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Farriers may not exactly be lining up to stock their shoeing rigs with a hoof boot selection, but an informal survey indicates boots are gaining increasing acceptance among shoers — driven in part by customer demand.
Farriers who use hoof boots use them for many of the same reasons they use horseshoes: To provide protection, additional support, traction and in some therapeutic situations.
Hoof boots aren’t new, but if you haven’t looked at them in a while, you’re in for a surprise.
Boot makers are constantly bringing out new models. Visit websites of companies such as Easycare, Renegade and Cavallo, and you’ll see a wide variety of products, with many aimed at particular segments of the riding public.
Be forewarned that if you visit these websites, you’ll probably also note a more than passing connection with the natural hoof-care and barefoot movements.
That may not sit well with many farriers. Be that as it may, some riders and owners prefer boots, believing that they allow a more natural hoof action than a steel shoe. While you can argue the semantics of whether a booted horse is really barefoot, so long as some clients prefer boots, some farriers feel it makes sense to provide them. And even farriers who would prefer not to use them are better off knowing how to apply them…