How to Select and Fit Bell Boots

Bell boots, generally called overreach boots, cover a horse’s front toes from the pastern over the coronary band and the hoof wall down to the heel. Bell boots provide protection from interference from the hind ft, which can overreach or clip the entrance feet throughout driving or turnout. Overreaching causes injury as the hind toes strike the tender heel bulbs of the front ft, or because the hind ft step on the backs of the entrance shoes and loosen or pull them off. In case your horse tends to lose shoes in turnout, or finishes a ride with dirt marks, scrapes or bruises on his heels or pasterns, he might benefit from wearing bell boots.

Bell boots also provide protection to the coronary band during activities in which a horse might tend to step on its own feet, reminiscent of during lungeing or trucking if shipping bandages don’t cover the horse’s pasterns or heels. Bell boots should always be placed on a horse when horseshoe studs are in place, and could also be crucial for a horse wearing corrective shoeing.

In some cases, bell boots may be useful when placed on a horse’s hind feet, akin to on a horse that tends to lose its hind shoes or that develops clip marks or abrasions above the coronary band on its hind feet. Properly fitted bell boots can quickly lessen these problems, but a farrier must be consulted for a more everlasting resolution.

Bell Boot Types

Pull-on bell boots are considered by some riders, particularly these doing rigorous bounce programs, to provide the greatest measure of security in opposition to the bell boot coming off during a ride. They also provide the greatest level of protection because the boots don’t have any opening to expose an space of the heel or pastern. Pull-on bell boots might be slightly difficult to pull on and take off, so many riders favor open bell boots with hook and loop closures for convenience.

Open bell boots are easy to put on and take off because they merely wrap across the hoof and shut in place with hook and loop fasteners. Care must be taken to make sure that the ends of the open sides of the boot meet to completely protect the hoof wall, and that the hook and loop fasteners are kept clean and intact so that the boots shut securely.

Within these two essential kinds, you will discover that the mainity of bell boots on the market rotate freely as the horse moves. Most horses don’t mind wearing bell boots, and rotation does not pose a problem. Nonetheless, some sensitive horses, comparable to these prone to chafing or these participating in rigorous activity, might benefit from a no-turn style.

No-turn bell boots, such because the Professional’ s Selection Ballistic Overreach Boots, provide a molded space on the interior of the boot that rests towards the back of the pastern just above the bulbs of the heel— this design prevents the boot from turning. It places the hook-and-loop closure on the entrance of the boot to ensure full protection on the back of the boot. A second no-flip design includes a pliable pull-on style that conforms to the hoof and heel bulbs for protection, such as the Acavallo No-Turn Bell Boots.

Bell Boot Materials

Understanding how numerous supplies are fashioned into bell boot kinds will show you how to select one of the best boot on your horse. Materials are waterproof or water-repellant and offer varying degrees of durability.

Gum – Traditional gum rubber bell boots, such because the Easy-Stretch Bell Boots are very lightweight and stretchy, and have a attribute caramel color. Gum bell boots are generally available in pull-on fashion, and within that fashion some have double thickness on the bottom for added power against tearing. If your horse is extraordinarily hard on bell boots, you could discover that heavier rubber bell boots or PVC bell boots last longer.

Tip: When utilizing gum rubber pull-on bell boots, turn them inside out and hold the underside rim while pulling the boot over the toe of the hoof. When the upper rim reaches the pastern, flip the bell boot down, right side out. In the event you discover the bell boots are tough to stretch over the hoof, soak them in warm water and they’ll grow to be more pliable.

Rubber – Rubber bell boots, such because the Equi-Stretch Ribbed Bell Boots, are slightly heavier than gum boots. Rubber bell boots are available in both open and closed styles, and because rubber could be dyed you will discover them in many shiny and traditional colors. Consider a Fleece-Lined Bell Boot with synthetic fleece lining for a horse with sensitive skin, however be sure to keep the fleece clean and dry for max effectiveness.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) – Heavy-duty PVC is a tough, artificial material that’s molded into bell boots with double-locking hook and loop closures, as may be seen with the Davis Bell Boots. Like rubber bell boots, PVC boots come in a wide range of both conservative and enjoyable colors. PVC may be a superb option on your horse if you’re looking for economical boots with sturdy sides to deflect hoof strikes.

Nylon – Several kinds of no-turn bell boots are made of nylon, a particularly durable and lightweight material. An instance of this type of boot is the Professional’s Selection Ballistic Overreach Boot, which has a really dense middle designed to soak up impact and a soft nylon lining.

Neoprene – Some boot manufacturers incorporate neoprene, a soft, versatile and resilient materials, into their bell boots for comfort towards the horse. For example, Back on Track Bell Boot pair a pretend leather exterior with neoprene interior, and Eskadron provides the Pikosoft Bell Boot with a strong suede-like material on the outside and a neoprene lining.

Open Cell Foam – Strong synthetic outer shell lined with open cell foam, a lightweight and breathable material that disperses shock and heat. Because the horse wears these bell boots, its body heat warms the foam and allows it to mold to the horse to help absorb impact.

Carbon-fiber – Horses that are extremely hard on bell boots while engaged in vigorous jumping activity might benefit from bell boots such because the Woof Kevlar Overreach Bell Boots which incorporate carbon fiber strike pads. Carbon fiber is lightweight but extremely sturdy to offer a high level of impact protection.

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