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How to put on travel boots

ArticleHow to - Tack and EquipmentFriday 25 November 2011
By W Honeywood
When you are planning to travel horses or ponies in trailers or horse boxes it means you have to think about putting some sort of protection on their legs to avoid them injuring themselves in transit. Many horses and ponies don’t like having travel boots on them for the first time.
So if you are planning to use them, make sure you put them on your horse or pony a few days before they actually travel. Like this they will get used to the idea of them and should not object to wearing them. Naturally, if you have not used travel boots before, you need to know how to put them on so the horse boots stand a reasonable chance of staying in place.
Many people find that by the time they get to their destinations, travel boots have slipped or are off altogether which defeats the object of the horse or pony wearing them in the first place.
A lot of horse boots these days have Velcro straps and this makes it that much easier to put them on a horse. Travel or horse boots are designed with the shape of the front leg and the back leg in mind. This makes it very obvious which set goes on the hind legs and which go on the forelegs.
Remember Velcro straps do up from the front to the back. This will make it much easier for you to see which way they should sit on the horses’ legs.
Make sure you cover just below the coronet band so that this is protected and the travel boot should fit snugly up the leg over the knee and hock. This means that you are protecting the horses’ legs but also avoiding restricting their movements too much. Horse boots are designed using breathable material but with added padding to provide the extra protection horses’ need on their legs when they are travelling.
One thing you might want to do is add a bit of gaffer tape around the travel boot as an extra precaution which may prevent them from slipping or coming off altogether. Some horses and ponies have a tendency to paw at the ground when they are travelling and this is usually how they get their horse boots off. The added tape may help keep the boots in the right position.
Always make sure that you have not put the boots on too tightly, as this may restrict circulation to the legs and this would end up causing a disaster. On the other hand you must make sure they are not too loose either. If you walk your horse around before loading them, you will soon see if they are on to loosely or not.
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