Monday, March 07, 2011

Hoofin' It in Boots - Full Article

by: Christy West, Digital Editor/Producer
May 01 2010, Article # 17632

Hoof boots let a horse go barefoot with many of the benefits of traditional shoes.

Hoof boots aren't just for emergencies or soaking injured feet; these boots are made for walking, running, climbing, and more. Today an increasing variety of boots adorn the other-wise bare feet of trail horses, working horses, dressage horses, and even highly competitive endurance horses.

The benefits are pretty straightforward: The horse gets foot protection and traction when needed, while still going barefoot most of the time. There's no risk of tearing off shoes or misplaced nails.

However, boots aren't a license to be lazy about hoof maintenance. Booted horses require proper trimming and balancing, perhaps even more often than shod horses. And boots come with their own risks and challenges, such as sores from chafing if they are left on too long and/or incorrectly sized.

Are boots right for you and your horse? If so, how do you pick out the right boot? Read on to find out...

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