If you are just becoming acquainted with the equestrian world, the question of what to wear while riding can seem a little daunting. Most of us have an image of horse riding either being a permanently 19th century pastime or else the exclusive domain of the wealthy, and while those connotations aren’t entirely unfounded, the fact remains that horse riding is far more accessible than you might imagine. The same holds true for horse boots. While the choice may seem overwhelming at first, your choice of beginner horse boots really boils down to a few basic factors.
The Basics of Protecting Your Horse
First and foremost, you need to make sure you do everything in your power to get boots that will protect your horse. When horses run and jump, there is a danger of them accidentally striking the inside of their opposite leg, or twisting their legs in painful ways. You don’t want that to happen, which means finding the right type of horse boot for any type of activity in which you and your horse are engaged.
Show jumping, dressage, even just standing around in stables – there are so many occasions where your horse can benefit from added protection.
As mentioned, the most important quality any horse boot can have is its ability to protect your horse against injury, with the padding it employs being key to that. Some of the most common materials used in padding include neoprene, plastic, gels, authentic and synthetic sheepskin, and leather boots.
Allowing for Mobility
It doesn’t matter how much protection your boots offer if they’re so cumbersome you can’t walk properly in them. The same holds true for horse boots. That’s why you’ll want to make sure any boots you search for rank highly in terms of mobility. Look for boots that bend well at the knee and ankle area and do not restrict your horse’s range of movement.
When you are a beginner, show jumping may seem a ways off. You may plan on learning how to do it someday, however, and when you do you’re going to need to track down horse padding and boots that afford protection while still allowing your horse to jump.
One issue with show jumping is that, when wearing pads, your horse may not always be able to feel their way around their surroundings, which can lead to them accidentally running into posts and injuring themselves. Open front horse boot options mitigate this threat by keeping the front open so your horse can feel its surroundings.
How Much Do They Cost ?
No one should have to choose between their wallet and their horse getting the protection they deserve. Horse boots are a necessity for horses engaging in dressage, show jumping, and other equine activities. Thankfully, while it’s certainly true that equine sports have had an air of elitism about them in the past, today horse pads and boots are more available and affordable than ever.
Boots for hooves can cost as little as £12, while first-rate fashionable boots for dressage and shows can cost well over £100.
Whatever the cost, however, you cannot put a price on your horse’s safety. As a beginner, you and your horse have a lot of learning and growing to do, and the right horse boots can keep them safe for many years and rides to come.