WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
A boot is not just a boot when it comes to your horse’s leg protection. Leg gear offers protection against contact and support for work. Here’s a quick guide to common horse legwear, so you can better select an option for your riding situation.
Protective boots. Also called splint boots, these mainly serve as impact protectors. Typically made of leather, neoprene, or concussion-absorbing material, they wrap around the legs from just under the knees (or hocks on hind legs) and feature extra vertical padding along the insides of the cannon bones.
Support boots. These protect the legs from impact and also act as support braces to the fetlocks and suspensory apparatuses. Usually made of neoprene or other shock-absorbing material, these cover the cannons from below the knees (or hocks) to and including the fetlocks. Sling- like straps wrap behind and under the fetlocks for extra support.
Skid boots. Worn around a horse’s hind fetlock joints, these are used to protect his fetlocks from the ground in events that require quick, hard stops, such as reining or roping. These are made of neoprene or leather with skid caps placed just behind the fetlocks for additional anti-friction protection.
Bell boots. The bell-shaped coverings are placed around the hooves to protect a horse’s coronary bands, top of the hooves (front and rear), and the pasterns. These are available in neoprene, leather, and rubber.