Bell Boots – How to Use Them on Your Horses

Bell boots are a horse’s first line of protection against their own sharp back feet. They wrap across the front hoofs and cover the vulnerable coronary band and heel bulbs, which are crucial for stopping lacerations to these sensitive areas.

We regularly use bell boots when training our horses or for those prone to overreaching and injuring themselves. But not all horses need bell boots.

What’s the purpose of bell boots for horses?

Bell boots are protective equipment that attaches to the horse’s entrance feet. The bell boot serves purposes for equestrians: it protects their horses’ from injury and prevents their back feet from hitting the horseshoes on their front feet and pulling them off.

Once they run, some horses are inclined to overreach and strike the entrance of their rear hoofs into the back of their entrance feet. The soft regions on the heel bulb and coronary band are most prone to injury from this hitting.

What do bell boots protect?

The frequent area damaged is the heel bulb, coronary band, and decrease pastern. Sometimes an overreach injury can be extreme and cause everlasting damage.

Heel bulbs are the area that almost all typically gets injured by overreaching. The heel bulb is the fleshy part of the rear section of a horse’s foot – right above their hairline and under their pasterns.

A horse’s rear hoof can strike the heel bulb with such a force that it cuts by means of flesh and severely injure your horse, inflicting pain, swelling, and profuse bleeding. In some cases, horses develop long-lasting problems and lameness.

Probably the most severe injuries occur when a horse strikes into the back of its pastern. Higher up overreach accidents on the back of their leg might also end up with them in surgical procedure because of lacerating tendons or going into tendon sheath just above the fetlock area.

How do horses wear bell boots?

There are primary types of bell boots, pull-on and open bell boots with velcro closures. Pull-on boots are typically made of rubber and slide over your horse’s foot. They’re straightforward to clean and nice for horses who need boots during turn-out and often get their toes wet.

Fitting pull-on bell boots

Pull-on bell boots shouldn’t fit snug in your horse’s pastern but somewhat be loose. If they’re tight, they’ll irritate the horse skin and rub it raw. To assist prevent chafing, some bell boots are fleece lined, which is good however fitting your boots accurately is still important.

Ideally, you have to be able to fit a finger between the top of the bell boot and your horse’s decrease leg. However you need to only be able to fit one finger because if the boots are too giant, they will slide off your horse’s foot. When your horse is standing on a flat surface, the back of the boot should nearly touch the ground.

Most bell boots are available in four sizes: small, medium, giant, and extra-large. Typically Arabians and Quarter horses use medium, Thoroughbreds giant, and further-giant fit Warmbloods. There is a number of variation in manufacturer sizing, so it’s greatest to be safe and read reviews before buying.

Putting pull-on bell boots on your horse.

Placing pull-on bell boots on your horse isn’t always easy and takes some practice. First, turn the bell boot inside out. Then lift your horse’s foot and put the bell boot on, starting at the bottom of it.

As you put it on, pull hard to stretch it, work your way up to where it is smaller, after which tug on it till you can fit your horse’s hoof through. Once it’s on, flip it down, and the boot is ready.

Flexible bell boots that stretch simply work best to get the perfect fit and are simpler to recover from the horse’s hoof.

Placing on open bell boots

Placing on open bell boots on your horse is easy. You just wrap them across the horse’s hoof after which safe them with velcro straps. Some have a hook-and-loop closure so you may adjust to fit totally different measurement feet.

Bell boots designed with velcro straps are typically more costly, however they save you time getting them on and off, and most are made of sturdier materials than their pull-on counterparts.

How do you know in case your horse wants bell boots?

A straightforward way to know if your horse would benefit from wearing bell boots is if they arrive back from working with scrapes or swelling on its heels. Another thing to look for is if they are continuously dropping shoes or regularly have loose shoes.

Bell boots help protect the shoes on your horse’s front toes from being pulled off when they’re hit by their back foot. This is widespread amongst some horses which have been turned out to play or ones running fast, but it can happen throughout other activities too!

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