Leg care for your horse is always important, but it becomes crucial when you begin competing since you’ll be regularly transporting your horse. Horse shipping boots and horse wraps can help protect your horse’s legs as you travel. In this post, we share when to consider using horse shipping boots and how to use them. And, of course, we also share a few top options that we carry here at The Farm House.
What Are Horse Shipping Boots?
Horse shipping boots are a kind of horse boot designed to protect a horse’s legs from trauma during transport if the horse scrambles a bit in the trailer during transportation or if they slip on a ramp or step when being loaded in or out. Horse shipping boots have a hard outer shell with a padded interior that closes around the leg using hook-and-loop fasteners. These straps allow for mobility around the knee and additional external protection for the leg. They generally start coverage over the horse’s knee, or sometimes the hock, and extend the length of the leg to the bottom of the hoof.
While horse shipping boots tend to be used during longer trips, it doesn’t always make sense to use them. Temperature can be a big factor in that decision. Both shipping boots and shipping wraps can cause overheating issues for your horse, since riding in a trailer requires some exertion for the horse to keep its balance. For comparison, think about the energy required when you’re surfing, trying to maintain your balance. It’s different, of course, but balancing is active work, and your horse can overheat from exerting that much energy throughout the ride while wearing wraps or boots.
Do You Need To Use Horse Shipping Boots?
Whether or not to use shipping boots is a decision you’ll need to make for yourself and your horse. Is your horse usually stable in a trailer? How does he or she manage shorter rides? Do you haul your horse frequently? Have you had any issues getting him or her in or out of the trailer? You may also want to talk with your veterinarian to gain their insights.
If you decide to use horse travel boots, be sure you get the right size and put them on correctly. Also, make sure to watch for signs of discomfort before and during the trip. Some horses can’t handle wearing the boots, so you need to be sure you’re not adding stress to the ride for your horse.
Horse Shipping Boots vs. Shipping Wraps
Shipping wraps are another form of leg protection for the horse. Shipping wraps have a padded inner lining of cotton batting or quilted pads that are wrapped around the legs. A polo wrap or another bandage is used around the padding. Horse shipping wraps cover the same area as shipping boots, but they aren’t as easy to use.
For shipping boots, you simply put them in place and pull the straps closed. For wraps, you need to place them carefully to ensure the quilted inner lining fits over the heel and coronary band (where the hoof meets the leg). You can risk injuring your horse’s tendons if you wrap them incorrectly, as this area is quite sensitive and prone to injury on some horses. In contrast, as long as boots are sized properly for the horse, there is less risk of injuring the horse’s tendons. Wraps require practice and skill to use and generally take two people to put into place. Horse boots can be used by one person easily.
Best Horse Shipping Boots
If you decide to get shipping boots for your horse, here are three great options.
These top-of-the-line shipping boots have a tough outer shell and very easy-to-use closure straps. The material is water-resistant and breathable, keeping your horse more comfortable in different types of weather. There is a PVC heel protector to keep your horse safe while transporting.
If you’re looking for a solid and protective boot at a mid-range price point, this Centaur may check off all your boxes. It has a tough outer material with classic styling, including strong hook-and-loop closures and PVC heel protectors.
Transport Your Horse Safely
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to horse care and safety for competitions. Shipping boots can be a great way to keep your horse safe and happy when you’re transporting him to shows and events.
If you have any questions about horse shipping boots, give us a call at 864-457-3557. We have many team members who compete and transport their horses regularly, so they have extensive experience and are always glad to help.
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