- When are bell boots useful?
- How do the bell boots fit properly?
- What can be done if the horse constantly loses a shoe?
- Are overreach boots only for Icelandic horses?
- Which bell boots are suitable for turn out?
- Which bell boots do not twist?
- How can slipping / twisting be prevented with bell boots?
When are bell boots useful?
Bell boots can protect the horse's heel bulbs from kicks and other injuries in the area of the heel and the coronet. Bell boots are therefore very often used on horses that overreach and run the risk of kicking themselves. Young horses that are not yet balanced can quickly step into the forehand with their hind hooves in their overzealousness and thus cause injuries. Depending on the strength and composition of the material, a bell boot prevents injuries to the bulb of the heel.
Bell boots can also be useful for horses that frequently loose their shoes. This way the hind hoof slides off beforehand and does not land on the edge of the front shoe. Many horse owners leave bell boots on during turnout. However, you should make sure that the bell boots are light and well padded, so that they do not rub against the fetlock area when wet or dirty.
In show jumping, bell boots are often used so that the horse does not bounce painfully against a bar of the obstacle. The coronet is very sensitive to pain, which is why it can make sense to use bell boots in jumping and eventing.
How do the bell boots fit properly?
The fit is crucial in order to prevent bell boots from rubbing during movement or twisting so much that they pose a danger to the horse. You can determine whether a bell boot fits properly by the following criteria:
- The bell boots are neither too tight nor too loose.
- There must be sufficient space to the fetlock bend so that it is not hindered in its movement.
- The Velcro fastener is closed towards the front.
- They do not create pressure points or chafing.
- They remain turned in one direction even when in motion.
- The edge of the bell boot ends a finger's width above the ground; it does not drag on the ground.
What can be done if the horse constantly loses a shoe?
Losing shoes are a nuisance for many horse owners. To prevent the horse from kicking off the shoes itself or getting them kicked off when running around with other horses, bell boots can be useful. They make it possible for the hoof to slip off and not get caught on the show. Proper hoof care and shoeing at possibly shorter intervals ought to be a matter of course.
If the horse is frequently losing its shoes, this may be due to a disturbed movement. Have the length and position of the hooves checked by a farrier or hoof care professional. Also the load distribution: Horses that move heavily on the forehand do not lift their front hooves in time before the hind leg kicks off, which is why the horse kicks itself or pulls off a shoe.
Are overreach boots only for Icelandic horses?
Heel protectors can be useful not only for Icelandic horses. Also for horses of other breeds, which, due to their movements and physical condition, overreach, this kind of boots can bring a certain security against injuries.
With Icelandic horses, on the other hand, weight also plays a role in the area of heel protectors. Weight rings are often used in the training of pass and tölt, which help the horse to separate the gaits more clearly. Weight rings are placed around the pastern, while heel protectors also enclose the entire heel bulb. In addition to assisting in gait training, heel protectors can protect the heel bulb from injury. You can find more equipment for Icelandic horses in our Icelandic category.
Which bell boots are suitable for turn out?
The best bell boots for turnout are those that provide the horse with sufficient protection as well as a high level of comfort. They must be softly padded at the hem and without sharp seams so that no chafing occurs at the sensitive coronet. Bell boots with teddy fleece, sheepskin or neoprene are suitable for this purpose. Since the bell boots remain on the horse for several hours without supervision, they cannot be straightened or checked for proper closure in between. Therefore, it is advisable to choose bell boots with a double Velcro fastener. The material should be stable and robust and at the same time light enough, which is achieved with rubber-like materials. These are also easy to clean, which is very beneficial after turnout.
Which bell boots do not twist?
Bell boots with an integrated guard that lies in the middle of the heel bulb usually do not twist. This is the case, for example, with anti-twist bell boots, which you can also buy in our online shop.
How can slipping / twisting be prevented with bell boots?
If bell boots slip or twist, this indicates that the boots are the wrong size. Make sure that the size you choose fits your horse's hooves exactly. You can use the above criteria to do this. They should not be too large, which can sometimes be the main reason for twisted bell boots. Also make sure that the bell boots are tight enough without constricting at the coronet. You can also use anti-twist bell boots, which have a built-in guard in the heel bulb to prevent twisting.