"It is not failure to boot your horse or mule! "
More on Transitioning to Barefoot using Equine Boots
boots can do most everything a steel shoe does and much more. Boots
also protect the entire sole, heel bulbs and the rest of the foot
from injury, all without compromising the general health of the foot!
When the horse or mule isn't ridden in an environment that requires
protection, they are barefoot, as nature intended. It is not "failure"
to boot your equines hooves. You should not be embarrassed to ride
in boots. Booting your horse or mules when you go for a ride on tough
terrain is the safest, most humane way to protect their feet. Boots
are used for hoof therapy in addition to riding. Hoof boots, if fitted
properly, are easy to put on and remove. MYTH - horses need shoes
for traction. Nothing could be further from the truth. A hoof is
designed to carry a horse or mule over all types of terrain, be it
rocks, dirt, gravel, snow or ice. What about that bald faced rock
you rode over, the shoes slid & your
butt puckered! A bare hoof with a proper barefoot trim, a healthy
frog and a deep concave sole will provide all the traction needed
and as God intended it to be. You might worry about the animals hooves
being chipped, broken or otherwise ruined if you ride that animal
over rocky terrain without shoes. Once a horses' feet have healed
from the damage done by shoes or neglect, the hooves will harden
to meet their everyday environment.
Note: if your horse or mule lives on pasture or other soft ground
and you want to take your horse or mule for a trail ride on rocky
ground, you may have to boot the hooves for protection. Read more
about how you can condition the hooves in the section on "Diet
& Environment". A healthy bare hoof adapts to its environment.
Equine boots today come with gaiters or pastern wraps that wrap around the
pastern to prevent loosing a boot, while also protecting the lower leg and helping
to keep out debris.
I am an authorized dealer for EasyCare,
Inc. and can offer discounts off retail prices. This includes
the Original EasyBoot, EasyBoot Epic, EasyBoot Bare, Old
Mac (original and G2), Boa, Grip and Soaker boots.
UPDATE ON BUCKSHOT AND WHAT HE'S WEARING FOR 2008 - Posted
EasyCare is correct in that the Bare Bungee system on a boot is a little more
difficult to put on than a cable/buckle system.
After using the Bares for a while during the summer/fall of 2007,
I noticed some twisting of the boot on the hoof after riding.
I think that because the mule
hoof is cylinder shaped as compared to the horses hoof shape
being more conically shaped, that the BUNGEE fastening system
may not be the best solution for booting mules. I like the Cable-Up
Buckle method of securing the boot to the hoof. There are no
pulleys to possibly malfunction. I also like having only one
length of cable to either side of the buckle with risk to catching
on something. The cable also seems to lay flatter against the
boot surface. Again, this is just my particular preference and
observations. Each animal is different in their needs and shape
of the hoof. During the transitioning phase from shod to natural,
the hoof will most certainly
change in varying aspects depending upon the condition of the
hoof prior to regularly scheduled natural hoof care. The customized
boot shown in the above photo is courtesy of EasyCareInc.com's custom
ordering tool. These pics are of the customized boot combination
that I'm currently testing on our mules. Riding season will be
here soon and I'm looking forward to using them on my mule. My
husband used this system on his mule last year and said he preferred
the the up-buckle to the original buckle with pulleys. So from
Bares, to customized Bares, the trials continue. Oh yeah, DON'T
FORGET THE COMFORT PADS. In my personal opion, you should NOT
use the boots without the pads. We could get into the perfusion
of blood throughout the hoof here, but I won't. Pads provide a more
even distribution of weight across the hoof than the hoof just
resting on the walls in the bottom of the boot. Yes, these boots
flex, especially with the weight of the animal on them, but,
you just can't beat putting a pad in them for the comfort for
the animal and stimulation of proper hoof mechanism.
Boot fitting is at no charge when you purchase of a pair of hoof boots from me. Equine boots have improved greatly over the years, though they are not yet perfect for every horse or mule. We will determine what size is needed and I will adjust the boots to fit a specific horse or mule. If I do not have the boots you need in stock, they can be ordered.
Please click on the boot names below and you will be taken directly to the EasyCare
website for detailed information on each boot. Click on the images below
to launch a larger image.