First and foremost, horse boots are intended to protect your horse's legs and serve primarily as impact protection. Bandages also have a supportive function in addition to the protective aspect. If you use bandage pads, you have a shock-absorbing and supportive protection of the horse's leg. If you are travelling in a trailer, you can be reassured with the high and thickly padded stable & transport boots, even if your horse is still unbalanced or restless in the trailer. All in all, boots and bandages reduce the risk of injury when riding. In addition to their protective effect and support, horse boots in matching colours and the latest technology harmoniously complete your riding kit and your look.
Training & brushing boots
Fetlock boots are often used as dressage and brushing boots. They are usually made of soft, flexible materials such as neoprene and wrap protectively around the pastern and fetlock head. Thanks to several Velcro fasteners, they can be adjusted well so that they optimally protect and support the horse's leg. Dressage boots are much quicker and easier to put on than bandages.
In addition to impact protection,tendon boots provide support for the tendons and joints of the horse's legs, as jumping in particular can involve considerable stress and strong forces. Usually these boots consist of a hard plastic shell with a soft neoprene or sheepskin (imitation) lining to minimise chafing. They are placed around the back of the horse's leg and close at the front with tight or elastic straps. The rear tendon boots are so-called fetlock boots. Like the front boots, they cover either only the inner side of the horse's leg or both the inside and the outside. In show jumping in particular, there are innovative products for young horses that protect their legs even better, as they cover more than the usual boots and strops.
Bell boots or over reach boots
Jumping bell boots protect the horse's pads, pasterns and coronet band. They are especially popular for jumping or pole work to absorb shocks when the horse's hoof hits the poles. They also protect the sensitive bend of the fetlock. When jumping in particular, the horse's hindquarters can go so far under that they dig into the front of the pastern. To prevent this, bell boots are used. A nice side effect: they prevent shod horses from stepping into their shoes and pulling them off, which is why hoof bells are also increasingly popular for paddocks. The most commonly used materials for bell boots are neoprene, rubber or synthetic leather. To prevent sensitive horses from rubbing, there are models with a sheepskin trim.
bandages & bandage pads
Bandages and leg wraps protect and support the horse's leg during dressage work. You can't usually go wrong with boots, but correct bandaging needs to be learned. Bandages must not restrict your horse's movement and must fit tightly without disturbing blood circulation. Caution is advised here, especially with elastic bandages. In addition, the bandages must not wrinkle. You can use bandage pads to compensate for the tight fit and to provide additional protection. Many styles also wick away moisture better than the bandage itself. In addition to the classic fleece bandages and elastic bandages, there are also combined models. For bandage pads, there are classic cotton variants or bandage pads made of memory foam.
Stable boots & transport boots
Travel boots are especially thick and usually extend from the hoof to the carpal joint or hock to provide maximum protection. They must also be comfortable for your horse to wear and must not rub. Similar to dressage boots, stable boots offer a quick and easy alternative to bandaging. Like transport boots, they are well padded and are designed to protect against injuries in the stall.
Ice boots, thermal boots & magnetic field boots
After strenuous training sessions or in the case of injuries, ice boots or magnetic boots support the regeneration phases. Injuries can be prevented or healing processes accelerated. The Ice Vibe boots from Horseware are particularly popular in this category.
Horse boot favourites
Eskadron horse boots with faux fur are particularly popular. They provide optimum protection for the horse's leg, are easy to put on and easy to care for. They also offer a good price-performance ratio. Of higher quality and with special shock-absorbing gel are, for example Veredus Horse Boots. Kentucky Horsewear has also specialised in the production of leg protection for horses. The Kentucky Horsewear Horse Boots and bell boots are characterised by high quality and comfort.Back on Track offers high-quality dressage boots as well as the popular stable boots.
You are not allowed to use horse boots in dressage competitions. However, this only applies to the competition itself. You can still protect your horse's legs with horse boots when you are riding out beforehand or during daily training. An alternative to a horse boot is bandaging the horse's legs. This is very popular with dressage horses. However, horse boots have the advantage that they can be put on and taken off quickly. They are also easier to clean and offer good protection against kicks and knocks.
Horses with extended movements, which are desirable in dressage, are especially prone to kicking themselves in the feet or legs. Horse boots for dressage are mainly made of PVC, leather with fleece, neoprene and carbon fibre. The most comfortable, but also most expensive horse boots are those made of carbon. They are not only extremely impact resistant and easy to clean, they also provide ventilation for the horse's leg.
Horse boots are particularly important for jumping because the risk of injury is greater here. The horse can easily bump into an obstacle pole or injure itself by brushing a leg with its hoof. Horse boots for show jumping are also mainly made of PVC, neoprene, leather/fleece or carbon fibre.
Often different horse boots are used for front and hind legs. High horse boots in the front and mid-height boots in the back is a popular variation. Whether this makes sense depends on the movement behaviour of your horse. If he often brushes his hind legs with his hooves or horseshoes, you should also use high horse boots at the back.
It is important that the horse boots fit properly. They have to be the right size and put on properly. You don't have much choice when it comes to size. For horses there are "Thoroughbred", "Warmblood" and "Warmblood XL". The further adjustment to the horse's leg is done by the adjustable fasteners.
Finding the right horse boots for a Haflinger can be really difficult. If you are lucky and your Haflinger is petite, a pony horse boot might fit. The problem is usually not the length, but the width, which is often too small. On the other hand, a horse boot sized "thoroughbred" may fit a strong Haflinger. However, the boot might end up being too long, even if the width is fine.
There's no avoiding measuring and searching for the right fit for your individual horse. You have to measure the circumference of the fetlock and the height of the horse boot. It is definitely worth looking at equipment for quarter Horses. The horse boots offered there often fit Haflingers.
Horse boots are useful for eventing. The load on the horse's legs is much higher in cross-country riding than in dressage or jumping. In principle, you can use horse boots for jumping for cross-country riding, but there are also special horse boots for eventing. These are usually enclosed, but often have ventilation so that the horse's legs do not overheat. They are also available with additional carbon inserts in the tendon and cannon bone area.
If you want to buy horse boots for a cross-country test, find out beforehand what is allowed. The regulations on leg protection for horses at competitions change frequently. Without up-to-date information you may end up in violation of a rule. Of course, without the correct horse boots for eventing, you may also find yourself without leg protection for your horse.
Horses' legs, especially the tendons and the fetlock joint, are very sensitive to injury. On the one hand, these injuries can come from brushing the leg with the hoof or from hitting things like obstacle poles externally. But the tendons can also be injured by excessive strain. Horse boots or even bandages are only of limited help against such strain. In this respect, they are mainly useful for convalescents after such injuries.
Tendon boots offer the best protection against the horse's own injuries and against other external mechanical impacts. However, you must make sure that the horse boots are not too loose. If they slip down the leg, they can actually become a danger for the horse. On the other hand, horse boots must not be too tight, so that they do not cut off the blood supply to the leg.
If you are planning a cross-country ride with your horse, it is certainly a good idea to put on horse boots. However, since you probably won't be doing such extreme rides as eventers, simpler horse boots will do. It is important that they fit properly and are easy to clean. That is why PVC or neoprene boots are a good choice. They have a good price-performance ratio and are well suited for this purpose of cross-country riding.