Methods to Choose and Fit Bell Boots

Bell boots, sometimes called overreach boots, cover a horse’s front feet 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 ft during riding or turnout. Overreaching causes injury as the hind toes strike the tender heel bulbs of the entrance feet, or because the hind feet step on the backs of the front shoes and loosen or pull them off. If your horse tends to lose shoes in turnout, or finishes a ride with dirt marks, scrapes or bruises on his heels or pasterns, he could benefit from wearing bell boots.

Bell boots also provide protection to the coronary band throughout activities in which a horse may are inclined to step on its own ft, equivalent to throughout lungeing or trucking if shipping bandages do not cover the horse’s pasterns or heels. Bell boots ought to always be placed on a horse when horseshoe studs are in place, and may be crucial for a horse wearing corrective shoeing.

In some instances, bell boots could also be useful when placed on a horse’s hind ft, corresponding 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, however a farrier should be consulted for a more everlasting resolution.

Bell Boot Styles

Pull-on bell boots are considered by some riders, particularly these doing rigorous leap courses, to provide the greatest measure of security against the bell boot coming off throughout a ride. In addition they provide the greatest level of protection as the boots don’t have any opening to show an area of the heel or pastern. Pull-on bell boots might be slightly challenging to drag on and take off, so many riders favor open bell boots with hook and loop closures for convenience.

Open bell boots are straightforward to placed on and take off because they merely wrap across the hoof and close in place with hook and loop fasteners. Care should 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 important kinds, you will find that the majority of bell boots on the market rotate freely because the horse moves. Most horses do not mind wearing bell boots, and rotation does not pose a problem. Nonetheless, some sensitive horses, corresponding to those prone to chafing or these participating in rigorous activity, may benefit from a no-turn style.

No-flip bell boots, such because the Professional’ s Selection Ballistic Overreach Boots, provide a molded area on the interior of the boot that rests in opposition to 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 front of the boot to ensure full protection at the back of the boot. A second no-flip design includes a pliable pull-on fashion that conforms to the hoof and heel bulbs for protection, such as the Acavallo No-Flip Bell Boots.

Bell Boot Supplies

Understanding how varied supplies are fashioned into bell boot types will make it easier to choose the most effective boot for your horse. Materials are waterproof or water-repellant and provide various degrees of durability.

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

Tip: When using gum rubber pull-on bell boots, flip them inside out and hold the bottom rim while pulling the boot over the toe of the hoof. When the higher rim reaches the pastern, flip the bell boot down, right side out. If you happen to find the bell boots are difficult to stretch over the hoof, soak them in warm water they usually’ll turn into more pliable.

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

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

Nylon – A number of kinds of no-turn bell boots are made of nylon, an especially durable and lightweight material. An example of this type of boot is the Professional’s Choice Ballistic Overreach Boot, which has a very dense middle designed to absorb impact and a soft nylon lining.

Neoprene – Some boot producers incorporate neoprene, a soft, flexible and resilient materials, into their bell boots for comfort in opposition to 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 robust suede-like materials on the outside and a neoprene lining.

Open Cell Foam – Sturdy 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 froth and permits it to mold to the horse to assist absorb impact.

Carbon-fiber – Horses which can be extraordinarily hard on bell boots while engaged in vigorous leaping activity may benefit from bell boots such as the Woof Kevlar Overreach Bell Boots which incorporate carbon fiber strike pads. Carbon fiber is lightweight however extraordinarily strong to supply a high level of impact protection.

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