We all know the importance of fitting hoof boots correctly, more than once we have we read the phrase on EasyCare's blog and website 'The single most important factor when fitting a hoof boot is fit!'
Here at Trelawne Equine we wholeheartedly agree that fit is vital to the success of any hoof boot and the first thing we tell any new customer. We also feel it is also very important for horse owners to understand that the hoof capsule is a very adaptable part of the horse and as such can change over time. If you have been using a set of hoof boots for a few months with great success, and then experience a boot failure, the first thing you should consider is 'have my horses hooves changed?' Hoof boot failure is almost always due to incorrect fit or size, and as the hoof is liable to change due to a change in management or stimulus the first course of action should be to trim and remeasure the hooves.
It is always a good idea to make a note of your horses hooves as a future reference, by taking photos and measurements periodically. This also serves as a handy record if you encounter a problem as you can look back and see if anything has changed. There are a number of factors that can affect your horses hooves including diet, exercise, ground conditions, style and frequency of trim for example. Something as simple as changing your hoof care professional or months of dry weather after a prolonged period of wet weather (as is being experience here in the UK right now!) can cause the hoof capsule to adapt to the new conditions. This has the potential to change the dimensions of the hoof by just a few mm, enough to cause the usually superbly fitting boots to now be a little big or small and thus compromise the fit.
In most cases you may not know your horses hooves have changed and your boots will continue to perform as well as they always have, but if the change is big enough to compromise the fit of your horses current boots you would be best to change.
Don't forget that EasyCare hoof boots are so popular that if you do need to buy a different size for your horse your used boots will command quite a high price second hand, so don't just dispose of them! If you are in any doubt as to the continuing suitability of your boots, do email or give us a ring with the current hoof boots and your horses measurements and we can advise if a different size or style would be more appropriate.