Bell boots, generally 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 ft, which can overreach or clip the entrance ft during riding or turnout. Overreaching causes injury as the hind toes strike the tender heel bulbs of the front toes, 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 grime 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 inclined to step on its own feet, resembling throughout lungeing or trucking if shipping bandages do not cover the horse’s pasterns or heels. Bell boots should always be placed on a horse when horseshoe studs are in place, and could also be necessary for a horse wearing corrective shoeing.
In some cases, bell boots could also be helpful when placed on a horse’s hind toes, reminiscent of 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 briefly lessen these problems, but a farrier ought to be consulted for a more everlasting resolution.
Bell Boot Types
Pull-on bell boots are considered by some riders, particularly these doing rigorous soar courses, to provide the greatest measure of security in opposition to the bell boot coming off throughout a ride. Additionally they provide the greatest level of protection as the boots don’t have any opening to reveal an area of the heel or pastern. Pull-on bell boots could be slightly difficult to tug on and take off, so many riders favor open bell boots with hook and loop closures for convenience.
Open bell boots are straightforward to placed on and take off because they merely wrap around the hoof and close in place with hook and loop fasteners. Care ought to be taken to ensure that the ends of the open sides of the boot meet to fully protect the hoof wall, and that the hook and loop fasteners are kept clean and intact so that the boots close securely.
Within these predominant kinds, you will discover that the most importantity of bell boots on the market rotate freely as the horse moves. Most horses do not mind wearing bell boots, and rotation doesn’t pose a problem. Nevertheless, some sensitive horses, similar to these prone to chafing or these participating in rigorous activity, could benefit from a no-flip style.
No-turn bell boots, such as the Professional’ s Choice Ballistic Overreach Boots, supply a molded area 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 at the front of the boot to ensure full protection on the back of the boot. A second no-flip design features 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 numerous supplies are fashioned into bell boot kinds will aid you select the very best boot to your horse. Materials are waterproof or water-repellant and provide various degrees of durability.
Gum – Traditional gum rubber bell boots, such as the Easy-Stretch Bell Boots are very lightweight and stretchy, and have a attribute caramel color. Gum bell boots are usually available in pull-on style, and within that style some have double thickness at the backside for added energy against tearing. In case your horse is extremely hard on bell boots, it’s possible you’ll discover that heavier rubber bell boots or PVC bell boots final longer.
Tip: When using gum rubber pull-on bell boots, turn them inside out and hold the underside rim while pulling the boot over the toe of the hoof. When the higher rim reaches the pastern, flip the bell boot down, proper side out. When you find the bell boots are troublesome to stretch over the hoof, soak them in warm water and they’ll develop into 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 each open and closed styles, and because rubber might be dyed you may find them in many vivid and traditional colors. Consider a Fleece-Lined Bell Boot with artificial fleece lining for a horse with sensitive skin, but you should definitely keep the fleece clean and dry for optimum effectiveness.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) – Heavy-duty PVC is a tricky, 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 come in a wide range of each conservative and fun colors. PVC may be a very good option in your horse if you are looking for economical boots with sturdy sides to deflect hoof strikes.
Nylon – Several kinds of no-turn bell boots are made of nylon, a particularly durable and lightweight material. An instance of this type of boot is the Professional’s Alternative Ballistic Overreach Boot, which has a really dense middle designed to absorb impact and a soft nylon lining.
Neoprene – Some boot producers incorporate neoprene, a soft, flexible and resilient material, into their bell boots for comfort towards the horse. For instance, Back on Track Bell Boot pair a faux leather exterior with neoprene interior, and Eskadron gives the Pikosoft Bell Boot with a strong suede-like materials on the outside and a neoprene lining.
Open Cell Foam – Sturdy artificial outer shell lined with open cell foam, a lightweight and breathable materials 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 help take up impact.
Carbon-fiber – Horses which might be extraordinarily hard on bell boots while engaged in vigorous leaping 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 strong to offer a high level of impact protection.