Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hoof Boots; The Story Continues

I’ll make this brief because frankly, it's getting boring to even post about and I am just so frustrated with the booting situation with my horse. The Epics came in yesterday and while the width fit was much improved from the Glove, the boot itself was coming up way too high on the hoof, rubbing the coronet band. The sides of the boot where the screw holds the gaiter on also seemed to be in a position in which it would rub him. His foot seemed to sit too far down in the boot overall. We tried the 0 size, which was intended for his hinds , and that was way too small in width. Couldn’t even get the latch to go down. To add, JB let me know right away that it was uncomfortable to him by pawing and picking his hoof and holding it up. He definitely didn’t like the way the 0 size was feeling. I didn’t get to the hind feet as we ran out of daylight but tonight I might try the 1’s and insert the pads from his shoeing last fall. They are about ¼ inch in thickness.

It seems to me that this line of boots are simply not made for a small , round wide hoof. While JB’s hoof angle still needs improving, there isn’t much I can do about the size and natural shape of his hoof. Boots may never be an option for him.

All of this may end up being a moot point after Friday. You may recall JB had some serious issues with a sole bruise last August/September that I posted here.

Last fall, JB was put in therapeutic shoes /pads for 8 weeks, then barefoot for the winter as usual. Over the winter our job was to keep him trimmed and trimmed frequently, focusing on getting his heels back (tendency to slide forward) increase his sole depth, and get a better heel first landing by balancing his weight bearing points.After 6 months, the wanted to xray him again to see progress. Tomorrow is JB’s follow up appt to see where we are with everything. My suspicion is that while we have made several improvements in his feet, we probably need a few more months of concerted effort to get to where he needs to be.


ellescee said...


How frustrating! I'm so sorry, there's nothing as frustrating as dealing with horse fitting issues, whether it be hoof or saddle. Keep on truckin', I'm sure you'll eventually find something.

Something to consider--have you thought about trying the renegade glue ons or modifying the easyboots to fit him a bit better?

There's nothing wrong with shoeing, either, if the boot route (ha ha, it rhymes) doesn't work.

Keep your chin up!


All Who Wander said...

If the boot is coming up above the coronet in the front I'm thinking you can trim that down a little.

I have a good fit on Phebes left front with the O's but the right front is a tad wider and let me tell you some grunting, growling, and cursing went into getting that boot on. I'm considering cutting out the heel strap in that one to give us a little more wiggle room.

You can also remove the covers on the teeth and hammer those things FLAT. That will give you a little more width.

Also, check out Bonnie's Better Built Boots. I talked to her at convention and was really tempted to go that direction. To size for her boots you set the hoof down on a piece of cardboard, draw around the hoof with a marker, then draw around the heel bulbs with the marker. She said that if the hoof is wider than long (like Phebes) then go with Width for the size. The website is not fully operational yet. The boots come with an inner bell boot included and run about $48 each. If the bottoms wear you can send them back to be re-surfaced or re-strapped. The boots are called

I sure wish someone would jump onto the Barefoot Horse Band Wagon and shape a line of boots that mimic the barefoot horse. It boggles my mind that most of the boots are still be fashioned for a farrier trim with long hooves instead of the compact roundness of the natural hoof.

*sigh* Enough of my ranting...~E.G.

Jonna said...

Ellescee- thanks for the advice. I am going to try some things this weekend for modifications. I thought about the glue ons but I am not so sure I want to get into that. I am not against shoeing as that is what I have traditionally done. Just likes the idea of keeping him barefoot.

EG- again- thanks for the advice and the other boot info. I thought about cutting the tongue. I will have to see how much I will have to cut. I agree about the barfoot band wagon. I thought that is what these boots were all about but have come to the same conclusion about what type of feet they are intended for.
BTW- I don't mind the ranting- I agree!