Shipping boots and leg protection for your horse

 

Your horse’s shipping boots and leg protection needs may depend on a few factors – the horse, the distance, and the shipper.

 

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  • If I am doing my own hauling, short or long distance, I prefer standing wraps for protection, and they keep my older horse’s legs from stocking up. Since I am the shipper, I can also ensure they are correctly applied and stay that way. Often I will add a few quick rounds of masking tape, not duct tape, over the velcro as extra security.

 

  • Maybe this goes without saying, maybe not… Please “dress” your horse and have him walk around in his shipping boots, standing wraps, and bell boots before you load up. My horse has the equivalent of a tornado freak out if you put bell boots on, and I’m so glad I discovered this NOT in a trailer.

 

brown shipping boots

These shipping boots have attached bell boots

 

  • I also like to put front bell boots on some horses. This protects all the surfaces of the hoof as well as the shoe.

 

standing wraps on a horse after 24 hours of travel

These are after 24 hours of travel – trailer, airplane, trailer again.

 

If someone else is shipping my horse, I prefer velcro shipping boots covering the hocks.

 

  • They are easy on and easy off for the handlers, especially if the trip requires layovers and you can not be there to wrap. Most of the common shipping boots have “built-in” bell boots.

 

  • This is also up to the horse – and if he will tolerate the hind boots as they cover the hock. Some horses will not, and end up kicking to the point of injury or trailer damage. In that case, standing wraps are your best bet.

 

Always provide some form of leg protection if possible.

 

  • At one point in time, I incorrectly thought that shipping boots and standing wraps were pointless, and did you really need them to go 5 miles down the road?

 

  • And then one day I watched a horse calmly unloading from a rig. No leg protection. He calmly and innocently slipped off the side of the ramp and removed all of the skin and hair from his fetlock to his knee. Save yourself the heartache and certain veterinary bills by always protecting those legs. It’s not just while they are ON the rig – it’s the getting on and off.

 

single horse in two horse trailer

Some horses like to tempt fate and slide off the sides of ramps or the back edge of the trailer. There is no surer way to have a severe injury.

 

  • If your horse decides that shipping boots and standing wraps are not his thing – then you have some training and desensitization to do. It’s for his own good, your peace of mind, and your wallet.

 

  • Here’s some info on wrapping tails, too, just in case you like to do that when shipping.

 

 

 

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Thank you!