Bell boots are a horse’s first line of protection in opposition to their own sharp back feet. They wrap across the front hoofs and cover the vulnerable coronary band and heel bulbs, which are essential for preventing lacerations to those sensitive areas.
We regularly use bell boots when training our horses or for these prone to overreaching and injuring themselves. However not all horses need bell boots.
What’s the purpose of bell boots for horses?
Bell boots are protective equipment that attaches to the horse’s front feet. The bell boot serves two purposes for equestrians: it protects their horses’ from injury and prevents their back feet from hitting the horseshoes on their front ft and pulling them off.
After they run, some horses are likely to overreach and strike the front of their rear hoofs into the back of their front feet. The soft regions at the heel bulb and coronary band are most vulnerable to injury from this hitting.
What do bell boots protect?
The widespread area damaged is the heel bulb, coronary band, and lower pastern. Generally an overreach injury can be severe and cause permanent damage.
Heel bulbs are the region that most typically gets injured by overreaching. The heel bulb is the fleshy part of the rear part of a horse’s foot – proper above their hairline and beneath their pasterns.
A horse’s rear hoof can strike the heel bulb with such a force that it cuts by way of flesh and severely injure your horse, causing pain, swelling, and profuse bleeding. In some cases, horses develop long-lasting problems and lameness.
Probably the most critical accidents happen when a horse strikes into the back of its pastern. Higher up overreach injuries on the back of their leg may additionally end up with them in surgical procedure due to lacerating tendons or going into tendon sheath just above the fetlock area.
How do horses wear bell boots?
There are two main types of bell boots, pull-on and open bell boots with velcro closures. Pull-on boots are typically made of rubber and slide over your horse’s foot. They’re straightforward to clean and great for horses who need boots during flip-out and infrequently get their ft wet.
Fitting pull-on bell boots
Pull-on bell boots shouldn’t fit comfortable in your horse’s pastern but slightly be loose. If they’re tight, they will irritate the horse skin and rub it raw. To help stop chafing, some bell boots are fleece lined, which is good however fitting your boots accurately is still important.
Ideally, you have to be able to fit a finger between the top of the bell boot and your horse’s lower leg. However it is best to only be able to fit one finger because if the boots are too massive, they will slide off your horse’s foot. When your horse is standing on a flat surface, the back of the boot ought to almost touch the ground.
Most bell boots are available in 4 sizes: small, medium, large, and further-large. Typically Arabians and Quarter horses use medium, Thoroughbreds giant, and additional-giant fit Warmbloods. There’s a number of variation in producer sizing, so it’s finest to be safe and read reviews earlier than buying.
Putting pull-on bell boots in your horse.
Placing pull-on bell boots in your horse isn’t always simple and takes some practice. First, flip the bell boot inside out. Then lift your horse’s foot and put the bell boot on, starting on the backside of it.
As you place it on, pull hard to stretch it, work your way as much as where it is smaller, after which tug on it till you can fit your horse’s hoof through. Once it’s on, flip it down, and the boot is ready.
Flexible bell boots that stretch simply work best to get one of the best fit and are simpler to get over the horse’s hoof.
Placing on open bell boots
Placing on open bell boots on your horse is easy. You just wrap them around the horse’s hoof after which secure them with velcro straps. Some have a hook-and-loop closure so you possibly can adjust to fit totally different dimension feet.
Bell boots designed with velcro straps are typically more costly, but they prevent time getting them on and off, and most are made of sturdier materials than their pull-on counterparts.
How do you know if your horse wants bell boots?
A simple way to know if your horse would benefit from wearing bell boots is if they come back from working with scrapes or swelling on its heels. One other thing to look for is that if they’re consistently shedding shoes or steadily have loose shoes.
Bell boots help protect the shoes on your horse’s front toes from being pulled off when they’re hit by their back foot. This is widespread amongst some horses that have been turned out to play or ones running fast, but it can happen throughout other activities too!
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