Bell boots are a horse’s first line of protection against their own sharp back feet. They wrap around the front hoofs and cover the vulnerable coronary band and heel bulbs, which are essential for preventing lacerations to these sensitive areas.
We frequently 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 functions for equestrians: it protects their horses’ from injury and prevents their back feet from hitting the horseshoes on their front feet and pulling them off.
After they run, some horses tend to overreach and strike the entrance of their rear hoofs into the back of their entrance feet. The soft regions at the heel bulb and coronary band are most prone to injury from this hitting.
What do bell boots protect?
The widespread area damaged is the heel bulb, coronary band, and lower pastern. Sometimes an overreach injury may be severe and cause permanent damage.
Heel bulbs are the region that the majority usually gets injured by overreaching. The heel bulb is the fleshy part of the rear section of a horse’s foot – proper above their hairline and under their pasterns.
A horse’s rear hoof can strike the heel bulb with such a force that it cuts through flesh and severely injure your horse, inflicting pain, swelling, and profuse bleeding. In some cases, horses develop long-lasting problems and lameness.
The most severe injuries occur when a horse strikes into the back of its pastern. Higher up overreach injuries on the back of their leg may end up with them in surgery as a consequence of 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 simple to clean and great for horses who want boots during flip-out and infrequently get their feet wet.
Fitting pull-on bell boots
Pull-on bell boots shouldn’t fit comfortable on your horse’s pastern however quite be loose. If they are tight, they will irritate the horse skin and rub it raw. To assist stop chafing, some bell boots are fleece lined, which is sweet but fitting your boots accurately is still important.
Ideally, you need to be able to fit a finger between the top of the bell boot and your horse’s decrease leg. However you must only be able to fit one finger because if the boots are too large, they will slide off your horse’s foot. When your horse is standing on a flat surface, the back of the boot should nearly contact the ground.
Most bell boots are available in 4 sizes: small, medium, large, and additional-large. Typically Arabians and Quarter horses use medium, Thoroughbreds massive, and extra-massive fit Warmbloods. There’s a lot of variation in producer sizing, so it’s best to be safe and read reviews earlier than buying.
Putting pull-on bell boots on your horse.
Putting pull-on bell boots in your horse isn’t always easy and takes some practice. First, turn the bell boot inside out. Then lift your horse’s foot and put the bell boot on, starting on the bottom of it.
As you put it on, pull hard to stretch it, work your way up to where it is smaller, and then tug on it till you’ll be able to fit your horse’s hoof through. As soon as it’s on, flip it down, and the boot is ready.
Versatile bell boots that stretch easily work best to get the most effective fit and are easier to get over the horse’s hoof.
Putting on open bell boots
Putting on open bell boots on your horse is easy. You just wrap them around the horse’s hoof and then secure them with velcro straps. Some have a hook-and-loop closure so you possibly can adjust to fit completely different measurement feet.
Bell boots designed with velcro straps are typically more expensive, but they save you time getting them on and off, and most are made of sturdier material than their pull-on counterparts.
How do you know in case your horse needs bell boots?
An easy way to know in case your horse would benefit from wearing bell boots is if they arrive back from working with scrapes or swelling on its heels. One other thing to look for is that if they’re continually dropping shoes or frequently have loose shoes.
Bell boots assist protect the shoes in your horse’s front toes from being pulled off when they’re hit by their back foot. This is common amongst some horses which have been turned out to play or ones running fast, however it can happen throughout different activities too!
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