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Author Topic: Hoof boots  (Read 2218 times)


  • Joined Jul 2014
Hoof boots
« on: October 18, 2017, 07:54:49 am »
I have just had the shoes taken off my ride and drive pony and am thinking of getting some hoof boots for the times he will get worked over winter.  He is very hard on his shoes, especially the hinds.  His work will be mainly walk and trot with lots of road work.

Any makes to avoid or any recommendations please.
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Hoof boots
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 08:13:35 am »
If he's hard on his hind shoes I'd def keep him shod! Hoof boots seem to work for some people but my experience is that they can move/twist when being used if their not 100% corectly fitted and their fiddly to fit because the hoof grows and changes shape. The tread fills with mud if you have any and can be very slippy. They just seemed a lot of fuss for what they were


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Hoof boots
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2017, 08:32:35 am »
I have a friend who works her driving pony in boots. Admittedly, roads don't tend to be muddy. I think part of the key to using boots if good barefoot trimming (she mostly does this herself now), hardening your pony to work without boots and the right boots. I'll see if she can send me some tips that I can send you.


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Hoof boots
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 10:57:57 am »
I use Easyboots on one of my Shetlands. Pitstop has damaged feet due to laminitis. He wears them in the paddock when the ground is hard. They are very hard wearing, he has had his for a good few years. I know some do drive their ponies in them, how they wear i do not know when being used in road work.


  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Hoof boots
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2017, 02:04:41 pm »
I used Equine Fusion Jogging Shoes on my pony and they were excellent (they're for sale actually, as I lost him last year). Easy to put on and take off, stayed put really well, never rubbed or twisted, and we did some serious riding (lots of off road galloping).


  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Hoof boots
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2017, 04:27:39 pm »
bj_cardiff if he was going to be in regular work then I would have kept him shod but for once or twice between trims he is better off barefoot.  Another forum has suggested Scoots but I am not sure about the fancy colours.  He has quite round feet both fore and hind if that makes any differance.


  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Hoof boots
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2017, 07:33:03 pm »
Have you measured his hooves? All the manufacturers have fitting guides on their websites so you could see which boots are likely to fit his hoof shape best.


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Hoof boots
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2017, 09:15:22 am »

This is what my friend said when I asked her about barefoot and boots.

By my choice, Monty went barefoot about 3.5 years ago, having been shod all his life, he had hind shoes off first, and was fine to ride without them.  When the front shoes came off a month later I felt he needed front boots as he was very 'footy' over the graveled drive and rocky bridle paths we had to use to get onto the road.  He might have managed on tarmac.
He has only ever had front hoof boots. 

My previous pony had Easyboot Epics, which are not easy to get on or off, so I decided to try others.
I tried Cavallos and then Easyboot Trails, both are easy to get on and off, I thought that both rubbed his white heels, which were very pink and warm when the boots came off.  I could hear his feet clip clopping inside the boots when we were on grass so they were not a snug fit.

I bought him Equine Fusion Ultimate Jogging Shoes, bit of a fiddle to get on, better if you soak them in water first, really good snug fit, no rubbing, he moved more naturally in them.  I've recently bought a pair of the all terrain jogging shoes to give a bit more grip if we are working on long, wet grass, I think these are not quite as soft or flexible but they seem fine.

A friend has some Scoot boots for her riding pony, they look very easy to get on, I have known them come off in mud and at canter.
Another friend has used Old Macs very successfully after her horse had laminitis, even over shoes.

I ride and drive Monty barefoot these days, he can do as much as I want on the roads without boots, out for a couple of hours several times a week.  If we are going somewhere where the going might be stony I put them on. 
He did four days driving on the RDA driving holiday this year, up to four outings a day, the farm tracks were fine but the access was over about 300 metres of tracks with rubble in them so he had his front boots on.  His hind feet had a few chips in the edges of his hooves, otherwise fine, I was very pleased.
He has just worn out his original pair of jogging shoes.

He has a barefoot trimmer every 6 weeks, his front feet are fine, his hind feet do need balancing due to not very good conformation.  I have a rasp and rasp round any rough bits on the edges of his hooves, very few these days. 

You will find that the feet break up a bit as the nail holes work down, hopefully once they are out of the way the feet will harden up, the frogs get bigger and become effective, the soles should become concave rather than flat. 

