Different types of horse boots
By Sandra Dillinger
Horse boots were traditionally made with leather and secured using small buckles and straps. Leather boots can still be purchased, however they now incorporate Velcro fastenings instead of the old style buckles and straps.
Horse boots are now mostly designed using synthetic materials. Shin boots are used to conserve the fore legs and hind legs of the horse. These boots protect against rapped shins during jumps, and are therefore well suited to the high-speeds of fence and show jumping.
The Knee boot, also called the Carter pattern or the skeleton knee cap helps to safe-guard the delicate knees of younger horses that are being schooled to jump over fences.
Coronet boots are usually used to protect horse’s legs during polo practise and games.
Brushing boots come in a number of different styles. These horse boots are even lighter in weight than ordinary polo boots, and they are used to prevent the horse’s legs from rubbing and chaffing against each other.
The Speedicut boot is very similar to the brushing boot, with the exception of being secured further up on the horse’s leg.
Heel boots protect the horse’s point of fetlock, a delicate area of the horse which could hit the ground during fast-canter work or jumping.
The Over reach boot incorporates a rubber bell shape, which fits closely and comfortably around the lower portion of the horse’s leg, protecting the area from bruising, stride problems and other injury. These boots seek to protect the ankles down to the heel and the coronet area at the back of the horse’s front foot.
Used primarily by show jumpers, the Tendon boot is also referred to as the Performance boot. These horse boots are constructed to ensure that if the horse kicks into its front legs with its back legs, the front legs are protected, this is done with the inclusion of sturdy pads, which adds rigidity and cushioning. This unique design lends greater stability and protects the horse’s tendons from injury. The boots are left agape at the front. This open area at the front of the tendon boot, allows the horse to feel the poles during show jumping, in the event that the horse touches them.
Boots for travelling include for example Hock boots. They are made of leather or heavy felt. These boots are unlike other boots as they are only worn on the back legs of horses. Hocks often need to lean back while in transit, in order to improve balance, this action would cause bruising and rubbing. The hock boots are designed to give protection to hocks while in transit.
The Travelling knee cap protects horse’s knees while travelling. This type of boot must be fitted carefully to ensure that there is no restriction to the horse’s knees.
Poultice boots are able to contain cumbersome dressings on a horse’s foot. Horses that have an injury to the foot where gentle walking is required would wear a Hinged sole boot or Walking boot.