Horses are strong and majestic creatures. However, their muscular and lean construction doesn’t mean that they don’t have an Achilles’ heel. Or as it’s more appropriate in this case an Achilles’ leg. As muscular as they are, horses have no muscle tissue in the lower legs, which means important bones such as the splint bone, as well as tendons and ligaments, have no protection.
So, when a horse gallops at a high speed, its hooves hit the delicate structures in the leg, causing injuries, fractures, inflammation and other joint and bone issues. With that being said, if you have a horse, especially one that takes part in performance shows and races, it’s important to equip it with the protective horse boots. Horse boots protect the animal’s legs from its own hooves, as well as from other horses’ hooves, fences, rocks, and other obstacles.
Although it’s true that the front legs are the ones that are most prone to injuries, don’t make the mistake of failing to provide proper protection for the hind legs as well. As horses jump over fences and obstacles, their hind legs can get easily caught behind. What’s more, the hind legs are just as prone to injuries from uneven terrain such as brush or rocks lying around. With that being said, make sure to invest in quality horse hind boots in addition to front boots.
Furthermore, horses that wear boots on their front legs but not their hind ones placed greater weight on their front body, as opposed to when they don’t wear any boots at all. The reason for this might be the fact that horses tend to put more weight on the legs that feel most comfortable. As a result, when only their front legs are booted, there isn’t a normal weight distribution, which can overburden the front legs.
Now that we are aware that our equine friends need both horse hind boots and front boots, the question is how to choose the right ones? First of all, make sure that the boots come with the right protective features. This includes shock-absorbing foams and strike plates which cover the inside of the tendon. What’s more, you also need to consider features that allow the legs to cool which can be a helpful means in reducing inflammation. Boots made of neoprene and which include airflow allow the legs to breathe better.
In addition, the boots should feel comfortable to wear and not cause any irritation. Some form of fastening device can allow you to precisely adjust the fit to the horse’s legs. The general rule is that the boot should be snug enough with enough room to fit your finger between the leg and the boot. If the boot is too loose, dirt and debris can enter it, causing irritation and chafing.