The way to Select and Fit Bell Boots

Bell boots, typically called overreach boots, cover a horse’s front toes from the pastern over the coronary band and the hoof wall down to the heel. Bell boots provide protection from interference from the hind toes, which can overreach or clip the entrance feet during driving or turnout. Overreaching causes injury because the hind toes strike the tender heel bulbs of the front feet, or because the hind toes step on the backs of the front shoes and loosen or pull them off. In case your horse tends to lose shoes in turnout, or finishes a ride with dust marks, scrapes or bruises on his heels or pasterns, he may benefit from wearing bell boots.

Bell boots additionally provide protection to the coronary band throughout activities in which a horse could are likely to step on its own toes, equivalent to throughout lungeing or trucking if shipping bandages do not cover the horse’s pasterns or heels. Bell boots ought to always be positioned on a horse when horseshoe studs are in place, and could also be needed for a horse wearing corrective shoeing.

In some situations, bell boots could also be useful when placed on a horse’s hind toes, similar to on a horse that tends to lose its hind shoes or that develops clip marks or abrasions above the coronary band on its hind feet. Properly fitted bell boots can quickly lessen these problems, but a farrier must be consulted for a more permanent resolution.

Bell Boot Styles

Pull-on bell boots are considered by some riders, particularly those doing rigorous jump programs, to provide the greatest measure of security in opposition to the bell boot coming off during a ride. Additionally they provide the greatest level of protection because the boots have no opening to reveal an space of the heel or pastern. Pull-on bell boots may be slightly challenging to tug on and take off, so many riders favor open bell boots with hook and loop closures for convenience.

Open bell boots are simple to placed on and take off because they simply wrap across the hoof and shut in place with hook and loop fasteners. Care ought to be taken to make sure that the ends of the open sides of the boot meet to completely protect the hoof wall, and that the hook and loop fasteners are kept clean and intact in order that the boots shut securely.

Within these fundamental kinds, you will discover that the foremostity of bell boots on the market rotate freely because the horse moves. Most horses don’t mind wearing bell boots, and rotation doesn’t pose a problem. Nonetheless, some sensitive horses, akin to those prone to chafing or those participating in rigorous activity, could benefit from a no-turn style.

No-turn bell boots, such because the Professional’ s Choice Ballistic Overreach Boots, offer a molded space on the interior of the boot that rests towards the back of the pastern just above the bulbs of the heel— this design prevents the boot from turning. It places the hook-and-loop closure on the entrance of the boot to ensure full protection at the back of the boot. A second no-turn design contains a pliable pull-on type that conforms to the hoof and heel bulbs for protection, such because the Acavallo No-Turn Bell Boots.

Bell Boot Materials

Understanding how various materials are fashioned into bell boot types will help you choose the best boot in your horse. Supplies are waterproof or water-repellant and provide varying degrees of durability.

Gum – Traditional gum rubber bell boots, such as the Easy-Stretch Bell Boots are very lightweight and stretchy, and have a characteristic caramel color. Gum bell boots are typically available in pull-on model, and within that style some have double thickness on the backside for added power towards tearing. If your horse is extremely hard on bell boots, you could find that heavier rubber bell boots or PVC bell boots last longer.

Tip: When using gum rubber pull-on bell boots, flip them inside out and hold the bottom rim while pulling the boot over the toe of the hoof. When the higher rim reaches the pastern, flip the bell boot down, right side out. Should you discover the bell boots are difficult to stretch over the hoof, soak them in warm water they usually’ll turn out to be more pliable.

Rubber – Rubber bell boots, such as the Equi-Stretch Ribbed Bell Boots, are slightly heavier than gum boots. Rubber bell boots are available in both open and closed kinds, and because rubber may be dyed you’ll find them in lots of shiny and traditional colors. Consider a Fleece-Lined Bell Boot with artificial fleece lining for a horse with sensitive skin, but remember to keep the fleece clean and dry for maximum effectiveness.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) – Heavy-duty PVC is a troublesome, synthetic materials that is molded into bell boots with double-locking hook and loop closures, as might be seen with the Davis Bell Boots. Like rubber bell boots, PVC boots are available in a variety of both conservative and enjoyable colors. PVC could also be a superb option on your horse if you’re looking for economical boots with sturdy sides to deflect hoof strikes.

Nylon – A number of kinds of no-flip bell boots are made of nylon, a particularly durable and lightweight material. An instance of this type of boot is the Professional’s Choice Ballistic Overreach Boot, which has a really dense middle designed to soak up impact and a soft nylon lining.

Neoprene – Some boot producers incorporate neoprene, a soft, flexible and resilient material, into their bell boots for comfort in opposition to the horse. For example, Back on Track Bell Boot pair a fake leather exterior with neoprene interior, and Eskadron affords the Pikosoft Bell Boot with a robust suede-like materials on the outside and a neoprene lining.

Open Cell Foam – Sturdy synthetic outer shell lined with open cell foam, a lightweight and breathable material that disperses shock and heat. Because the horse wears these bell boots, its body heat warms the froth and allows it to mold to the horse to assist absorb impact.

Carbon-fiber – Horses which are extremely hard on bell boots while engaged in vigorous jumping activity might benefit from bell boots such because the Woof Kevlar Overreach Bell Boots which incorporate carbon fiber strike pads. Carbon fiber is lightweight but extremely sturdy to offer a high level of impact protection.

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