It depends on the shape of the hoof. The practitioner needs to know what boots work with what conformation of the hoof and horse. You can't know this unless you buy and experiment with different boots on different horses.
—Jessica Goonan, Goffstown, N.H.
Whatever seems to fit the horse the best. The Marquis boots are a unique design and will fit very snug.
—Laurie Tonita, Saskatoon, Sask.
Most of the time it's ease of getting the boot on the feet and cost on the owner's part. Some of it also relates to what the horse's job is which boot I recommend.
—Diane Saunders, Bristol, Vt.
I spend quite a bit of time consulting with the customer on their riding habits. I also look at the horses' conformation, their traveling issues, their feet (both before and after a trim) and I watch how the horse moves.
—Cheryl Swayne, Meriden, Kan.
Different brands and styles have different shapes - even if the numbers say they are the same. Often one brand will be all wrong for a given hoof shape. You need to have several types in stock.
As with human footwear, the size just doesn't give you the whole picture. You have to try them on. Also, different tread patterns suit different types of terrain - you have to know how the horse will be used.
—Pete Ramey, Lakemont, Ga.
I look at hoof shape, heel length and lower limb conformation.
—Gretchen Cardoso, Makawao, Hawaii
The Epics adjust well, so there is a smaller range of sizes you need to carry in stock.
—Cole Henderson, Victoria, British Columbia
It is either a soaking boot for soaking or to keep a foot dry, or an Old Mac's or similar for hoof protection.
—Phil Gendron, Plymouth, Mass.
Easy Care has a great site that explains all boots and usage at www.Easy Careinc.com.
Different boots are designed for different needs. Product knowledge is key.
—Shane A. Westman, Skagit Valley, Wash.
I pick the Delta boot, The Old Mac boot or the Davis Medicine boot and apply it for the job at hand. Cost of boot corresponds to how much the customer wants to spend.
—Mike DeLeonardo, Salinas, Calif.
The particular boot model is determined by what we are trying to accomplish. Boots meant for therapeutics, don't work well for hard use and vice versa. Riding boots may not offer enough support.
—Dean Moshier, Ostrander, Ohio
Boot fit is paramount. After that, a boot needs to provide adequate support for the job that is intended. Adequate traction is important, but too much is not good either. If it is helping cushion and support a laminitic foot, I like a softer insert with frog support.
—Shawn Pepper, Yorba Linda, Calif.
I usually I let the client decide because if they are not comfortable with it they won't get used. But I strongly suggest what's best for the horse. I will show them the Delta boot and how it works, but also tell them there are other boots out there. The Deltas are also good for those clients with arthritis in the hands or other difficulties getting boots on. Some boots are extremely difficult to get on.
—Trudy Uldrich, Blue Creek, Ohio
Best fit. Boot profile. Owner/rider preference.
—Jon Thomas, Scottsville, Ariz.