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How to put on sausage boots

The Sausage Boot is a protective leather ring that is filled with straw. When a horse lies down or gets up, the shoes on the horse’s hoofs may come in contact with the horse’s elbow, causing abrasions and pressure sores (capping).  The sausage boot of the stuffed leather ring variety is made to fit around the heel of the horse’s hooves, and is used to protect the horse from these abrasions and pressure sores.

The stuffed leather boots are not made for training, they are meant solely for the protection of stabled horses. The term ‘sausage boot’ is also synonymous with the fetlock ring, often referred to as an anti-brushing ring. When a horse brushes low, has a tendency to be heavy on the forehand (forging), or moves too close behind, a fetlock ring can be used to give protection.  This relatively inexpensive boot is a much thinner, tubular rubber ring, about 1.5cm thick, with a leather strap that runs through the centre of the rubber ring. 

The leather strap has a buckle fastening and often has some stretch to it, in order for adjustments to be made for a better and more comfortable fit.  Sausage boots can be worn around the hind legs of the horse to protect its shoed- hooves from clashing, should the hooves come into contact with each other, and acting as a buffer from striking that occurs lower down on the horse’s legs. They can be worn above the fetlock joint to protect the joint, or they can be worn just underneath the fetlock to protect the pastern and coronary cushion area.

To fit the sausage boot, the unbuckled rubber ring is placed on the leg that receives the knocks, encircling around the area that needs to be protected, and then refastened using the buckle.  The buckle must always be secured facing the outer side of the horse’s body and away from any exposed skin; this will help to ensure that the buckle of the sausage boot does not come into contact with unprotected areas of the horse.

Sausage boots are an invaluable protective accessory, but come in one-size only, therefore the girth of the ring may occasionally be either too small or too big for a horse’s pastern area.  In this instance, one solution may be to remove the buckle from the sausage boot and replace the buckle by sewing elastic in its place, to ensure for a more appropriate fit.

Interested in a pair of boots for your horse, why not take a look at a number of designs here?