I’m curious about introducing boots to a horse for the first time. I purchased the Easyboot Glove Softs and wanted to know how much time I should give my horse to get used to them. I have just been leading him on walks so far. When should I ride with them, and for how long to start? Thank you.
Breaking in a new pair of boots is as important for your horse as it is for yourself when you get a new pair of boots. Of course, for a horse that’s never worn any kind of boot before, you may need to take it a little more slowly. This really depends on how the horse reacts to them, though. Some horses may exaggerate their steps when they’re not used to extra weight or bulk hanging around their hoof. Some horses may not want to stop smelling and/or biting them. Some may pay little to no attention to them at all. It will be up to you to watch your horse and decide what he needs.
On average, you may start with putting boots on for the first time and walking or lungeing the horse around for 15-30 minutes. Watch how your horse responds, and how the boots are fitting while the horse moves. If all goes well and the boots fit well, you should be able to leave them on for an hour or two the next day. Keep gradually increasing the horse’s time wearing the boots until he seems comfortable.
For the first ride in the boots, maybe ride in an arena or a trail close to home just in case something goes awry. Keep this first ride under two hours. If this ride goes well, you can consider the boots well on their way to being broken in, and you can go on a longer ride farther away from home.