Model: Dura-Tech ultralite skid boot.
Why buy: The boots are lightweight and ultra-protective, and the additional neo-lite skid pad offers even more security.
Cool feature: Heavy-duty hook-and-loop closures keep the boots in position behind the fetlocks.
More info: (800) 365-1311; sstack.com.
FIT FOR THE FETLOCK
Model: Extra-tall orthopedic support boot.
Why buy: The support boot offers impact protection and structural support; the extra-tall height enhances upper-suspensory ligament support.
Cool feature: The patented double-sling straps wrap around the base of the fetlock to provide full lateral support.
More info: (972) 741-3513; westernlegacysales.com.
TWO FOR ONE
Model: Exercise boot.
Maker: Back on Track.
Why buy: A neoprene outer layer provides a close fit that supports the leg and discourages dirt and gravel from getting caught in the boot.
Cool feature: The inner poly-blend fabric is infused with ceramic powder, which reflects body warmth to stimulate blood circulation.
More info: (888) 758-9836; backontrackproducts.com.
Model: Polo leg wraps.
Why buy: The fleece, 9-foot-long wraps keep legs warm and supported, and the sturdy hook-and-loop closures fix the wrap in place.
Cool feature: The washable wraps are sold in sets of four and are available in a variety of patterns and colors.
More info: (800) 932-8371; ridethebrand.com.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
A boot is not just a boot when it comes to your horse’s leg protection. Leg gear offers protection against contact and support for work. Here’s a quick guide to common horse legwear, so you can better select an option for your riding situation.
Protective boots. Also called splint boots, these mainly serve as impact protectors. Typically made of leather, neoprene, or concussion-absorbing material, they wrap around the legs from just under the knees (or hocks on hind legs) and feature extra vertical padding along the insides of the cannon bones.
Support boots. These protect the legs from impact and also act as support braces to the fetlocks and suspensory apparatuses. Usually made of neoprene or other shock-absorbing material, these cover the cannons from below the knees (or hocks) to and including the fetlocks. Sling-like straps wrap behind and under the fetlocks for extra support.
Skid boots. Worn around a horse’s hind fetlock joints, these are used to protect his fetlocks from the ground in events that require quick, hard stops, such as reining or roping. These are made of neoprene or leather with skid caps placed just behind the fetlocks for additional anti-friction protection.
Bell boots. The bell-shaped coverings are placed around the hooves to protect a horse’s coronary bands, top of the hooves (front and rear), and the pasterns. These are available in neoprene, leather, and rubber.