Your horse’s legs – boot and leg protection shopping list!


Do you know that old saying about no hoof, no horse? The same applies to his legs – no leg, no horse. You will need to protect a horse’s legs in many instances; here’s a handy boot and leg protection shopping list.


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horse with black polo wraps and bell boots

Options, options, options.


The situation: Basic leg protection for exercise.


  • Your horse can, and will, find a way to knock themself during a workout. Even the horse that doesn’t regularly interfere can benefit from protection just in case: during lateral work, when the terrain is bad, when they wants to dance, when they spook. For more info on interference, read this article.


Options: Splint boots, sport boots, polo wraps.


  • The most versatile choice: I pick sport boots. They can be used for all disciplines; they are machine washable, they last, they are easy to put on and take off, and they can also be used for turnout. No polos in turn out please, they can easily unravel.


rolled up black sport boots

Multi-purpose and easy to use. These are my Valena boots.


The situation: Leg protection for trailering.


Options: Standing wraps (quilts and wraps), shipping boots, sport boots and bell boots (not the best option, but better than naked legs).


  • The most versatile choice: I pick standing wraps. Standing wraps are good for trailering and medical needs. Shipping boots are great if your budget allows it and your horse is fine with the knee and hock coverage.


standing wrap bandage

Quilts and standing wraps are the most versatile.


The situation: Post-exercise leg care.


Options: Poultice, ice boots, cold water hosing, liniments.


  • The most versatile choice: I pick ice boots. A poultice is messy; you need to let it sit 12 hours and you can’t use it everywhere unless you want a sticky mess. Ice boots take 20 or 30 minutes, and the packs can be used all over your horse, or you.


short tendon ice boots on a horse lower leg

I often use these on my own achy parts.


The situation: Hoof care.


  • You will need something for hoof icing, hoof poultice, hoof packing, hoof protection from a tossed shoe.


Options: One thousand types of hoof boot.


  • The most versatile choice is a boot you can soak, ice, and protect your horse’s legs in. These catch-all boots are not super for letting your horse walk around or be turned out.  They excel at protecting the hoof until your farrier arrives.  They are commonly used to protect the hoof after the horseshoe has disappeared.  


hoof wrap on a horse hoof

These temporary hoof wraps are affordable, but may not stand up to a lot of wear, especially on gritty ground. 


The situation: Your horse has a medical reason requiring leg protection.


  • This could be to combat proud flesh, to keep a wound or surgical site covered, to treat massive swelling, etc.


Options: Quilts or cotton batting or “no bow” wraps. Covered with flannel wraps, standing wraps, medical tape.


  • The most versatile choice: I pick quilts with standing wraps. Quilts are forgiving, and it’s tough to get them too tight. “No bow” wraps and flannels are not so forgiving in their application, and in delicate medical situations perhaps some squish from a quilt is better. Cotton batting and medical tape get expensive if you are doing multiple changes! If you have quilts and wraps for hauling, they can do double duty here.


horse with one yellow standing wrap

Talk to your vet about the need to wrap both legs if only one has the injury. Sometimes it’s a good idea, other times it’s not a good idea.



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02/21/2024 03:53 pm GMT
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Cavallo Simple Hoof Boot for Horses, Size 3, Black

This style is great to protect the hoof, but is not soft and squishy for laminitis cases.

02/22/2024 06:38 am GMT
EasyCare Glove Hoof Boot

These boots are great for protecting barefoot horses.

02/22/2024 08:32 am GMT
Whinny Wellies from Sox For Horses

Tough, weather-resistant covering for wraps and bandaging.

Silver Bells - Sox For Horses

For hoof protection when equine pastern dermatitis is a risk.

$12.82 ($3.20 / Fl Oz)
02/21/2024 01:07 am GMT


Thank you!