Leg Protection for Performance Horses: A Guide on Leg Wraps and Boots

Leg Protection for Performance Horses: A Guide on Leg Wraps and Boots

What is the best type of horse leg protection for you? When is this device needed? The risk of getting leg injuries will always be present during travel, exercise, competition, or even turnout. People ask a lot out of their pet horses. That is why they need to protect their prized athletes by using a protective device known as horse boots and wraps. 

The front shanks of horses carry about 60% of their weight; the hind legs, on the other hand, bear the rest, and it provides impulsion and power. Below the hock and knees, the leg consists of cartilage, ligaments, bone, and tendon – there is no muscle. All four legs absorb significant impact. Aside from offering tons of protection to the animal’s lower leg structure, wraps and shoes help minimize hoof damage and shank injury from ground debris and various injuries. 

Should owners boot their horses?

The market for devices like wraps and horse boots is forever growing. The different choices can make your mind spin like a top. Shopping for these things can be tricky, even confusing, simply because of the various brands’ different names given to boots. 

For enthusiasts, the brand becomes the product’s selling point. Even seasoned professionals will have questions from time to time. If a person has not yet had experience with these things, it is never too late to know everything there is to know about wraps and horse boots. By knowing how these things work, owners and riders can assess whether it is good to put boots on their horses.

How to take care of your pet’s foot? Check out this site to find out more.

How is leg protection made?

Although the purpose, as well as the basic types of boots, have not really changed since its conception, innovative materials and designs have greatly improved shank protection as far as convenience and efficiency are concerned. People can find boots made of leather, synthetic materials like Kevlar, neoprene, or plastic, rubber, and memory foam, both gel and felt versions. 

For most enthusiasts, the closure and fastening system of the device is very important. For example, it may be fitted with a buckle and strap, stud and hook, loop and hook closure, tab closures, or even fitted using Velcro straps, usually elastic. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. 

For instance, the buckle and strap closure works pretty well when boots fit well, even after being stretched because of constant use; with Velcro, the device can always be tightened to the leg. That is why the choice of brand and material determines the design, price, and closure system. Then it boils down to personal preference, budget, and convenience. 

Types of leg protection for riding and schooling, and what they do

Splint or brushing

A splint and brushing boots are different names for the same device. They are also known as galloping boots. These things can be used on the hind and front shanks, as well as provide the best protection for the animal that interferes, either behind or in front. Brushing or splint prevents abrasions and contact injuries caused when one foot accidentally hits or brushes against the opposite foot during riding work or exercise. 

This thing offers protection during disciplines and lunging where the animal is maneuvering and moving at speed. Splints have fortified padding along the inside. The front part covers from below the knee and ends below the fetlock or the ankle joint. The hind bushing foot protection is a bit longer to protect the cannon bone of the back leg. Most leather brushing devices have strap and buckle fastenings. 

They are a lot tougher compared to most synthetic ones but need cleaning, occasional stitching, and oiling to maintain their good condition. Artificial splints are held in place using Velcro straps, usually with elastic, and some fasten using buckles and loops. They are easily cleaned, washed, and very light in weight.

Check out https://us.streamz-global.com/blogs/articles/where-is-the-fetlock-on-a-horse-symptoms-causes-treatments-streamz-global to know more about how to identify the horse’s fetlock.

Leg Protection for Performance Horses: A Guide on Leg Wraps and Boots

Performance, Sport, and Sports Medicine Boots

The popularity of these things is soaring. Along with protecting the front and hind shank from various contact injuries, the purpose of these devices is to help support the back, and the front foot, including the fetlock and pastern, as well as help, protect against suspensory injuries, muscle sprains, and hypertension. They are usually worn with bell-foot protectors.

Bell and overreach

These things are one and the same. A popular form of leg protection, their primary purpose is to minimize or prevent overreaching injuries caused by the toes of hind feet striking into heels or coronet of the front feet. Overreaching can also cause the animal to step on the back of horseshoes. 

It can lead to loose shoes and possible damages to hoof walls. The bell foot protector acts as a protective shell, covering the pastern of the hoof. Some rubber bells can be tougher to stretch over and tug the hoof than others, but they will stay put once they are on. 

Some brands are now made with loop Velcro and handy hook closures. Once in a while, rubber bell foot protectors flip up. Petal overreach horseshoes have a series of petals or movable plastic sections connected to straps fitted around the horse’s coronet. 

These things are less likely to flip up because of their design. Leather bell shoes are usually lined with fleece and fastened using buckles and straps. Durable synthetic bell shoes have Velcro closures and come in different colors – convenient and easy to take off and put on. When wearing these shoes, wrapping a horse’s leg with a bandage is imperative to avoid injuries from the shoes.

Tendon shoes

These things are fitted to the animal’s front lower shank. It prohibits the hind foot from striking the foot’s tendons at the back of the animal’s lower front legs. It is taller than the brushing foot protector and reaches from fetlock joints and up high enough to help cover tendons without hindering the animal’s shank action. 

If the shoe is made of leather, these things are usually sheepskin-lined and fasted with buckles and straps. Synthetic ones are padded and are a lot cheaper, as well as easier to clean. It is fastened with a clip and strap, buckles, or a secure click fastening.

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