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Guide To Selecting Hoof Boots

Guide To Selecting Hoof Boots
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Manufacturer: URBAN HORSE
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Urban Horse's Guide To Selecting Which Hoof Boots Are Best For Your Horse / Pony:

Once you have determined the width and length of the hooves, decide using the information below which shape most closely describes them. From the information given, you will find recommendations for the horses hoof shape, but if your horse is between shapes, or has one hoof one shape and one the other, look at as many recommended hoof boots as possible and choose the hoof boots that most closely fit the hooves. It is important to always work on the largest size given, do not try to squeeze a hoof into a boot that has a shorter length or narrower width, the size must accommodate (or exceed) both measurements.

You are aiming for a close as fit as possible for both the width and length of the hooves. If the feet are very different and not a pair, try to choose boots that accommodate both hooves adequately, and not one that fits one hoof perfectly to the detriment of the other. Ideally, the length and width measurement will fit into the same size. If the length and width measurements indicate different sizes of a particular style, select the larger size or look for an alternative. If the width and length measurements are different by more than one size, that particular boot style is not recommended.

The size charts on all hoof boots are a guide but can vary in practice. We fully advise that for the Scoot / Easyboot Glove / Back Country / Glove or Back Country WIDES the fit kits are really recommended to be able to truly see the correct size of hoof boot required. 

1. The round hoof or nearly round hoof (hoof length less than 5mm shorter or longer than width measurement)
The round hoof, of hoof that is very slightly (up to 5mm) longer than it is wide is one of the most common front hoof shapes found in horses kept in the UK. Front feet are designed to bear approx. 60% of the horses weight, which produces a slightly larger, rounder bearing surface than hind feet which tend to be more concave and shovel shaped in appearance.

This hoof shape is normally best suited to a Scoot, Equine Fusion Regular, Explora, Swiss Galopper, Old Mac G2, Trail, Glove WIDE or Cavallo Trek Regular. It is important to try and get a close width fitting, and the shortest break over possible. An Scoot, Equine Fusion Regular, Old Mac G2, Trail, Explora, Swiss Galopper, Cavallo Trek Regular or a Glove WIDE will often be the most suitable, as they are sized every 5mm allowing fairly precise fitting. A hoof measuring 140mm width x 140mm length for example would fit nicely into an Old Mac G2 size 7 as the width would be a close fit with only 5mm excess toe length. Equine Fusions are also very good for horses that have a round hoof with a well developed heel or under run heels too.

2. The wider than long hoof (hoof more than 5mm wider than it is long)
The wider than long hoof is a common front foot shape amongst breeds such as the Draught or other Native UK breeds. The most modern hoof boots do not fit this shape well, as it is a more unusual shape. If the horse has measurements giving the width at more than 5mm greater than the length, the only suitable hoof boots are the Scoot, Glove WIDE or Cavallo Trek Regular. Any other hoof boot will have excessive toe length, which slows the horses break over and potentially causes a higher incidence of boot loss through overreaching and treading the boot off.

3. The longer than wide hoof (hoof approx 6mm - 15mm longer than width measurement)
The longer than wide hoof tends to be the most common hoof shape. All the following hoof boots cater for this, namely the Entire EasyCare range, Explora, Swiss Galopper, Cavallo Trek Slim and and the Equine Fusion Slim range too. Again it is important to get as tight a width fitting as possible, and can be especially important with hind feet as a lot of horse have a tendency to screw their hind feet slightly which can cause the boots to twist in use if the boot is not gripping the hoof sufficiently well.

4. The excessively longer than wide hoof (hoof 16mm + longer than width measurement)
Some more extreme hind feet and occasionally the front feet of a navicular, laminitic or neglected hoof can be very much longer than wide. Once the measurements become more extreme, a compromise is often required. Equine Fusion Slims, Explora, Swiss Galopper, Cavallo Trek Slims or the Old Mac G2 / Trail is usually the best option, inserts are usually required to take up the excess width and keep the boot in place. A hoof width 129mm x 154mm length for example would need a size 9 Old Mac G2 with inserts, even though the width is really better suited to a size 5. The only time this will not work successfully is a narrow chested pony or small horse, as the boots will be too wide for the horse to cope with and will potentially brush or knock themselves.

Quick Summary:

  1. Choose a hoof boot that fit’s the shape and size of your horses feet, not just the one you like the look of! This is the most important rule for successful booting of barefoot horses.
  2. If you have to compromise with sizes, try to make sure the width is as tight as possible (but within the measurement guide) to grip the hoof, and keep the break over as short as possible.
  3. Don’t choose a boot that is just too short and hope it will be OK, it is almost certain to give your horse sore heels!
  4. Every hoof boot has its merits, but will not perform well if it is the wrong size/shape or incorrectly fitted. If you have problems, recheck sizes and the settings it is being used on to make sure it really is the best one for your horses foot shape and size. If in doubt please contact us - or tel - 01434 422700
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