working/paddock boots

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by Shera, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. celestialdancer

    celestialdancer Gold Member

    Rocky - Paddock boots in the winter at night to keep his legs warm *on vet advice*
    Rahni - Float boots for travelling. Bandages for lateral work.
    Gracie - Bell boots for travelling.
  2. Jaana

    Jaana Well-known Member

    I have to laugh at this; this is the exact reason I am trying to find some good boots that fit the heffalump. He plays hard in his paddock, even though our paddocks are safe; the boy plays hard. Jumping and leaping and galloping around like a fruit loop; over the jumps as well.
  3. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    Mine too Jaana - thus boots. Silly playful babies :)
  4. Excelsior Centerpiece

    Excelsior Centerpiece Well-known Member

    a horse can stick its leg in a fence no matter what the spacing is.....
  5. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Exactly, spacing isn't the issue when it gets caught on the top of the boot. If a bandage / boot isn't there it would just roll down the leg as the horse pulls it leg back through. But with a bandage / boot it gets caught ontop and slices into the horse just below the hock.

    Each to their own. We all do what we believe is best for our horses.
  6. Cheeki

    Cheeki Gold Member

    I think it's good habit to have boots on a horse when in work :) I don't always, but if I know that I am going to be teaching something new, or asking more of my horse, I'll have boots on. If I'm just going over basics that he knows and is confident with, it's not as bigger deal (to me). I'd rather have protection on a horse at any time (of coarse) - but sometimes it's nice to ride without (for the horse). And because you cannot always compete with boots (dressage), it's good to ride without so the horse doesn't rely on the boots.

    I don't use paddock boots on my two. I am looking at getting fly boots for them for this summer, but Jed seems to be in the 'yellow bus' special category when it comes to anything - rugs, fly vales, bell boots - no matter what it is, he'll find a way to a) destroy it before the week is up, and b) hurt himself. I'm worried that he'd over heat (he's a hot horse) or get stuck in a fence.

    jmo :)
  7. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    But wont get stuck between strands if spacing is great enough :)

    Either way, i hate high tensile wire fencing **)
  8. Norman Arch

    Norman Arch New Member

    My boy Norman always wears boots/ bandages. Lunge work see's him wearing a full set of tendon/ brushing boots on all four plus bell boots on the front two, Jumping work sees him in bell boots on the fronts, hard tendon covers(such as your open fronted jump boots) on the fronts and fetlock boots for the backs, flat work sees him wearing either dressage wraps or the same boots he wears for lunge work. He usually also goes out into the shared paddock with paddock boots on (they have massive wrap around velcro that has a cover to stop them coming undone and 100% marino sheeps wool lining. He has NEVER gotten hot and sweaty under these boots and the only issue i have had with them was when my other gelding showed him how to paddle in the water trough. At night how ever he is naked legged in his yard/stall. My Horse is a crazy chestnut TB, who has just finished a growth spurt that his brain hasn't caught up with as of yet so he is always knocking him self on something. Plus i would much rather spend 5-10 minutes each morning booting him up and spending a few dollars on good quality boots than finding my horse injured and requiring hundereds of dollars of vet treatment or worse.. needing a backhoe.
  9. maxntaz

    maxntaz Well-known Member

    Yup B & T agree... I use them for protection and prevention of cuts etc.

    Thus far, I havent had an issue with overheating, however I cool horse down properly and hose etc after work.
  10. Tempo

    Tempo Well-known Member

    I always use boots/bandages for schooling AND roadwork. Always have and ALWAYS will. Complete lack of co-ordination, especially during brain fart moments, make it a necessity! Plus, it's a well ingrained habit now!!
    And as far as tendon support goes - well personally I use boots more for protection than support!
    Don't use paddock boots as I haven't owned one that has needed them!
    Certainly won't ever use them because they 'look pretty' - that's for sure! *#)
  11. Janet Winter

    Janet Winter Guest

    Interesting reading
    Boots are often touted as providing support to the horse's tendons and ligaments, but Marlin said, ?I don't subscribe to the idea that boots or bandages really offer much support, unless it's athletic support strapping by a professional, meaning a physio or possibly a vet. What it can do is restrict movement of the fetlock joint, which is not necessarily a beneficial thing. I have seen more problems with over-tight boots than loose ones. If you need proof, heavily strap your ankle, especially over the Achilles tendon, and then go for a run; you probably won?t be able to walk for a few days.?

    Weight is a concern because even small amounts of weight added to a horse?s leg can have a dramatic effect on movement (think about gaited horse trainers, who purposely alter their horses. gaits by adding weights to their legs), and can increase the amount of energy the horse has to expend while performing its job. A light boot of only 6 or 7 ounces can dramatically affect the horse?s gait; when it?s soaked with sweat or heavy with water, the weight can easily double, and that effect is magnified.

    Heating is also an issue because tendons are partly comprised of living cells, which can be damaged from extreme heat. One study from Japan showed that only 10 minutes at 48 degrees Celsius (118.4 degrees Fahrenheit) is enough to kill 80 percent of all tendon cells in a petri dish. In previous studies many horses, legs reached degrees much higher than that, and if boots prevent heat release the effects are multiplied.

