Just a few years ago, a rider didn’t have a choice when it came to trail riding. The horse needed horseshoes on its feet to prevent injury and even then it wasn’t guaranteed. Horse boots for trail riding have changed all that and riders now have option about how they want to best protect their horse’s feet from rocks, stones and gravel. Let’s look at the pros and cons of horse shoes against horse boots and review some of the best boots on the market.
What are Trail Riding Horse Boots?
More and more riders are making the transition from horseshoes to horse boots as they seek a better riding experience that is more comfortable for both the horse and the rider. Horse boots for trail riding are removable boots that are designed to fit over the bare foot and provide better comfort and care for the horse’s feet. Most experienced riders will know the frustrations of lost or loose shoes whilst out trail riding and farriers can often take a long time to reach you. If you have boots available to use, you can simply place one on the bare foot and carry on with your trail-riding adventure.
The boots do provide better protection than shoes because they cover the entire foot, whereas shoes only cover the outside and injuries can still occur. Provided they are fitted correctly, horse boots provide superior protection on the trail and you can take spares in case you are unfortunate enough to lose a boot on the trail.
How Do I Measure My Horse For Boots?
The best way to measure your horse for boots is to have a farrier or vet take a look but you can also measure yourself if you thing you are confident. You need to find a boot that fits your horses feet comfortably, as some horses, especially light-gaited horses have more oval shaped feet as opposed to round feet of thoroughbreds.
Many professional horse boots are custom made and soon after trimming, you should create a tracing of your horse’s hood to provide to the designer of the boot. Keep in mind that that tracing will show the foot on the day of trimming and it can change quite a bit in just a short period of time. You should always have someone who knows what they are doing check the horses feet very often. Different manufacturers of boots ill have different sizes but they will usually work in inches and you can decide which boots you need based on the tracing of your horses hoof.
Occasionally, you can buy 4 horse boots and although they might fit neatly on the front feet, you might find that the rear feet are slightly different shaped. This is fairly common and you might have to buy different sizes for front and rear.
Horse Boots For Trail Riding – 3 Options We Recommend
1. Cavallo Simple Hoof Boot for Horses
This model of horse boot is extremely durable and very comfortable for the horse. He might not tell you he likes the boot but you will certainly feel it by the way he moves. The tread has great traction and you can feel the difference, even if you are performing tight manoeuvres and sharp turns. Not only do they look the part, these horse shoes come in different sizes and they are adjustable to fit your horse’s hoof perfectly. They are durable enough to survive going over any terrain which can be extremely important when trail riding, and they are extremely easy to put on and take off because of the great design. The boots can last many years if they are looked after correctly and washed after every session. The leather finish is certainly something that catches the eye.
2.Easycare Inc. Easyboot Trail Boots
The Easycare Easyboot Trail Black is super easy to take on and off which makes them great for trail riding. Should you lose a shoe whilst trail riding, the adventure might be over but if you have these boots you can jump down and pop a new one onto the foot in minutes. Customers who buy these boots often praise the ability to stay on the foot; even in the harshest terrain. They are great for long rides and they look very sleek and sophisticated whilst in use. You horse will look and feel awesome whilst wearing these. These boots have an excellent tread design for maximum grip and the manufacturer recommends walking of up to 25 miles at a time. The manufacturer claims this boot is the easiest boot in the world to remove due to the ergonomic design and whilst that might sound like a bold claim, many happy customers would readily agree with it.
3. Easycare Inc. Easyboot Glove
This model comes in 3 colours, depending on your horses taste and has a handy feature installed to minimise chaffing which can be an issue with some boots. It provides a high level of protection whilst not limiting the movement of the hoof. Should your horse be recovering from any conditions, this hoof is excellent to get them back up and running in a short time. For long distances over rocky ground, you will not find many better horse boots than this on the market today. You can get accessories such as power straps to improve the fit and minimize the risk of the boot falling off. If you clean the boot thoroughly after every use, there is no reason this boot can’t survive for years.
Horse boots for trail riding are increasing in popularity across the riding world as riders and owners seek alternatives to horse shoes. There are many varieties on the market and you should research thoroughly which shoe would best suit your horse. Trail riding can be stressful on a horses hoof and most boots are designed to compensate for that. One of the best advantages is the easy of taking the boots off and on again. If you lose a shoe on a trail, it can mean game over; with boots, you can pop on a replacement and get going again.
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