When I first saw a hoof like this, I thought how on earth will I get a pair of boots on that? With the amount of feathers it seemed like a bit of trouble…

I had to try something because Tinky, my new Gypsy Vanner needed boots during his transition to barefoot. My boot of choice was the Easyboot Epic since it seemed like a good choice for his measurements. Also, I didn’t want to try pressing the feathers into a full coverage boot like the Easyboot Trail. It may be possible to use a full coverage boot with a lot of feathers but my gut feeling told me a boot that fits under the coronary band was the right way to go. After trying it, I can say it works great and is not so much trouble after all!

So, how do I do it? After putting the boot on I gently lay the feathers from the back of hoof to the sides reaching forwards so it lays smooth in the back of gaiter. In front I split the feathers from the buckle and then use a hoof pick to pick up feathers from the front of the boot. This ensures there is no hair to get caught and strained when I push the buckle down.

In the summer we don’t need extensions for the gaiter, but there is a tiny bit of effort required to get it in place.

For ultimate comfort, I use the hoof pick to gently pull up a tuft of feathers right in the front of the gaiter and then I can tighten it a bit more. I have never experienced any rubbing, discomfort or damage to the feathers using this method and Tinky loves his boots! Do not hesitate try booting your beautiful feathered horses.

Kicki Westman