shipping boots/bell boots/polo wraps?

arabianbaby

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Jul 12, 2005
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i'm wondering the exact purpose of each of these. i understand to protect the legs, but i know most people don't use them for long distance hauls. are they necessary/recommended for short (under an hour) trips? i'm moving my two horses and want them to be safe but also don't want to spend a lot of money on things i don't need.

any advice would be appreciated. when my mare's previous owner's trailered her to shows they did use boots. my gelding had nothing on when he was delivered to me and his legs were fine. help please! thanks :)
 

Daffy Dilly

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If you don't know how well your horse travels, use bandages under travel/shipping boots, for any journey.

Daffy is ok in the trailer - he might kick until we set off and he's sweaty when we stop, but he isn't constantly moving around unsteady on his feet. I always use boots (though may switch to bandages) as one time he tore the bottom of one of them with his other hoof. Rather the boots than his legs :)
 

Ross

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I never travelled mine anywhere without travel boots on all four legs. THe possibilities for injury are endless, and the boots will at least take the minor scuffles if the horse staggers or anything... The length of journey doesn't make much difference - they are as likely to 'fall over' in the first 5 minutes as an hour into the journey.

I used Woof travel boots, and was very grateful I had when my last mare kicked the partition the whole journey (about 15 minutes!) and nearly went through it - goodness knows what she'd have done to her legs without them.

Ross
 

otl1987

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I suggest you should put on travel boots, especially on long trips. I put on travel boots and bell boots whenever I put the horses in the trailor or the truck. It can't hurt them, it's for protection. I know many cases of horses who got of the truck with their feet all injured, just because they didn't wear boots. And there was a horse that was severely injured at the hoof, which you know is really serious (1/3 of the hoof was cut by a really nasty kick). That's why I wear bell boots... But that's my opinion. I'm sure that whoever doesn't wear boots will have a good reason oo, so ask someone and then decide...:)
 

Wally

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It depends on the horse, my horse will not tollerate anything on his legs, he'd die before we got to the trailer if I put boots or bandages on him.

I tend not to travel the Icelandic s or the Shetlands with any leg wear, they get far too hot and uncomfy. They are not like big horses and can manage their own weight better and keep their balance better.

I have had more problems from those rubber bell boots from rubbing that injuries had they not worn them.
 

Daffy Dilly

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Should also say my instructor has never travelled any of her horses with anything but a tail bandage, but then she is very experienced and even got one of them to the point where it would walk up the ramp and stand there on command :)

I on the other hand, am not quite so confident with my horses travelling abilities, so would rather spend £30 on some boots than £100 excess on an insurance claim for the vet. ;)
 

jUmPingIsLifE

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i would use boots. i never did until we talked about it in class and i relized just how many things can go waaaay wrong.

the horses lower leg: NO muscle, NO meat, nearly nothing between the skin and the horses tendons and ligements. if anything went wrong and they got a cut there is just not enough padding to protect themselves from being put into early retirement. my lamness teacher scared me into vowing every to haul without all around shipping wraps. and then she had to tell us horror stories to persuad us even more:eek:
 

Wally

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My mare went through a cattle grind, skinned her leg to the bone, and tendons, YUCK, although not something you want to have happen it healed and she is fine.

The MOST important thing is to make sure the vehicle you are using is checked and the risks assessed and made safe as possible.

Horror stories are fine, but lets see some statistics! I know damn lies and then statistics! But for the thouseands of horses being shipped how many do have bad injuries as compared to horses playing in a field?
 

Daffy Dilly

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One horse we travelled was wearing only brushing boots. We'd borrowed a trailer and she put her foot through the floor above the wires about 5 minutes from her yard. Luckily she only cut herself, but it could've been a lot worse. Only ever going to use my RI's trailer from now on (or a properly hired one) as I know she's the kind of person that will keep it in perfect nick, using it or not.

One of the times Daffy travelled he put a big hole in the outside of one boot - luckily that didn't go through and to his leg. I think the boots are perhaps not tight enough, so in future he'll have bandages and travel pads on underneath, just to be safe. :)
 

carthorse

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I don't use travel boots simply because my horse isn't happy in them & the thought of trying to unbandage an overexcited 16.3 HW on a showground brings me out in a cold sweat :eek: I compromise by using good brushing & overreach boots, they may not give as much protection but are certainly better than nothing & I can ride in them at the other end.
I really wouldn't be happy travelling with no leg protection even for a short distance.
 

chev

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May 7, 2002
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Imho the main purpose of travel boots is to make the manufacturers money. ;)

I don't use them. They can cause the legs to overheat, which can cause problems in itself. And to be honest, if we're talking about preventing injuries caused (for example) when a horse puts a leg through a partition, a wad of padded material is not going to do a whole lot to prevent that kind of damage.

I've moved horses in trailers and boxes from one end of the country to another, including mares and foals together, and never had any kind of leg injury in spite of not using boots or bandages. Like Wally says, the best way to prevent injury is not by wrapping them up but by ensuring what they travel in is as safe as possible.