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Crocs For Horses - Know What Legwear Your Horse Needs
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   7th Apr 2013   •   6,666 views   •   4 comments
Crocs For Horses - Know What Equine Legwear Your Horse Needs

Have you ever gone horse boot shopping, walked into the tack store, and found yourself bombarded by so many different kinds of boots that you’re just about ready to run for your life and put your poor horse in Crocs instead? Well, if not, then you’re clearly not doing your boot shopping right! Either way, read on, because this is the article for you.

When it comes to your horse’s legs, you never want to compromise. The legs make the horse, because with bad legs, even the best horse is useless. Your horse works hard for you, so of course, you want to give him the most protection possible.

The thing to consider is this: “What do I want my horse to do?” Once you answer that question, then you can determine what you want the boots to do, and thus what boots you should buy. Since we all know that the closest I can come to Western riding is doing dressage in a cowboy hat, I’ll focus on the English disciplines.

Showjumping
When jumping, a horse’s tendons and suspensory ligaments can take a great deal of strain. Another danger, of course, is brushing – when the horse’s one leg clips the inside of its other leg. It seems that a pair of good Medicine Boots could solve both of these problems, but when it comes to showjumping, Medicine Boots just won’t do. After all, a showjumper is supposed to be a neat, clear horse. If they’re touching poles, they ought to know. Therefore, if you want to get the best out of your showjumper, I’d recommend boots that are open in front.
Given the functions that we want the boots to perform, in my opinion, the best option is tendon boots. Tendon boots offer support for the tendons, and protect the front tendons in case the back hooves of the horse clip them. Tendon boots are also usually open in front, with only the straps for protection, and thus offer feeling for the horse should it clip a pole.

When shopping for Tendon boots, there are a number of things you must consider:

Weight. The boots must be light, otherwise they will hinder the horse’s physical jump.

Support. The inside of the boot should be designed in such a way that it supports all the important tendons and ligaments. If you look at the inside of a tendon boot, you will often find that it seems to be shaped to fit all the nooks and crannies of a horse’s leg. This is for support.

Comfort. The boot should be made of a material that will be comfortable for the horse. It should be flexible, and soft on the inside so it doesn’t rub the horse or make it uncomfortable.

Strength. Of course, the boots must be tough enough to protect your horse, and handle the general wear and tear of riding.

Heat. One of the worst enemies to a horse’s legs is heat. The tendons go soft when hot, and can thus take strain more easily. Because of this, the boots must be breathable, so as to keep the horse’s legs as cool as possible during work.

Crocs For Horses - Know What Equine Legwear Your Horse Needs

Cross Country
When you’re jumping around a cross country course, the last thing you want is a boot that’s open in front! Unlike in showjumping, cross country obstacles do not fall down, so you need to protect your horse from the dangers of knocking his legs on solid objects. Aside from this, the horse’s legs also take strain from moving at high speeds and going over rugged terrain. You need boots that protect a horse from strain, from brushing, from the fences themselves, from the heat generated from high speed work and, to top it all off, boots that stay on when you go through water!

There is no compromise when it comes to cross country. You need eventing boots.
Eventing boots are specifically designed to withstand the many dangerous aspects of cross country, and because of this, they come in many different shapes and sizes. Here are some important things to consider when you are trying to select yours:

Weight. Like with showjumping, the boots must be light enough not to hinder your horse’s jump, nor to tire him when galloping on the flat.

Protection. Eventing boots are often inlaid with metal to offer complete protection against hitting solid jumps. The metal absorbs the shock of the strike, and thus the horse’s leg is saved. You must find boots that offer the appropriate protection for your horse, and cover as much of the leg as possible without restricting movement.

Heat. When it comes to evening, not letting the horse’s leg overheat is of maximum importance! Thus, you must find eventing boots that BREATHE! Some eventing boots now have an air cooling system, designed so that vents in the boots allow cool air to enter and chill the tendon during work. This is very important to prevent strain.

Durability. Eventing boots must be tough, because the discipline is tough. They must be able to take a real beating.

Water. This is the biggest enemy of most eventing boots. As soon as the boots are soaked, they grow heavy (Which will then prove a problem for the rest of your course) and slip down. Naturally, this can prove dangerous on a cross country course, because not only will it leave your horse unprotected, but it will distract him too. You need to find boots that do not absorb water. Even then, no matter how good your boots are, you must secure them with insulation tape for the cross country, just in case. This helps to keep the boots from slipping.

Crocs For Horses - Know What Equine Legwear Your Horse Needs

Flatwork
When it comes to flatwork – be it schooling or fitness – my person preference will always be Medicine boots. For flatwork, you want to keep your horse’s legs supported and protect the tendons and ligaments, without worrying about jumps. Medicine boots are good, well-rounded boots that always offer comfort and protection. Here are some things to consider when buying medicine boots:

Like with showjumping and cross country, the boot must be lightweight, comfortable, and allow for ventilation to keep the horse’s leg cool.

Shape. You want to find a Medicine boot that is shaped to properly support a horse’s leg, not just a piece of foam that wraps around the leg.

Velcro. You need to find a boot with strong Velcro, because otherwise the straps soon start coming undone, and flapping around your horse’s legs.

Support. The medicine boot must be specially designed to support the tendons and ligaments.

Crocs For Horses - Know What Equine Legwear Your Horse Needs

So, next time you go boot shopping, keep this guide in mind, and hopefully you will be able to hold your own just a little longer against the barrage of choices. And if you can’t, well... There’s still the Crocs. Although I doubt your poor horse would thank you for it!
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Polo the Weirdo
Kaori  
Great article Polo, as always :D
Because my horse is "unique", he is stuck with bandages as he can't wear boots. His legs are a cob size in length, but an extra full size in diameter...I have a weird horsey, but it does make boot shopping easier xD
  Apr 7, 2013  •  7,539 views
 
Dashwood  
This is a brilliant article! This has really helped me understand what my horses might need for the work they do. Thank you. :)
  Apr 7, 2013  •  7,462 views
 
GoodMorning  
Ah, thanks so much Polo! I am saving up for some better jumping boots, so I think tendon boots will be the next on my list!

Just a question whenever I just look up horse boots, all I see is splint boots, splint boots, splint boots. Are they any good for either jumping or flatwork?

Thank you so much for writing this!
  Apr 8, 2013  •  7,473 views
 
Dark Star  
I will almost always ride Dee in her professional choice medicine boots and no turn bell boots. No matter what I'm doing with her, be it barrels, reining, or western/English pleasure. And professional choice are the only kind I will buy for any of my horses. They are the only ones I've found to actually protect the most of my horses legs.

Great article as always!!
  Apr 13, 2013  •  7,390 views
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