From Karen Chaton's EasyCare & Endurance Musings
It's getting to be that time of year - where the trails get mushy and wet! I find my horses slip less with boots on than they do barefoot, so usually use boots on them when we are going to be going up and down hills in mud or snow. Tigger is going to need a lot of work over the winter in these conditions, he wasn't very graceful in the mud this year at Fort Schellbourne. I always hate to ride inexperienced horses in slippery stuff. I feel really confident on Chief, because I know that even when he slips, he tends to at least stay upright, even if we do some skating around.
I often hear from riders that their horses slip more in mud because of the boots. Well - that may be the case for some boots, and some horses, and some mud. (there are so many variables when it comes to horses) I really think that in some conditions horses will slip no matter what is on their hooves. I also think that experience has a lot to do with it too - some of the riders blaming boots for their horses slipping have not ridden their horses in mud before. Some mud is so slick that it is going to cause slipping no matter what but it is a big difference to be on a horse that has done it a few times, versus one that hasn't. No matter what conditions you ride in, be careful out there! One nice thing about boots and boots with studs in them is that you can take them on or off when needed. Keep a pair of boots with studs for those really muddy or slick days, and another pair or set for the dryer less slick footing times.