Monday, February 27, 2012

Endurance Horse Basic Training: Hoof Boots

Enduranceridestuff Blog - Karen Chaton

If you choose to use ride in any type of hoof boots then you need to prepare your horse for the eventuality that one or more may come off during an endurance ride. Many horses will react adversely the first time that happens to them. Even more-so if it happens during an actual competition; your horse is excited, and there are other horses going by! It’s not fun to be stuck on the side of a narrow trail with a horse that is jumping about, bucking, or trying to out-run a boot that is still attached to his pastern.

For training purposes, I highly recommend exposing your horse having a boot come off of the front as well as a hind hoof in an arena or other controlled environment without a rider. Most horses will react the strongest the first time or two this happens. If you can get that behind you then when it happens while you are mounted it will usually be a non-event. Notice I said “most horses”. There will always be some horses that will never get over having a boot come off without having a fit over it.

Along with saying “my horse never kicks”, one should also consider never, ever saying “my hoof boots don’t come off”. Any horse can kick, and any brand or model of hoof boot can come off. It may not happen frequently, and for those that are fortunate enough to have a horse that happens to be easy on their boots as well as also having a great fit–may go years without having a boot come off...

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