Pictured Above: Dr. Albert Villasevil says proper sizing and maintenance as well as client comfort level will play a role in
determining the effectiveness of hoof boots.
Hoof boots are one of many useful tools available to hoof-care practitioners. But like most tools, they must be used properly and for the correct job to provide a positive outcome. I work mainly in Spain and find the most common mistakes are made by owners who are not used to hoof boots. Those can easily be avoided by working with a professional hoof-care provider, boot fitter, or experienced farrier who can serve as a guide and teacher.
Not all horses are candidates for hoof boots. In my experience, those I have found to experience positive results from their use are those that show hypersensitivity due to one of the following:
- Removal of horseshoes due to tissue atrophy and deformation.
- Metabolic problems (obesity, metabolic syndrome, unbalanced fat to muscle ratio, etc.).
- Bad quality of the hoof horn resulting from nutrient deficiency, lack of movement/stimulation, exposure to unclean surfaces and hoof infections.
- Exposure to a new surface that is more difficult than the one that they are
accustomed to (for example, they live on hard compacted sand and have to work/be ridden over rocky terrain).
- Mechanical problems resulting from an acute injury like strains in the flexor tendons (superficial or profound/deep) or in a collateral ligament (medial or lateral of different joints but mainly of the lower leg).
- Mechanical problems resulting from chronic situations…