Written by Kim Burnop, owner of Kim’s Farrier Service in Suffolk, Virginia
Let’s talk about trim cycles and boot fitting. All horses have different hoof growth rates and patterns. This draft-cross gelding is a great example of how important it is to have your horse trimmed on a tight schedule when boots are desired for support. In this horse’s case, he would need to go up an entire boot size if he were to go too long between trims because of the flaring in his right front hoof.
When going up in boot size is necessary, I find many horses need padding and gaiter inserts to create a snug fit throughout the trim cycle. In many situations this is OK, but for some horses adding extra bulk and bigger boots makes them more likely to trip and stumble. Also, owners would need to remember to add and adjust more “stuff” when putting boots on.
For this horse, we started with Old Mac’s G2 Size 11 hoof boots with thick, firm pads, and XL gaiters. We settled on Old Mac’s G2 Size 10 with Large gaiters after another trim and a re-evaluation. I appreciate the owners’ farrier for working with us to optimize booting success. Trial and error at its finest! Months after my initial visits, I spoke with the owners and they are still using the hoof boots regularly. They are having their horse’s hooves trimmed every 3-5 weeks to keep hoof flaring and toe length in check to ensure a proper fit.