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Hoof Boots & Leg Wraps Overview


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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How to Use Horse Hoof Boots
Your horse relies on the health of her hooves and legs. Her ability to support her weight, stand, move, walk, forage, gallop, and more rides on sound hooves and strong legs. But wounds and injuries can happen to even the best horse. Stumbles happen in the competition ring. Shoes are thrown while on the riding trail. Sharp thorns cut legs when turned out in the pasture.

Thankfully, there are a variety of boots and wraps available to help you prevent, respond to, and manage almost any leg wound or hoof injury. But making sense of all the bell, overreach, and splint boots - to name a few - can be confusing. The key, however, is to meld the function of each boot and wrap style with your personal preference in regards to design and features. Consult with your veterinarian and farrier if you have any questions regarding the use of boots and wraps on your horse.

Equine Boots and Wraps Defined
Horse hoof and leg protection has a long history. Archeologists have unearthed primitive leather horse sandals and iron shoes that date back thousands of years. Modern boots and wraps, however, are available in an array of styles, sizes, and materials. In addition, each design addresses a specific need when it comes to hoof and leg protection. The styles of boots and wraps include:

Hoof Bell Boots - Shield the hoof, coronet band, and bulb from cross-fire and interference injuries.
Emergency Hoof Boots - Compact, portable boots protect hooves in emergencies. HOOFix Emergency Trail Boots include five layers of cushion and a skid-resistant bottom to protect feet after a shoe is thrown.
Leg Protection Wraps - Padded support wraps for the lower legs. SMB II Sport Medicine Boots support leg bones, absorb hoof impact energy, and protect against injury. SMB Elite Boots feature a contoured cut for a better, more supportive fit.
Leg Wound Wraps - Large, all-purpose lower leg wraps deliver medicinal liniments to existing wounds and injuries. No-Bow Leg Wraps include a soft, quilted outer shell and sponge rubber lining for comfort and protection. Standing Leg Wraps easily stretch to help hold bandages and compression wraps in position.

Important Features of Boots and Wraps
The type of equine boot or leg wrap your horse will need may vary. Wraps that help protect her legs while she is turned out in the pasture are different than boots designed to soak a hoof in an Epsom Salt Poultice. Regardless of the style of hoof boot or leg wrap you choose, however, there are some key features to consider. The best boots and wraps should:

  Easily place and remove   Maintain your horse's natural gait
Quickly adjust and easily clean Breathe to prevent moisture buildup
Remain secure in any weather Offer adequate traction
Allow the hoof or leg to flex Cushion, but not rub or pressure, the hoof or leg
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