Tendon boots protect the horse's sensitive legs from shocks and injuries when jumping. They support your horse's tendons and ligaments.
Tendon boots provide all-round protection for the horse's legs, especially when show jumping. It is therefore important that the boots fit perfectly. The horse tendon boots must not slip and should not restrict your horse's movement in any way.
However, as there is a risk of bumping into the poles when jumping, the boots must offer sufficient protection from bumps and shocks, especially at the front.
Tendon boots are usually hard shell boots or made of leather, lined with sheepskin or neoprene. The combination of hard shell and soft, protective lining prevents injuries. This way you can safely take any obstacle.
Whether or not you should put boots on all four legs of your horse depends on a few factors besides your personal preference. If your horse tends to touch the poles with its hind legs, it may make a lot of sense to protect it with tendon boots. As tendon boots also have a support function for the tendon, they can also be of good service if your horse is susceptible to injury.
You should always protect the front legs when jumping, not only because of contact with the poles, but also to avoid injuries from kicks from the hind hooves. Basically, it is better to protect all four legs with tendon boots.
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.
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.
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.