WHAT’S THE DIF­FER­ENCE?

Horse & Rider - - Barn Gear -

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.

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