Question: I have a NSH in training that will primarily be a “show horse”, but I have always believed in a horse appropriate level of easy trail riding or anything out of the arena occasionally to prevent horse boredom and getting arena sour. The worry is the show shoes or even just because the horses’ lack of experience outside of an arena.Would Hoof Boots (i.e. Easy Boots ,etc.) be the right thing to use? Or are they only meant to be used for barefoot horses? Thanks!
Answer from April Reeves: Some of the easy boots can be worn over shoes, but it does void the warranty if the boot is damaged. They do fit however.
My thought to you is: are you considering them because you don’t want to risk losing a shoe? It’s a problem with gaited and motion horses.
While it’s and expense and hard on the horse to replace shoes that have come off before their time, it’s also valuable to give the horse variety in his work day. Horses that are allowed to leave the ring for exercise often settle into work better. Unless you try this on a regular basis with a top show horse you will never understand this principle. All my top horses have always gone out, around twice a week. Using the time wisely can help also: interval conditioning and lengthening are two that I like to do. Or just walk, and take in the variable scenery. With motion horses, it’s a great lesson to be able to ride hands to the buckle and trust the horse.
If it was me, I would gamble and buy those boots. They may be a bit pricey, and not last as long, but the horse’s sanity would be worth it. You only need fronts. Back shoes shouldn’t flip off as easily, unless you are close to a reset anyway.
I use to pack the bottom of the boot with Sealtex: the rubber latex used in the racing industry. L thin layer would protect the boot from the shoes and last a little longer, plus add grip. Just remembered that little trick.