If you imagined your horse wearing human boots while riding, then you were absolutely wrong. But partly right.
Horse hoof boots have become more popular these days for people who like to go trail riding on their horses. The good thing about hoof boots is that it provides your horse extra support while riding on different surfaces.
And trail riding is the best example of how many different surfaces the horse will have to walk/run on. It is important that they are comfortable while doing that and also to make sure they are enjoying the ride.
Another great thing about horse hoof boots is that they can also be used for performance horses. Maybe you like barrel racing or some other kind of horse sport, you can use these boots for those horses as well.
As I said, the main benefit of using a hoof boot is to make sure that your horse is running pain-free and that its hooves are healthy.
Why the sudden need of using horse hoof boots?
I know right?
You might be thinking – for thousands of years, humans have been riding horses without hoof boots. And they’ve been just fine. So why do they suddenly need hoof boots to be pain-free?
Were our horses running in pain all this time?
Here’s the main function of a hoof boot – it fits snugly on a horse’s hoof and protects them from getting hurt while running on sharp objects like stones or anything else. These hoof boots will also protect their hooves from getting chipped which is painful for them.
Not just that, the boots also provide them with more traction when they are running on uneven terrain. This extra traction will give your horse more confidence to run faster if you want them to.
5 Best Horse Hoof Boots That You Should Consider
EasyCare Back Country Boot
If you’re looking for a boot that can last a long time, this is the one you should go for.
EasyCare mentions on their sales page on Amazon that it is a high mileage shoe and it is sturdy enough to be comfortable for your horse on all types of terrain. So you can use it for both – trail riding and performance riding.
The good thing about this shoe is that even when you’re riding during monsoon or going through a muddy patch, this boot will stay on and give your horse enough traction on the ground.
And the best part?
It is easy to put them on and get off.
Easyboot Trail Original
This one is a bit more stylish with the light brown color, and just like the EasyCare boot, it is easy to put them on and take them off.
They even go a step further with that though. You can open up the entire boot while putting them on your horse, making it super easy. And not just that, the sole is manufactured in a way that it will provide a good amount of grip even when the ground is slippery.
Cavallo Simple Boot
These boots are slightly more expensive than the other ones on this list, but you can use these boots for horses that are suffering from having a sensitive hoof or experiencing chronic pain in their hooves. Not just that, you can also use it to treat laminitis, abscesses, or any other type of hoof injury.
And it also offers all the other benefits of wearing a hoof boot just like the other – providing a good grip on hard and rough terrain, and making sure that your horse is comfortable wearing them, and also enjoying the ride.
Cavallo Trek Regular Hoof Boot
This hoof boot was made specifically for trail riding. The Cavallo Trek Regular Sole boot provides a good amount of shock absorption and also has built-in drainage and is breathable. So you can use this boot when going on all your adventure rides with your horse.
They are easy to put on and easy to take off when you’re back from the ride.
The sole of this boot has a unique tread pattern that gives your horse a good grip on every terrain while also minimizing the pressure that gets placed on the hoof while riding.
Cavallo Sport Slim Hoof Boot
This boot has an innovative heel that works as a natural break that helps reduce the pressure on the hoof. Besides that, it provides incredibly good protection for your horse when riding on all terrains. But this boot is really made for trail riding.
And just like the Trek Regular Sole boot, it comes with built-in drainage and shock absorption. The boot also has high-quality Velcro. So you don’t have to worry about them falling off while you’re on a ride.
Don’t discount this boot because of its price though – it is always better to have peace of mind knowing that your horse’s hoof is fully protected while you are riding on the trails than to have to worry about every terrain and think that it might be hurting your beautiful horse.
The boots are also reflective that gives you added protection when riding in the dark.
What Are the Different Types of Hoof Boots?
There are different types of hoof boots available depending on what your horse needs. Some come with cushion soles, shock absorption, Velcro straps, etc.
They also come in different types of materials like hard plastic, leather, etc.
The main goal of having a good sole is to provide as much comfort to the horse while riding as possible. You will notice that most hoof boots come with built-in shock absorption. And there are different tread patterns available depending on how much weight each boot will carry.
The Cavallo Sport boots are a good example of how different a boot can be. It has a unique design with a natural break for the heel. And it also has a unique tread that gives your horse more than enough grip on whatever surface that it might be running on.
