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 toes during riding 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 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 during activities in which a horse might are inclined to step on its own feet, such as during lungeing or trucking if shipping bandages don’t cover the horse’s pasterns or heels. Bell boots ought to always be positioned on a horse when horseshoe studs are in place, and may be needed for a horse wearing corrective shoeing.
In some cases, bell boots could also be useful when placed on a horse’s hind toes, resembling 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 temporarily lessen these problems, but a farrier should be consulted for a more permanent resolution.
Bell Boot Kinds
Pull-on bell boots are considered by some riders, particularly those doing rigorous jump courses, to provide the greatest measure of security against the bell boot coming off throughout a ride. Additionally they provide the greatest level of protection as the boots haven’t any opening to reveal an space of the heel or pastern. Pull-on bell boots can be slightly challenging 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 around the hoof and shut 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 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 two main types, you’ll find that the foremostity 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. However, some sensitive horses, reminiscent of these prone to chafing or these participating in rigorous activity, may benefit from a no-flip style.
No-flip bell boots, such because the Professional’ s Choice Ballistic Overreach Boots, provide a molded space on the interior of the boot that rests against 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 make sure full protection at the back of the boot. A second no-flip design includes a pliable pull-on type that conforms to the hoof and heel bulbs for protection, such as the Acavallo No-Turn Bell Boots.
Bell Boot Materials
Understanding how varied supplies are fashioned into bell boot types will assist you choose the very best boot to your horse. Materials are waterproof or water-repellant and supply various degrees of durability.
Gum – Traditional gum rubber bell boots, such because 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 type some have double thickness at the backside for added strength in opposition to 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 final longer.
Tip: When using gum rubber pull-on bell boots, flip them inside out and hold the underside rim while pulling the boot over the toe of the hoof. When the upper rim reaches the pastern, flip the bell boot down, right side out. For those who discover the bell boots are difficult to stretch over the hoof, soak them in warm water they usually’ll turn 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 can be dyed you may find them in lots of brilliant and traditional colors. Consider a Fleece-Lined Bell Boot with synthetic 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 tough, artificial materials that is molded into bell boots with double-locking hook and loop closures, as will be seen with the Davis Bell Boots. Like rubber bell boots, PVC boots are available in quite a lot of each conservative and fun colors. PVC may be an excellent option on 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, an extremely durable and lightweight material. An example of this type of boot is the Professional’s Alternative Ballistic Overreach Boot, which has a very dense middle designed to absorb impact and a soft nylon lining.
Neoprene – Some boot manufacturers incorporate neoprene, a soft, versatile and resilient materials, into their bell boots for comfort in opposition to the horse. For instance, Back on Track Bell Boot pair a pretend leather exterior with neoprene interior, and Eskadron provides the Pikosoft Bell Boot with a strong suede-like material on the outside and a neoprene lining.
Open Cell Foam – Robust artificial outer shell lined with open cell foam, a lightweight and breathable material that disperses shock and heat. As 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 which might be extraordinarily hard on bell boots while engaged in vigorous jumping 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 extraordinarily sturdy to supply a high level of impact protection.
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