What is the first word you think of when you hear “sport boots”?
Protection is the first word that comes to my mind when I think of sport boots and their purpose — they are crucial to the needs of a performance horse. We as riders are asking them to do so many things and use their athleticism in a more advanced way that is not always natural to the horse itself. As a responsible rider, we need to have them properly equipped for whatever job or task we are asking them to perform.
What are sport boots and what is their purpose?
Sport boots are a set of well padded wraps that support the fetlock, tendons, and ligaments that run from below the knee/hock down to right above the coffin joint. They are usually placed on both front and hind legs. The purpose of sport boots is to work to absorb the impact from the horses hoof hitting the ground and minimize the risk of injury to the tendons and ligaments. Protection and support.
These boots create a barrier that will help if a hind leg were to catch or over reach and nick a front leg or protect from objects such as jumps or other obstacles. Around the coffin joint is where you put bell boots on the front legs, which also help in aiding protection from the hind legs over reaching and pulling a shoe or catching the heel bulb.
Not only do they protect front to back motions but also side to side. When asking a horse to rate down or stop hard on its hind end, that puts stress and strain on all the structures in their legs. These boots help support and keep the tendons and ligaments in place. Quick side to side movements can easily cause their legs to bump into each other and easily create some stress and strain as well.
Choosing the right boots for you.
It is important that the boots are used and applied properly, so they can provide the best protection. They must fit properly and also want them tight enough but not too tight. Most brands offer videos or tutorials on how to properly place them to help ensure you are doing it right, as well as finding the correct size to fit your horse. It might be trial and error. It is also important to monitor how long your boots are on your horse. They should not be left on too long or exceed 4 hours, especially when it is hot outside. They are breathable but the legs, tendons, and ligaments need adequate cooling time and exposure to air.
There are so many different brands and styles of sport boots to choose from, and we offer a large selection. It is important to do your own research to figure out what fits or what best suits your horses’ needs. We carry numerous brands of boots such as Classic Equine Legacy, Flexion, Iconoclast, Professional Choice, Fastback, and Relentless. Stop by today to better equip your equine best friend.
Mary Kalberer is a long time friend and advocate for the horse. She has years of experience as a veterinary technician, along with plenty of time in the saddle and is an active barrel racer. Working as a sales representative for Gold Buck Tack, Mary is available for your horse tack questions.