If you’re overwhelmed by all the leg boots on the market, here’s our quick lowdown on what’s available for what purpose.
- Brushing boots. These are designed to offer the vulnerable tendon areas of the lower leg protection from kicks and knocks when riding or in the field.
- Tendon boots. A firm favourite with jump riders, tendon boots are reinforced at the back to give added protection to the tendon areas when jumping. They are open fronted to encourage horses to stay careful and avoid hitting fences.
- Over reach boots. These boots protect the sensitive coronet band and bulbs of the heel from strikes that may occur from other legs.
- Fetlock boots. Worn on the hind legs, they protect the fetlocks from knocks and are popular with show jumpers, often used in conjunction with tendon boots.
- Knee boots. Frequently used by riders out hacking, they protect the knees from injury if the horse were to trip and hit his knees on the ground.
- Hock boots. Often used for travelling, hock boots can also be fitted in the stable where horses are prone to pressure sores caused from lying down.
Your horse will most likely tell you if he needs a certain type of boot. However, it’s a good idea to offer every horse some form of leg protection, even if he’s not prone to knocking into himself. Lungeing is a time when boots should always be used as the risk of leg injury is much higher.
By Nicky Moffat