Q: This winter, we have had snow and ice on the ground for over a month. I can tell my horse is moving carefully on the ice, and he almost seems sore. Can I leave Cavallo Hoof Boots on him during turnout to help him feel better on this sharp, slick and frozen ground?
Cavallo President Carole Herder shares her advice (https://www.cavallo-inc.com).
A: Noticing and observing your horse’s daily movements and how he feels is a sign of an astute horse owner. Well done. Hard and frozen ground can be very tough on horses. Your horses know they need to be careful not to slip, so they don’t get the exercise they usually crave. Standing on hard ground is tough on their joints, muscles, and hooves. Movement means a lot to our prey animals. You can absolutely have your horse wear his Cavallo Hoof Boots while turned out so that he can move more freely. Cavallos can be kept on most all the time once your horse is accustomed to them.
When you first outfit your horse with boots, it’s best to check his fit once a day to ensure there is no friction and that the boots fit well. Because your horse has already been standing on hard, icy ground, it may be best to add the Cavallo Comfort, Gel or Cushion Pads to the inside of the boots to help provide extra support. The pads combat discomfort caused by the frozen ground during turnout.
Even after your horse is accustomed to the boots, check the boots daily to make sure that there’s no rubbing, debris hasn’t entered the boots, and that all closures are intact. You may also want to rinse and dry the boots depending on how dirty the boots become. A boot sole caked in mud won’t have the usual traction. If you plan for your horse to wear the boots for long periods, we recommend rinsing inside the boots with a 50/50 mix of apple cider vinegar and water every few weeks to cut down on any bacterial growth.
If your winter weather forecast includes even more ice, you may choose to ride with Cavallo Studs on the hoof boots. However, we don’t recommend turning your horse out with our Cavallo Studs in place on the boots. While the studs help add traction to the boots, they can be sharp if your horse were to kick or play with another horse–or if he were to nick himself while lying down and getting up. Check out the pads and studs here: https://www.cavallo-inc.com/product-category/hoof-boot-accessories.
Here’s a note from our friend Halliki Hanso who lives in the country of Estonia. The icy Estonian winter ground caused her horse to feel sore–much like you described with your horse.
“We are located in Estonia, on an island called Saaremaa,” she says. “My horse’s name is Ralla and she is a Silver Bay Estonian native horse. Sadly, in August 2019 she got a very bad Laminitis attack. Her hooves were really, really sensitive after the treatment. So, this winter she uses Cavallo Hoof Boots for walking on frozen and hard ground. She also likes Cavallo Gel Pads inside. These boots are lifesavers! Thank you!
Another note from Stephanie Cofer just arrived in the Cavallo office.
“I researched hoof boots like crazy before choosing Cavallo, so glad I made the right choice!” she says. “We love them! Duke is our mule. He is 26 and suffers from hoof wall separation and laminitis. He wears his Cavallos with Gel Pads during turnout and then I give his feet a rest while he is in his stall at night. Java is our pinto. He is wearing his today for turnout because the ground is frozen, but he normally just wears his for trail riding. We absolutely love your boots. Thank you!”
Read more about using boots for therapeutic benefits: https://www.cavallo-inc.com/why-trek-makes-the-perfect-therapy-rehab-hoof-boot.
The Cavallo website is loaded with research, testimonials, and FAQs to help guide you as you transition to barefoot and prepare to ride in any sport. Visit https://www.cavallo-inc.com for more help or join the discussion on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CavalloHoofboots. Sign up here for Cavallo’s free newsletter and special community discounts: https://www.cavallo-inc.com/CavalloNews
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 https://www.cavallo-inc.com to learn about the full line of Cavallo Horse & Rider products. Call toll-free from the USA or Canada: (877) 818-0037.
Cavallo Horse & Rider