To boot or not to boot? It's a question commonly asked among equestrians of all levels. Should I turn my horse out with boots on?
Whether hobby or professional, horses that are stabled, and not on 24 hour turnout are often more prone to field or paddock injuries. The excitement of going to the field is a thrill for stabled horses and it can often get a little wild or rough. This is not, in anyway a bad thing, horses need freedom. If you take a look at many of the worlds top riders, their horses are turned out daily. Horses need horse time!
So if you decide to boot for turning out it's important to take the following into consideration when choosing a turnout boot for your four legged friend.
- Avoid boots with buckles - simple Velcro straps are the best option as they allow you to fit the boot to each individual leg, minimising the risk of boots falling down and causing tripping.
- Avoid bandages - an unravelling bandage on a horses leg in the field is a disaster waiting to happen. With the large amount of turnout boots on the market today bandaging is not really necessary anymore. If you must use bandages, ensure they are secured with a second closing, such as tape.
- Breathability - ensure the boots used for turnout are breathable. There is nothing worse then unnecessarily overheating your horses tendons.
- Protection - If you're going to boot up, then use a boot that offers a significant amount of protection.
- Cheap is not always best - consider the boots you're purchasing as an investment. You're purchasing the boots to help prevent unnecessary injuries and therefore vet bills. If you purchase a pair of boots with the mindset "they're JUST for the field" you may end up with something that offers little protection and in fact does more damage by overheating your horses legs.
- Fit - ensure the boots you're using for turnout are properly fitted. You want to avoid boots slipping and twisting. Strong Velcro is the best option both for fit and security.
Our top turnout boot picks.
- 3D Spacer Turnout Boots - a brand new product on the market from Kentucky Horsewear is taking turnout boots to a new level. The 3D Spacer Turnout Boots have a special 3 layer design, with a large focus on the breathability.
- Turnout Boots Air - a natural sheepskin product from Zandona, these turnout boots have the advantage of offering genuine sheepskin, a natural breathing product, combined with a perforated outer for improved air flow.
Don't forget, an overreach boot is always a great preventative for overreach injuries that commonly occur on the field.