thing, he's quite plain and boots/wraps jazz him up a little. Totally materialistic and not necessarily the best option, but if leg protection was making him overly hot id stop using it for sure!


  14. Watch this video – and you will understand why you should always use a boot – every ride!



  15. I never boot, even for XC. I have y yet seen a reason to for my horse in particular plus I'm also afraid that I do t know enough about boots and they'll end up doing more harm than good – I'm certainly open to learning though!


  16. Mine lives in bell boots (she will rip her shoes off instantly), but only gets to wear any extra bootage if I anticipate we are doing something new or different in our lessons/jumping. Otherwise she's pretty careful.


  17. Mo is a little bit of a klutzy baby and sometimes steps on himself, so he actually wears ONE hind bell boot on the right, because that's where he steps on himself (and I hate freaking bell boots so it's coming off as soon as he's built more muscle and is moving better–he's improving all the time) and boots behind because he does travel close behind. I'm fine with polo wraps to protect him a little, but they're not good when it's wet and they take forever to put on. Also I'm a freak about anything touching my horse being clean, so they have to get washed every time. I finally caved and bought some Majyk Equipe boots for him because they can be hosed down and in theory don't hold tons of water or get hot. Sigh. I might have to track down some open fronts and fetlock boots because I don't want him to think he can lay on the rails, but we aren't jumping often at this stage.

    Also, there's no boot in the world that will “support” the horse's legs. That's 1000-2000lbs of horse there, and some neoprene or fleece isn't going to do anything to help you.


  18. Eor Eli, bell boots every ride, polo wraps or track bandages just on the front for flat work, track bandages or open front boots & polo wraps or ankle boots on the hinds if we're jumping (he's mostly careful). I see boots and wraps as useful for protection, especially bell boots protecting the heel & coronet band.


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