And if you do plan on going horse riding on rough terrain a lot, then I recommend choosing boots that have thicker soles. The thicker the soles are, the better their ability will be to survive the rough terrain.
The second most important thing about the hoof boots is making sure that they stay in place while you’re riding. The last thing you want is for them to slip off and for you not to notice it. The worse thing is, your horse’s hoof might start hurting again without the boot and you won’t even know about it.
To make sure the boots don’t slip off, most brands develop a strong enough Velcro strap that is tight enough so that it stays in place and fits well.
Most hoof boots you’ll see have Velcro, just like Cavallo Boots (Cavallo is considered as one of the best horse hoof boots manufacturers in the country).
One thing you should look out for with the straps is that they are easy to put on and take off the hoof.
A clamping strap is another type of strap that is reliable. EasyCare boots have them.
But for people that have arthritic hands, you will be better off buying a Velcro strap boot. They are easier to put on and take off than the clamp strap boot.
The material of the boot depends on the manufacturer and the style. Most boots come with some kind of synthetic material but you can also find boots that are made out of genuine leather.
However, most people prefer to go for synthetic materials because they are lightweight and more durable than leather.
The soles of these boots are almost always made out of Thermo Plastic Urethane.
How Do You Measure Your Horse Hoof Before Buying Boots?
Just like you measure your shoe size before buying a new shoe, you have to measure your horse’s hoof before buying a hoof boot for them. And you need to make sure that you are measuring each of your horse’s hoof before buying a boot.
You’ll notice that each hoof has a different size.
Another thing you have to consider before buying a boot is whether your horse needs a boot for all of its four hooves or just the front or just the back. Sometimes people prefer to just buy hoof boots for all four hooves to make sure their horse is protected.
It all depends on what budget you are working with and what you want to do.
Measuring a Horse’s Hoof:
- Make sure you measure the hoof right after they are trimmed.
- Measure the widest part of the hoof at the bottom in inches.
- Measure the length of the hoof from the toe to the buttress. You can find the buttress line where the hoof wall ends and starts to curve. This is the part where the weight-bearing of the heel ends.
If you’re still confused, here’s a quick video for you to watch to see exactly how you should measure it.
Like I mentioned above, the same horse might have different hoof sizes. And in some horses, the front 2 hooves will be smaller than the back ones. And you’ll only know about it if you measure them.
How to Make Sure the Horse Hoof Fits Perfectly
Now that you have measured the size of your horse’s hoof, it is time to order the correct size hoof boot from one of the boots I mentioned above.
If you can’t find the size in the measurement charts provided by the company, worry not, here’s a simple rule of thumb – always size up. Never order a smaller size if your size isn’t available on the chart.
The idea behind sizing up is that the boot should fit snugly on the hooves at all times. You don’t want them to be too tight or rub too much because it will end up causing soreness.
If this is your first time buying horse hooves, be prepared for a tricky time putting them on and taking them off. Once you get enough practice doing that, it will get easier for you.
Also, one thing to keep in mind is that these hoof boots aren’t meant to be kept on all the time. You should only use them when you are going for a ride or trail. Once you’re back, make sure you take them off your horse immediately to let the hooves breathe.
If you do decide to keep them on for longer periods, make sure your farrier is trimming your horse’s hoof regularly. Your horse needs to have trimmed hooves for the boots to fit properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are hoof boots better than horseshoes?
Yes. In almost all cases hoof boots will be better than horseshoes because they will provide your horse’s hooves better protection and they are much more comfortable.
The problem with horseshoes is that they restrict the overall flexibility of your horse’s hoof. Hoof boots don’t do that.
Can you use these boots with horseshoes?
In theory, yes. But these hoof boots are made to fit the horse’s bare hoof. If your horse already has horseshoes on and you put hoof boots on top of them, you will end up causing way more wear on the inside of the boots. Besides that, there’s shouldn’t be any problem putting on hoof boots with horseshoes.
How long can you leave these boots on?
Different boots can last a different amount of time. It also depends on what kind of materials it is made out of. In general, Cavallo’s boots last around 1-2 years but that also depends on how you are using them. How often do you go trail riding or riding on rough terrain.
If you choose to buy leather hoof boots, you will need to clean out regularly with saddle soaps.