    A boot can be made of thick, spongy protective material, which offers protection against concussion, but if it's heavy and bulky and reduces the cooling of the lower limb, then it can cause more problems than it prevents.
  12. Anna E

    Anna E Guest

    6 horses of assorted sizes, shapes, moevements, ages and degrees of idiocy... Ordinary fencing (upgrading as fast as we can)... Literally hundreds of kms in the bush plus flatwork in the arena but no jumping. I own one pair of bell boots! These go on one horse for endurance rides only, as otherwise he pulls his Glove boots off.
    Maybe I'm slack, and apparently I'm lucky, cos I don't boot anyone apart from when I'm floating more than one horse. We've had some minor dings but nothing major. Can't remember the last time someone had to have time off work for a leg injury that anyone could argue boots would have prevented. (Runs off to find some wood)
    Evidently I'm not asking my horses for enough in the way of athletic endeavour!! *#)*#)
    ETA: I'm with you Janet - boots can cause more potential problems than they prevent. I know that over several hours in warm weather on an endurance ride I would really worry about tendons overheating.
  13. mum of five

    mum of five Well-known Member

    My vet has advised me to keep a float boot on my old boys back leg now his leg has almost healed- he very badly injured his hind leg 8mnths ago and its almost healed. iam a bit dubious as Iam worried about it getting hot and sweating, she reckons it will be ok, Iam wondering if I lightly bandaged it with something like vet wrap would it still offer protection but still allow it to breathe better?
  14. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    hahahah *#) evidently your horses aren't as clumsy as mine and knock their legs each and every ride.

    I don't have anything on my baby horse - she is careful with her legs. The other one brushes the beejebus out of them and ends with lovely open grazes on her legs when no boots are worn :rollseyes:

    Great point Janet about the strapping of our achillies.
    That's why I don't wrap - just don't trust that I can do it right, and not cause damage instead of preventing...
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2010
  15. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    Mumof5 - I would get a genuine sheepskin boot (actually, a pair... you should always bandage/boot in pairs). It will breathe far more than vetwrap.

    Anna - completely agree! I only used bellboots when i was doing endurance too. I too would worry about overheating with such prolonged use of boots during exercise. If brushing boots were necessary, perhaps sheepskin (not synthetic fleece) lined boots would be OK, but then you have problems of grass seeds getting stuck in the fleece.

    Bandages cause more harm than good because most people dont know how to bandage properly. Good bandage needs to be even thickness/tension entire length of bandage, and go from below the fetlock to below the knee (ie entire tendon). Bandage length needs to be correct for horse. Pad width/lengths also. Elastic bandages require decent pads to prevent pressure points. Bandages need to be rolled on rather than pulled on to ensure even tension. = A good bandage job takes time and experience. Boots are much easier to put on in a way that is unlikely to cause injury. I am constantly amazed by terrible bandage jobs on horses, but I think its because noone teaches people to do it correctly (have seen some terrible PCAWA techniques, and vets who might be able to wrap an injury, but wouldnt trust them to do exercise wraps). Much safer to stick with boots :)
  16. GoneRama

    GoneRama Gold Member

    In regards to paddock boots and adequate spacing of strands of wire, the very geometry of a horses leg means it's very possible for a horse to get their leg caught on a single strand of wire no matter what distance the strands are apart (think back of the pastern area!)and then you put a shoe on the horse and the wire easily gets caught between the shoe and the hoof. I've had my horses yarded in wire yards for the best part of 15 years and never had a problem even when they have been hooning around like idiots. Hullo, hot wires on standoffs were invented for a reason, smart horse only touches it once if at all!

    My father used to drive horse transport trucks and one day he pulled up at a top thoroughbred stud to pick up 8 mares and foals, he drove away with only 7 mares and foals because one mare had ripped her chest open. Those paddocks were immaculate, not a tree, not a sharp object anywhere, comes down to, horses are amazing creatures and will injure themselves no matter what precautions we take!
  17. Cadabby

    Cadabby Well-known Member

    Well, today I'm certainly glad I always put boots on when I'm riding!
    We went out for a ride and came across some old ringlock wire. Abby got both back legs caught in it, which thankfully I was able to get out after a bit of effort. One back boot is ripped in a number of places. Her leg has a bit of hair missing and a tiny scratch.
    I can replace the boots, but not the horse. Could have been much worse without boots IMO.
  18. katers93

    katers93 Well-known Member

    I have heard some horrible stories about horses having accidents with paddock boots on, they can do a lot more harm than good sometimes.. but then here I was thinking that electric fencing is close to accident proof. The best anyone can do is provide the safest environment possible (as it sounds like you did) but accidents do happen- boots or no boots..

    God ringlock is one of the worst isn't it! I kept my mare overnight it a paddock that had been newly fenced with ringlock and she struck out at horse over the fence and put her hoof straight through. Also for me I was so thankful she had boots on or it could have been a lot worse, she only ended up with a small gash.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  19. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    Had a horse deglove himself on hot wire standoff - bucked at neighbour and came down between the standoff and the fence. I think first and foremost fences need to be highly visible, and this is where wire meets its first downfall.
  20. Ponies4Me

    Ponies4Me Well-known Member

    I arrived home from work one day to be flagged down by my neighbour. His son had just cut the plain wire fence to release the leg of my weanling filly. She had severed the extensor tendon, broke her splint bone and sliced most of the flesh from the cannon bone.

    After a loooong recovery period that involved bandages for three months, she went back out in the paddock wearing sheepskin paddock boots on both hind legs. We had them made with a cotton top over a single layer of sheepskin so that they weren't to heavy. The skin at that stage being to fragile to leave open to the uv rays of a Qld summer.

    Fast track three years same horse damaged the deep digital tendon sheath, fast track another two years she developed an infection in the bone from a tiny scratch on the scar site of the first accident. All three on the same leg :(

    Today at the age of eleven she is sound and competes in dressage. She wears leg protection for every ride whether a schooling session on a dressage arena or a ride up the road.

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