What are the different types of leg wraps and boots that I can use on my horse and what are they used for? It is important to know that kind of leg support to offer your horse based on your discipline and how hard your horse is being worked. I put together this detailed guide to help horse owners navigate the world of horse boots and leg wraps as well as determine what boot is best for your horse.
What Are Boots? What Types Of Boots Are There?
Boots are protective pieces of equipment that offer support and protection to the horse’s leg in certain areas. There are several different types of boots made for horses including those for jumping, eventing, and travel, all of which can vary drastically in price. There are also leg wraps that many horse owners use to offer the horse padding and support. Sometimes leg wraps are paired with boots to offer maximum support and protection.
Bell boots, as you might guess, are in the shape of a bell. These boots fasten around the pastern and fall down covering the coronet and the top of the hoof in the front and cover nearly the entire back of the hoof.
These boots are common among all sports and disciplines in riding.
These boots are used to protect the horse’s front feet from getting knocked from behind by their hind feet. They also protect the horse’s coronet and hooves from other potential injury.
These boots are seen on the front and the back feet, often being used at the same time as other boots.
Fetlock boots are boots that cover and guard the fetlock joints against injury as well as offering them support. The fetlock acts as a horses suspension, so supporting this essential joint is important.
Fetlock boots are more commonly seen used on the hind legs while bigger more supportive boots are used on the front legs.
Open Front Tendon Boots
Open front tendon boots are used for nearly all sports and disciplines. They are very common in eventing and showjumping as they support the important tendons on the back of the horse’s front legs. These boots are often used on all four legs to offer overall support to the horse’s entire lower body.
These boots are are of the more expensive boots you can purchase. They are also the most commonly paired boots with polo wraps and bell boots.
Tendon boots are harder and stiffer than brushing boots and are already shaped to fit snugly on the horse’s fetlock and the back of the horse’s tendons.
Brushing boots look similar to tendon boots even though they are used for a different thing. Brushing boots are noticeably more bendable and flexible as compared to tendon boots.
The main purpose for these boots is basically to protect the legs from knocking, or brushing (hence the name) against things with their legs. These boots are essentially protective padding that keep the horse’s legs safe from injury.
Travel boots are boots that are used on horses to protect their legs when they are being put in a trailer for an extended period of time. In a trailer, horses may be standing for a long time and become impatient. Their impatience may cause them to paw or move their legs. In a cramped trailer a horse that is nervous may act up in fear and impatience, so having leg protection can be important to ensure the legs are not injured in a long trailer ride.
Stall boots, often called stable boots, are just thin padded boots to protect the horse’s legs during their time spent in a stall. Some horses may weave, paw, or pace out of boredom in their stalls so having an extra layer of padding can really aid in keeping the horse safe from harm or injury.
Hoof boots are kind of like shoes for horses. This boot completely encases the hoof and sometimes the pastern as well. The only time I have ever seen a horse using hoof boots is a horse at my first barn who was continuously foundering. The hoof boot was on her to support her feet to reduce the pain that founder can bring.
Fly boots are kind of like fly masks for a horse’s leg. They cover the cannon bone all the way down to the hoof and keep the flies off of the horse’s leg.
My horse Bronze had a minor cut on his lower leg that really attracted a lot of flies. I bought him fly boots to keep the area safe while he was healing and they worked great. They are really easy to put on and keep clean.
Bed Sore Boots
Bed sore boots are boots that pad the front of the fetlock right above the pastern. Horses can get bed sores by standing up and lying down on rough and hard surfaces. A bed sore is just a scrape on the front of the leg that gets rubbed on and hurt by the rough ground when they stand and lie down.
Most pairs of bedsore boots that I have seen are closed and padded in the front and open in the back.
Bronze, unfortunately, had bedsores as well caused by lying down to roll in the barnyard. I bought him a pair of bedsore boots to protect the injured and irritated area and they healed really fast! I recommend bedsore boots to any horse that had bedsores as my horse did. Keep the sore clean and the boots clean and they should heal in no time.
What Are Leg Wraps? What Types Of Leg Wraps Are There?
Leg wraps are usually a material that is padded and flexible that is wrapped around a horse’s leg. These are often paired with or are used instead of certain types of boots.
Polo wraps are wraps used for exercising horses. Polo wraps are seen being used when lunging a horse, in the dressage arena, in barrel racing, and more. Sometimes polo wraps are used for decoration.
These wraps are the next best thing to use if boots are not available to you as they still offer protection and support to your horse. I used polo wraps all the time on my horses because boots were just not in my budget and they worked great for me.
Standing wraps are another form of the stall or stable boots. Standing wraps are used to pad the horse’s leg. These wraps are sometimes used instead of travel boots to protect the horse’s legs in a trailer.
Which Are Cheaper?
It really depends on the quality, size, and condition of the boots or polo wraps, but usually, polo wraps are cheaper by a long stretch.
Polo wraps, on average, price at about $20 to $35 for a set of four wraps. When looking at boots, the cheapest pair I could find prices at $35. Almost all other quality pairs of boots reach well into the hundreds. Polo wraps usually will come in a set of four while boots usually come in a pair of two.
Where Can I Buy Boots And Wraps?
Boots and wraps can be found at any of your local tack and feed stores. You can also possibly find them in tack consignment stores or sold online.