Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Boots or Shoes?

I will admit, I seriously considered competing in Easy Boots this year instead of having shoes put on John. He has really solid feet (they are hard - tough to break down etc) and the information I had heard and read from the barefoot movement really intrigued me. I thought I could leave him barefoot all season and just put the boots on the day before a ride and go. I knew he would need to be trimmed more often (every four weeks) but thought it might be worthwhile in the end.

My farrier was here Friday and I asked him. "Try it," he said. I told him I wanted to try the glue-ons - they don't touch above the coronary band at all. Since John had a problem with bell boots rubbing on a 15 mile training ride, this is essential.

Yesterday I got out my sizing chart and ruler that measures in millimeters. I measured all four of John's feet. Each hoof is a different size. Three hooves would require custom boots (none of the custom boots would be the same size either). One hoof, the right front, could wear a standard boot.

I called my farrier and made an appointment for shoes. While I still think boots might be a good idea, I'm not sure they are a good idea for this horse.


  1. I used to use boots on my horse that passed away last year. He had pretty good feet and didn't need shoes most of the time. I would use the boots about half the time just so I wouldn't wear his feet down too much. We used Easyboot Epics. I was lucky that his feet fit them perfectly. I was happy with them.

    My new horse has mishapen feet, and I doubt if I could get them to work. We are going to get shoes when he needs them.

    They are an ingenous idea, but dont work for everyone.

  2. Hey Judi - Sorry you lost your horse last year, I'm glad you have someone else to ride. I was bummed that I could not try the Easy Boots without a lot of extra effort (and custom made boots). The endurance riders have made a good name for them and I talked to some other people who are using boots and loving them. Sooner or later one of these horses will get to try them :)