It's very hilly where we are, if he had shoes on he would have to have road nails or studs to get up and down the hills safely without slipping, barefoot or boots - no problem.

I do have a pair of Easyboot Epics from my 13.1hh Fell pony and a pair of Cavallos from Monty 11cm toe to heel, both hardly worn, to sell on


  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Hoof boots
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2017, 01:12:56 pm »
Thanks for that Harmony.


  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Hoof boots
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2017, 09:04:03 pm »
Ideally you want to keep him out of boots and let him go bare in the longer term.  The hooves will harden up and compensate.  However, if you're doing a lot of roadwork in the early days before he has adjusted it may be necessary. 

I can't advise on boots as mine have been bare for over 20 years now (long before it became fashionable) and the market has changed considerably in that time. 

Tips for helping him adjust include excellent diet for a few months ahead of going barefoot.  Without recommending one brand over another, I know Cornucrescine has a feed supplement which I presume is similar to BioMethZ in composition.  Those are the only 2 products I have experience of but I'm sure there are other similar ones on the market.  You need to ensure he's getting adequate intake of Biotin, Methionine and Zinc to develop healthy and strong horn.  Cornucrescine also has a 'paste' to apply to the coronary band to increase rate of growth.  I've never figured out if its the product or the massage that stimulates growth but one or the other does in my experience. 

He may well get a bit footy on gravel etc in the early days because his sole will be closer to the ground than he's used to with shoes on.  When the shoes come off, DON'T trim the foot back.

Personally I'd also lay off the barefoot trimming for at least a year unless he goes lame.  I know that sounds like a long time, but having tried various ways of getting horses barefoot, that's the one I've found best.  The hooves will get long and pointy (not like persian slippers usually though), but they will also break when they get too long.    That's fine and will help him to develop the right shaped foot to carry himself in the longer term.  It's not about giving him a perfect shaped foot, it's about him being comfortable in how he carries his weight and compensates any injuries, limitations etc he may have that you're unaware of.  If you do need to trim, only take off the bare minimum and leave the feet long... he'll scuff off what he doesn't need, especially if he's got access to concrete, tarmac or stony ground.

Good luck, I'm sure both of you will be much happier barefoot in the longer term once the transition is completed.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.


  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Hoof boots
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2017, 08:31:29 am »
This pony has come out of remedial shoeing.  He has both hock and sacroiliac problems, both treated with injections into the joints this spring.  He will be going back into shoes if his workload ever steps back up to daily, unless hoofboots are really successful as his driving is all roadwork now.  I use a flexicurve on him regularly as muscle wastage is the first symptom that he is uncomfy.  I am his retirement home as he needs work but cannot always cope with it.

My situation is not suitable for conditioning feet for barefoot transitioning, although home grown youngsters have been able to work without never needing shoes, they have had naturally good hard feet.  We are on clay soil but have a concrete floored barn where forage is provided.  There is unlikely to be a track system installed and his field companions have wonderful feet.

This pony is an ex road racer that arrived with shoes that were 3 sizes too small.  He has had no shoes for the last 5 winters but also no work only 24/7 turnout.  Each spring when coming back into work it has been obvioius that shoes were needed.  As he was doing RDA carriage driving taking things slow was not an option as he had to be ready to drive at Easter.  Now he can dictate the speed at which he gets fit for work next year but it will also be the first winter where he is being kept ticking over.

If anyone knows where the RDA can source his replacement 15 - 15.2 ride and drive please let me know as all our drivng ponies are coming to the end of their working lives.

lord flynn

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Hoof boots
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2017, 03:56:22 pm »
the best boots are the ones that fit ime although I personally prefer the ones that fit below the coronet such as the easyboot Back Countries or gloves-have also used old macs with success. I was going to try the scoots with my Fell (he had his shoes removed a week before I went to view) but its not been necessary yet-like you I dont have ideal conditions to transition so am lucky. the scoots are attractive because you can just hose them down and not worry about drying them -plus the grip is supposedly good. I would go the route of hiring boots first if you're new to them, The Saddlery Shop do this and are also very helpful with fitting and advice

and the hoof boutique does them also although I've not used them myself, they have a good rep


  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Hoof boots
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2017, 07:15:49 am »
Well I ended up getting scoot boots through the hoofbootique and they are a good fit as well as easy to put on and take off.  Just have to get him out in them now but he is going through a bad spell with his aches and pains at the moment.


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