Cavallo Horse & Rider: Six Top Reasons Cavallo Hoof Boots Help your Horse on Gravel 

Gravel. It can be a problem for any horse – whether barefoot or shod. While you can control the footing around your horse’s barn and known areas, there’s a fear of arriving for a show, clinic, or trail ride to find a parking lot full of small, sharp stones. The beauty is, if your horse is barefoot, he can feel his feet. If there’s a damaging stone under one hoof, he’ll weight the others and avoid a stone bruise. This isn’t true for the shod horse, who doesn’t have a whole lot of sensation in his hoof. Sometimes the terrain doesn’t allow an option—so no matter the terrain, Cavallo hoof boots come to the rescue ( Outfit your horse with hoof boots in the trailer and he’ll be ready to step out on to any ground.

Gravel Perils

For a freshly barefoot horse, gravel can cause hoof sensitivity with only a few steps. While horses’ hooves can easily be conditioned and hardened to walk on any ground, sharp gravel can cause pain because of its sharp edges. At liberty, horses can pick their way through almost anything, zigging and zagging. But when we need them to go somewhere and especially if they have our additional weight on their backs, they do indeed need hoof protection. Cavallo Boots help horses –of all sizes & disciplines—when traveling on rough terrain.

Show and Event Ready

Many show organizations allow horses to compete barefoot. The footing in the warmup pens and show pens is full of groomed footing made to help horses move well. But often the parking lots and paths to the manicured rings are lined with gravel. This is the perfect time to add hoof boots to protect your horse’s soles.

At the Rodeo: Barrel racers on the competitive circuits have been using Cavallo hoof boots this season to help their horses gain traction and have support in the trailer then prep them to walk on any terrain at the various show grounds. (once in the arena, they can fly around those barrels barefoot. With natural innate traction and no incumbrance of metal shoes, they can run their hearts out. Our President Carole Herder shaved 1.2 seconds off her time when she started racing with her horse barefoot.

For the Thin-soled Horse: If you know your horse has thin soles, hoof boots are the ultimate protection to avoid time off. Horses known to have thin soles prefer soft ground. If gravel is present, a thin-soled horse may be in instant pain. Using hoof boots with pads for even more cushioning can help a thin-soled horse on any footing, but especially when traveling over gravel.

Made for Minis: Miniature horses are often barefoot—even when they are in heavy training. When they compete in driving competitions, they need protection from the harsh ground conditions just like their taller cousins. Cavallo hoof boots can help miniature horses move from the trailer to the driving courses and many drivers use the boots to help the horses gain traction while on the courses.

 Laminitic Past: If a horse has had laminitis in the past, stone bruising can add extra pain to already-sore hooves. Cavallo hoof boots can help laminitic horses if they have an emergency and also add protection to help sensitive hooves when the horse is cleared for in-saddle work.

Riders Report: Here’s what horse owners have to say about using boots to help their horses on gravel.

Nicole Pinto says, “Thank you for helping my fur-babies. Fun fact: I have a lot of birthday party guests that comment on their boots and are impressed that we are looking after their feet. We also have one wedding venue that will only use us because we use boots (they have a lot of gravel and have horses themselves.) The boots help show the public that we care about our babies.”

Jenny Farthing, Editor of Horsewyse Magazine, AUS wrote to say, “I love watching them ride in the Trek boots because you don’t see Mistie flinch when she has to go across gravel, and I know that her hooves are now protected no matter what she steps on. She is a lovely moving pony, and her movement and general feel when riding her hasn’t been altered by wearing the boots. Her extended trot is still amazing to watch!”

Jacqueline Brooks, Olympic Canadian Team Dressage Rider says,I decided during the Covid break to let all my horses go barefoot until I felt they needed shoes again. As time went by, I found there was little reason to return to shoes. My horses feel wonderful on footing, have no trouble with our grass and all-weather paddocks and, so far, all the jog strips have been rubber or footing. The only place I struggled with this decision was in the areas around the stabling at shows where there was primarily gravel and stones. These boots have been a godsend! The horses are now completely comfortable going to and from the ring on any footing. They are amazing! Horses so confident on the gravel! Lots of people asking where to get them at the show this past weekend! They are also extremely comfortable in the gravel wash racks. I was so relieved to partner with Cavallo and to be able to maintain performing at this level of competition barefoot!!”

Susan Remillard reports, “Just a note to let you know how much we love the Trek Hoof Boots! I drive my horse, Taz, because I can no longer ride (because of my legs). We live in Grand Canyon Junction, Arizona. We have about 70+ miles of dirt roads here, not counting the pathways created by the cattle. When riding, you can better choose where you travel. When driving, you may not have that choice. Using the Trek Boots, I can protect Taz’s hooves when the road is very gravely, or where they put down cinders (which can be very sharp). We go out for hours at a time, and I’m very pleased with how they wear.  I tried other boots… these are easy on/off, and I don’t have to mess with the fit. He has never been footsore! How many people can say they are using the same boots after a year?  Yup, still got good tread on the bottoms. We are thrilled with the Treks.”

The Cavallo website contains research, testimonials, and FAQs to help guide you as you transition to barefoot and prepare to ride in any sport. Visit for more help, or join the discussion on Facebook: up for Cavallo’s free newsletter and special community discounts: Hint: For a limited time, get a 15% off coupon code as soon as you sign up for the newsletter. 

 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 toll-free from the USA or Canada: (877) 818-0037. 

Cavallo Horse & Rider