Bell boots, generally called overreach boots, cover a horse’s entrance 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 using or turnout. Overreaching causes injury because the hind feet strike the tender heel bulbs of the front ft, or as the hind ft step on the backs of the entrance shoes and loosen or pull them off. If your horse tends to lose shoes in turnout, or finishes a ride with dirt 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 may are inclined to step on its own ft, akin to throughout lungeing or trucking if shipping bandages don’t cover the horse’s pasterns or heels. Bell boots should always be placed on a horse when horseshoe studs are in place, and may be essential for a horse wearing corrective shoeing.
In some cases, bell boots could also be helpful when positioned on a horse’s hind toes, such as 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 should be consulted for a more everlasting resolution.
Bell Boot Kinds
Pull-on bell boots are considered by some riders, particularly those doing rigorous leap courses, to provide the greatest measure of security towards the bell boot coming off throughout a ride. They also provide the greatest level of protection because the boots have no opening to expose an space of the heel or pastern. Pull-on bell boots could be slightly difficult to drag 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 merely 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 close securely.
Within these essential styles, you may discover that the majority of bell boots on the market rotate freely because the horse moves. Most horses do not mind wearing bell boots, and rotation does not pose a problem. Nonetheless, some sensitive horses, corresponding to these prone to chafing or those participating in rigorous activity, might benefit from a no-flip style.
No-turn bell boots, such because the Professional’ s Choice Ballistic Overreach Boots, provide 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 at the front of the boot to make sure full protection on the back of the boot. A second no-turn design incorporates a pliable pull-on model that conforms to the hoof and heel bulbs for protection, such as the Acavallo No-Turn Bell Boots.
Bell Boot Supplies
Understanding how numerous supplies are fashioned into bell boot kinds will provide help to select the most effective boot in your horse. Materials are waterproof or water-repellant and supply 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 characteristic caramel color. Gum bell boots are typically available in pull-on model, and within that type some have double thickness on the backside for added energy against tearing. If your horse is extremely hard on bell boots, it’s possible you’ll 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, proper side out. Should you find the bell boots are troublesome to stretch over the hoof, soak them in warm water and so they’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 styles, and because rubber can be dyed you will find them in many vibrant 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 tough, artificial material that’s 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 a variety of each conservative and fun colors. PVC could also be an excellent option for your horse if you’re looking for economical boots with sturdy sides to deflect hoof strikes.
Nylon – A number of kinds of no-turn bell boots are made of nylon, an especially durable and lightweight material. An example of this type of boot is the Professional’s Alternative Ballistic Overreach Boot, which has a very dense heart designed to soak up impact and a soft nylon lining.
Neoprene – Some boot manufacturers incorporate neoprene, a soft, flexible and resilient material, into their bell boots for comfort against the horse. For example, Back on Track Bell Boot pair a fake leather exterior with neoprene interior, and Eskadron gives the Pikosoft Bell Boot with a strong suede-like material on the outside and a neoprene lining.
Open Cell Foam – Sturdy synthetic 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 foam and permits it to mold to the horse to help soak up impact.
Carbon-fiber – Horses that are extraordinarily hard on bell boots while engaged in vigorous leaping activity may benefit from bell boots such as the Woof Kevlar Overreach Bell Boots which incorporate carbon fiber strike pads. Carbon fiber is lightweight however extremely strong to offer a high level of impact protection.