As a designer/creator of horse hoof boots, Carole Herder (https://www.cavallo-inc.com) often hears questions about key features horse owners should watch for when selecting boots. This question just came in from a savvy shopper:
Q: Carole, there are now so many boot brands on the market, that I get overwhelmed when doing my research. Do you have any pointers I can follow closely to make sure I get a boot that will serve my horse well?
Cavallo President Carole Herder shares her advice….
A: While there are many reasons to boot your horse, you have an important decision to make – which hoof boots should you purchase? You can look to social media, product reviews, or online forums to determine the value of any purchase you might be considering, but how do you know which source of information to trust?
Since the selection you make will greatly impact your horse’s performance, it’s best not to leave it up to chance. Instead, make a well-informed decision using the following checklist of considerations! This checklist will help you make the right decision when shopping for quality hoof boots for your equine companion.
Well made, long-lasting, and durable.
- Proven and established by years of rigorous use and many happy customers worldwide. As booting gains popularity, new brands are popping up vying for your purchase. Many are a variation of “a better mousetrap.” Confirmation of such things as quality, delivery, and warranties must be demonstrated.
- Ease of use
Easy to put on and take off – This saves time and is ideal for arthritic hands and young riders.
- Simple design: Horses are rough on their footwear. Look for a brand with no unnecessary parts that will break down or gadgets that may need to be replaced, fixed, or adjusted.
100% hoof protection over vulnerable areas such as bulbs, quarters, and coronet bands. Sensitive tissues should not be exposed as they are easily injured.
- Front-opening systems: These keep you in front of the horse when putting on the boots rather than behind or beside.
- Provide excellent traction.
- Can be used with studs on slippery frozen ground and wet grass.
The best boots offer a versatile range of use. Look for boots that can be used for treatment and therapy, during turnout and travel, with injuries, for training, on any terrain, and at any speed.
- Appropriate for all disciplines.
Look for boots that don’t require tools or extra effort to use or maintain. When you barely have enough time to ride, the last thing you need is to be fidgeting with tools!
- Watch out for restrictive straps, hard plastic pieces, or any fastenings that can cause pressure and injury.
- Drainage and aeration are essential; however, if the boot is too open, rocks and debris could enter and cause harm.
- Boot upper should be flexible – Anything too rigid can cause undue pressure and interference.
- Boots should allow for riding through any terrain at any speed.
Look for a reasonable price for lifespan and longevity – In many cases, you get what you pay for, so invest in quality!
Adjustable throughout the trim cycle – You should be able to fasten boots differently during the growth cycle to maintain a snug, secure fit.
- Adjustable throughout yearly hoof growth changes.
- Compatible with different trims.
- Styles should be offered in both Slim (narrow) and Regular (rounder) soles to give the best possible fit.
- Able to fit over metal shoes as well as a bare hoof.
Drainage holes that can be easily modified to use the boot as a soaking/therapy boot
- Changeable straps and buckle options for different terrain and conditions; examples include buckles for spear grass or snowpack and reflective straps for safety.
- Color selections are always nice.
9. Care and maintenance
Trouble-free – no maintenance besides hosing off with water.
The sole design prevents snowballing.
- Comfortable sole that provides protection from rocks and aggressive surfaces
- Well-cushioned, appropriately thick sole that offers comfort on both dry, hard summer ground and frozen winter ground, as well as on rocks and aggressive or jagged terrain.
- A versatile array of hoof boot insole pads for every purpose, including therapeutic, comfort, travel, sole protection from metal shoes, etc.
- Pastern wraps and sleeves for bulb and pastern protection or to adjust fit.
- Must be soft or padded to cushion tender bulb area and protect from over-reaching, pressure, or other injuries.
- Sole is designed for maximum shock absorption.
The company should offer superior, individual, and personal customer service and support from like-minded animal lovers.
Best boot warranty for length of time and replacement or repair. Be sure to read the fine print.
- Social proof – Should have excellent and multiple user reviews.
- It’s a bonus if the product is verified by a scientific hoof boot study.
Choosing the right hoof boots for your horse is no easy task – but it’s not impossible! With the right information, you can make an educated decision tailored to your equine companion’s needs.
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Cavallo President Carole Herder wrote the #1 International Bestseller, There Are No Horseshoes in Heaven, and the newly released Hoofprints on The Journey. She has been involved in horse health since 1993. Her company, Cavallo Horse & Rider Inc., develops, manufactures, and distributes horse products in 26 countries. Herder designed and developed Cavallo Hoof Boots and Total Comfort System Saddle Pads. She presents training sessions around the world to teach the benefits of keeping horses in a natural state. Herder is an honored recipient of the Royal Bank of Canada Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She was named top Innovator in the 2021 BCBusiness Women of the Year Awards. She is also a member of the Women’s Presidents Organization, supporting female entrepreneurs in every industry.
Visit https://www.cavallo-inc.com to learn about the full line of Cavallo Hoof Boots. Call (877) 818-0037 from the USA or Canada or call direct, (604) 740-0037.
Cavallo Horse & Rider