Cavallo Hoof Boots Q&A: Use Boots to Cover Metal Shoes

Q: I recently saw a trail rider with a shod horse put Cavallo Hoof Boots on her horse at the trailer before hitting the trail. This seemed interesting to me. She said she often likes the horse to wear the boots in the trailer, too. Why do riders put hoof boots over metal shoes? Don’t the metal shoes hurt the boots?

Cavallo President Carole Herder shares her input (

 A: We are hearing from more and more riders who use hoof boots over (not instead of) metal shoes. While we would love to see more riders pull their horses’ metal shoes off altogether, we understand that shoes are deemed necessary in some showing traditions. There are also some veterinary issues where medical teams suggest specific shoes and pads to help keep the horse sound and as pain-free as possible. Using boots over shoes offers more traction and even protection for horses when they are turned out.

Our boots will fit and are durable over metal shoes. We actually offer special pads to put inside the boots to help add cushion for the horse and protection for the boot’s soles ( Here’s more about how the horse owners we know are successfully using Cavallo Hoof Boots over metal horse shoes.

Trailer Time

Outfitting shod show horses with boots during trailer rides can add support as well as traction for long road trips. We hear from our customers that the horses arrive at their show locations with less fatigue when they have worn the boots in the trailer.

Show Horses

Cavallo Hoof Boots can be worn at any speed of riding. Some jumping competitors are choosing boots to place over their shod horses for jumping competitions. They are proven to absorb impact and minimize pressure on the hoof. For a horse that is jumping repetitively with the additional weight of a rider, the reduction in hoof pressure offered by Cavallo soles can add up to a lot of relief in the short and long term. A university study by Jennifer Gill and Gabriella Lynn of the Western Kentucky University Equine Sciences department studied just how much pressure is relieved with the boots.

Safer Turnout

Back at home, show horses can wear the boots over their metal shoes during turnout in the pastures. When horses run, kick and play, it’s easy for injuries to occur. Boots provide traction to help horses reduce slips and falls and can provide easy insurance if one horse were to kick out at another–or to prevent overreach injuries. In the case of a shod horse going through hoof rehabilitation, Cavallos can be worn over metal shoes to offer additional comfort and full protection during healing. Read more about therapeutic uses:

Extra Traction

No one wants to slip on treacherous trail-riding terrain. Metal slides easily against rock or hard ground and causes reverberation that can be harmful to horses’ hooves. Adding Cavallo Hoof Boots over metal shoes prevents the direct contact that produces shock, and the boot soles absorb much of the shock created by the impact. The hoof boots can also help prevent stone bruising and hoof chips when riding on sharp gravel that could points to the soles where metal doesn’t protect.

 Cavallo Hoof Boots add cushion and protection that can guard against your horse feeling tender footed or outright pain. And of course, Cavallos always make a perfect “spare tire” if a shod horse loses a metal shoe on the trail.

Note: Please keep in mind that Cavallo cannot guarantee that boots used over metal shoes will hold up over prolonged use due to the force of metal, protruding nails, or sharp edges. Therefore, the warranty is void when boots are used over metal shoes.

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 Carole Herder is the author of the #1-bestselling books: There Are No Horseshoes in Heaven, and the newly-released Hoofprints on The Journey. Her company, Cavallo Horse & Rider Inc., manufactures and distributes horse products, including Cavallo Hoof Boots and Saddle Pads, to 26 countries worldwide. Herder designed and developed Cavallo Hoof Boots and Total Comfort System Saddle Pads. She’s an honored recipient of the BCBusiness Women Innovator Award, Royal Bank of Canada Woman Entrepreneur Award, a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization, and a certified Chopra University Yoga Instructor and Ayurvedic Teacher. 

 Visit to learn about the full line of Cavallo Horse & Rider products. Call (877) 818-0037 from the USA or Canada or call direct, (604) 740-0037.

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