“I tried using boots but they did not work.”
When I hear this comment, my first inclination is to determine why the boots were not successful. More often than not, I discover the boots are not at fault. Booting an overgrown or unbalanced hoof and/or using an inappropriate boot style are common factors responsible for poor booting experiences. Horse owners who have personal accountability and employ critical thinking are more successful than those who blame the boots.
6 weeks after a trim. This horse would benefit from a shorter trim cycle.
At a recent boot fitting, I worked with a frustrated customer who had trouble with boots twisting on the hind feet. The fit looked good; however after only a few strides both boots had twisted. I removed the boots and took a closer look at the hooves. Even though they had recently been trimmed, there were imbalances in the heels on both hind feet. As horse owners learn to recognize these imbalances, they stop blaming the boots and instead look to the farrier or trimmer. Instead of focusing on the negative, determine what needs to be done to correct or minimize these issues. After showing this imbalance to the customer, I recommended she work with her hoof care practitioner to develop a strategy to minimize this imbalance (such as a shorter trim cycle or having the owner do some rasping between visits). You never want to trim a hoof to fit a boot but often times boots can expose trims or hoof conformations that are less than ideal.
If the hoof is balanced but the boots are still not performing as desired, the wrong boot style may have been chosen. I talk with people who are overwhelmed by our number of boot styles but offering multiple styles allows us to accommodate a wide variety of hoof shapes. As discussed in my blog One Size Does Not Fit All, hoof measurements are the starting point in boot selection and they help determine what is suitable for your horse. Another thing to consider when selecting a boot is the intended use. Are you looking for a boot that can do weekend rides or endurance competitions? Using the Easyboot Trail for an endurance ride is akin to using a hiking boot to run a marathon – neither are appropriate footwear for these activities. The Trail is much better suited for casual riding or use as a therapy boot. Don’t buy the first style you see or rely solely on a friend’s recommendation. Your chance of success is much higher if you determine the style most appropriate for your horse’s hoof conformation and your type of riding. If in doubt, the customer service team at EasyCare is more than happy to advise you.