Types of Tendon Boots for Horses
Any horse owner knows that tendon boots are an important part of keeping your horses safe and healthy. Horse legs contain many fragile tendons and ligaments and regularly endure heavy impact that can easily lead to injuries. Providing your horse with the proper protection will keep them happy, healthy, and active for years to come.
There are many different types of tendon boots to choose from with some options suiting certain activities and needs better than others. We’ve put together this guide to help you understand the many available designs as well as how to choose the best style for your horse.
Types of Tendon Boots
Tendon boots are made to protect horse legs, particularly during exercise and in rough terrain as well as cold-weather conditions. Various styles and materials lend protection in varying situations, though the primary goal of all tendon boots is to keep your horse’s legs comfortable and injury free. The most common types of tendon boots include the following:
- Brushing/splint/sport boots
- Open front tendon boots
- Stable boots
- Turnout boots/fly boots
- Bandages/Polo wraps
- Medical boots
- Travel boots
Choosing the right style of tendon boot for your horse will provide them with the best safety and comfort possible.
Brushing/Splint/Sport Boots for Dressage Horses
Brushing boots, also known as splint or sports boots, are designed to protect the horse’s cannon bone. They are a popular choice of tendon boot when support as well as protection from impact is needed, such as for dressage horses . They are a wrap-around brace that can be used on all four legs to help prevent all sorts of injuries, including:
With a cushioned interior and a hard-outer shell, these tendon boots are both sturdy for safety and sleek looking for class.
The Kavallerie Dressage Brushing Boots provide your horse with superior style and protection. A durable faux leather exterior braces and protects while the shock-absorbing strike pads protect from impact. The fleece interior cushions your horse’s legs and keeps them warm while providing a stylish accent.
Open Front Tendon Boots for Jumps
The hard-outer shell of open front tendon boots make them a common choice to be used for all kinds of jumps. When a horse jumps, there is a risk of the hind legs hitting the backs of the front leg. The hard-wearing shell protects the backs of the horse’s legs by shielding them and absorbing the impact.
This design is mostly intended to protect the tendons, but also cover and protect the lower ligaments as well as the fetlocks. Keeping the front of the boot open, however, allows horses greater awareness of where their legs are relative to the pole.
Dover Pro Open-Front Boots use a molded plastic with a curved upper lip to provide superior protection while also remaining comfortable for your horse to wear. The design also features double hook-and-loop closures for a secure fit that won’t budge.
Stable Boots for Indoor Horses
As the name implies, stable boots are designed for use while your horse is in the stable. Although they cover the lower legs enough to protect from cuts and scratches, the primary purpose of stable boots is to keep your horse’s legs warm. This can help to reduce potential swelling and stiffness that can occur from standing, particularly during colder months. The additional warmth is also great for older horses and those recovering from an injury.
These Professional Equine Stable Boots are made of a 5mm neoprene outer layer with a polyester inner cushion that can be removed for easy machine washing. Velcro straps make it easy to put on and take off these boots while also allowing for a snug fit. These stable boots are not only stylish but will keep your horse’s legs warm and protected.
Turnout/Fly Boots Protect from the Great Outdoors
Although horses should be outside as much as possible, the great outdoors does come with many risks of injury. Turnout boots have a snug fit to keep dirt out while protecting from bruises, and scrapes when your horse is outside. They also lend support when your horse travels through rough and uneven terrain on which it could easily pull or twist a tendon or ligament.
Preventing flies from landing on their legs also eases the irritation flies can cause and prevents unnecessary stomping of the legs to keep shake them off. Turnout boots are lightweight and comfortable so that horses can enjoy being outside while horse owners enjoy peace of mind knowing that their legs are protected.
The Cashel Crusader Horse Fly Protection Leg Guards come in a set of four and are made of a durable mesh for optimum comfort. Made from polyester with nylon trims, these boots won’t catch any stickers and burrs from grass and bushes. Adjustable hook-and-loop closures allow you to create a snug fit that won’t shift while a variety of colors and patterns offer some unique style options.
Polo Wraps/Bandages Create a Custom Fit
Wrapping bandages for horses, often referred to as Polo wraps, are a great choice for most situations as they are easy to use and can serve a variety of purposes. Bandages are made from a soft elastic material that can be stretched and made tight or kept looser and also provides warmth to the horse’s legs. Bandages are commonly used during cold seasons to help prevent impact injuries as well as swelling and stiffness that can occur due to both the temperature as well as walking on hardened ground.
Bandages can be used as a preventative measure to protect or as a wrap in case of injury. They can also be worn alone, under travel boots, or over bandage pads. Just be sure not to wrap bandages too tight or else greater damage than good could be done. To check this, ensure that you can slide two fingers into the bandage. Bandages can easily be adjusted for an even fit and are a great universal choice that any horse can benefit from.
Kavallerie Polo Wraps for Horses are made from a breathable material that will keep your horse cool and comfortable while wearing these bandages. They are non-stick so they won’t be uncomfortable or hurt your horse while also being non-slip to keep the bandages snug and secure.
Medical Boots for Treatment and Therapy
Medical boots can provide various treatments and therapies to help with and help prevent injuries. Some of these treatments include the following:
- Heating boots
- Freeze/ice boots
- Magnetic boots
Medical boots wrap around the lower legs to target the tendons and ligaments. Although they can be used for any horse as deemed fit, medical boots are especially great for the following:
- Injury recovery
- Older horses
- Training horses
- After exercise
Travel Boots for Comfort and Protection During Transport
Transporting your horse runs the risk of injuries, particularly if your horse gets nervous. Travel boots are much longer than many other boot styles as they are made to protect the entire lower portion of the legs from the hocks and knees to the fetlocks. Designed specifically to provide padding and protection from bumps and scratches, travel boots can be used to protect your horse on any journey.
Not only are the Horseware Amigo Travel Boots extremely stylish, but they will also keep your horse safe and comfortable while traveling. The 600D Ripstop exterior will keep anything from penetrating the boot and injuring your horse’s legs while the inner fleece lining will keep them warm and cozy.
Each style of tendon boot serves a different purpose or necessity. Determining which is best suited for your horse’s needs depends on factors such as the following:
- Riding style
- Training and exercise
- Weather conditions
- Special events and occasions such as transport and competitions
While all tendon boots provide some degree of coverage and support, the best protection comes from the correct fit and design for each activity and need. Horses are dependent on the proper use of their legs, but the right tendon boots will keep them safe, comfortable, and happily galloping.