Bell boots are a horse’s first line of protection towards their own sharp back feet. They wrap across the front hoofs and cover the vulnerable coronary band and heel bulbs, which are crucial for stopping lacerations to those sensitive areas.
We regularly use bell boots when training our horses or for those 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 entrance feet. The bell boot serves two functions for equestrians: it protects their horses’ from injury and prevents their back ft from hitting the horseshoes on their front toes and pulling them off.
After they run, some horses are likely to overreach and strike the entrance of their rear hoofs into the back of their entrance feet. The soft areas on 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 decrease pastern. Typically an overreach injury can be extreme and cause everlasting damage.
Heel bulbs are the area that almost all usually 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 through flesh and severely injure your horse, causing pain, swelling, and profuse bleeding. In some cases, horses develop lengthy-lasting problems and lameness.
Essentially the most critical injuries happen when a horse strikes into the back of its pastern. Higher up overreach accidents on the back of their leg may also find yourself with them in surgery on account of lacerating tendons or going into tendon sheath just above the fetlock area.
How do horses wear bell boots?
There are two primary 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 easy to clean and nice for horses who need boots throughout turn-out and often get their ft wet.
Fitting pull-on bell boots
Pull-on bell boots shouldn’t fit cosy in your horse’s pastern but rather be loose. If they are tight, they can irritate the horse skin and rub it raw. To assist forestall chafing, some bell boots are fleece lined, which is good however fitting your boots accurately is still important.
Ideally, try to be able to fit a finger between the top of the bell boot and your horse’s decrease leg. But you should 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 should nearly touch the ground.
Most bell boots are available in four sizes: small, medium, giant, and further-large. Typically Arabians and Quarter horses use medium, Thoroughbreds large, and additional-massive fit Warmbloods. There may be numerous variation in manufacturer sizing, so it’s best to be safe and read evaluations before buying.
Placing pull-on bell boots in your horse.
Placing pull-on bell boots in your horse isn’t always simple 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 as much as where it is smaller, after which tug on it until 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.
Flexible bell boots that stretch simply work best to get the perfect fit and are simpler to recover from the horse’s hoof.
Placing 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 safe them with velcro straps. Some have a hook-and-loop closure so you can adjust to fit completely different dimension feet.
Bell boots designed with velcro straps are typically more costly, but they save you time getting them on and off, and most are made of sturdier materials than their pull-on counterparts.
How do you know in case your horse wants bell boots?
An easy way to know if your horse would benefit from wearing bell boots is that if they arrive back from working with scrapes or swelling on its heels. Another thing to look for is that if they’re always shedding shoes or continuously have loose shoes.
Bell boots help protect the shoes on your horse’s front ft from being pulled off once they’re hit by their back foot. This is widespread among some horses which were turned out to play or ones running fast, however it can occur during different activities too!
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