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How to Choose and Fit Bell Boots
Bell boots, typically called overreach boots, cover a horse's front feet from the pastern over the coronary band and the hoof wall down to the heel. Bell boots provide protection from interference from the hind toes, which can overreach or clip the front ft during using or turnout. Overreaching causes injury as the hind toes strike the tender heel bulbs of the front feet, or as the hind feet step on the backs of the front shoes and loosen or pull them off. If your horse tends to lose shoes in turnout, or finishes a ride with grime marks, scrapes or bruises on his heels or pasterns, he might benefit from wearing bell boots.
Bell boots also provide protection to the coronary band during activities in which a horse may are likely to step on its own toes, resembling during lungeing or trucking if shipping bandages do not cover the horse's pasterns or heels. Bell boots should always be positioned on a horse when horseshoe studs are in place, and could also be necessary for a horse wearing corrective shoeing.
In some cases, bell boots could also be useful when positioned on a horse's hind ft, resembling on a horse that tends to lose its hind shoes or that develops clip marks or abrasions above the coronary band on its hind feet. Properly fitted bell boots can temporarily lessen these problems, however a farrier must be consulted for a more everlasting resolution.
Bell Boot Types
Pull-on bell boots are considered by some riders, particularly these doing rigorous jump courses, to provide the greatest measure of security towards the bell boot coming off during a ride. In addition they provide the greatest level of protection because the boots have no opening to show an space of the heel or pastern. Pull-on bell boots will be slightly difficult to tug on and take off, so many riders favor open bell boots with hook and loop closures for convenience.
Open bell boots are easy to put on and take off because they simply wrap around the hoof and shut in place with hook and loop fasteners. Care must be taken to ensure that the ends of the open sides of the boot meet to totally protect the hoof wall, and that the hook and loop fasteners are kept clean and intact in order that the boots close securely.
Within these two essential styles, you will find that the most importantity of bell boots on the market rotate freely as the horse moves. Most horses do not mind wearing bell boots, and rotation doesn't pose a problem. Nonetheless, some sensitive horses, reminiscent of these prone to chafing or those participating in rigorous activity, might benefit from a no-turn style.
No-flip bell boots, such because the Professional' s Selection Ballistic Overreach Boots, offer a molded space on the interior of the boot that rests against the back of the pastern just above the bulbs of the heel— this design prevents the boot from turning. It places the hook-and-loop closure at the entrance of the boot to ensure full protection at the back of the boot. A second no-flip design contains a pliable pull-on fashion that conforms to the hoof and heel bulbs for protection, such as the Acavallo No-Flip Bell Boots.
Bell Boot Materials
Understanding how various materials are fashioned into bell boot types will assist you to select the very best boot in your horse. Materials are waterproof or water-repellant and provide various degrees of durability.
Gum - Traditional gum rubber bell boots, such as the Easy-Stretch Bell Boots are very lightweight and stretchy, and have a attribute caramel color. Gum bell boots are usually available in pull-on type, and within that fashion some have double thickness at the bottom for added energy against tearing. In case your horse is extremely hard on bell boots, you might find that heavier rubber bell boots or PVC bell boots final longer.
Tip: When using gum rubber pull-on bell boots, flip them inside out and hold the underside rim while pulling the boot over the toe of the hoof. When the higher rim reaches the pastern, flip the bell boot down, right side out. If you find the bell boots are difficult to stretch over the hoof, soak them in warm water and they'll change into more pliable.
Rubber - Rubber bell boots, such as the Equi-Stretch Ribbed Bell Boots, are slightly heavier than gum boots. Rubber bell boots are available in both open and closed kinds, and because rubber can be dyed you may find them in lots of brilliant and traditional colors. Consider a Fleece-Lined Bell Boot with synthetic fleece lining for a horse with sensitive skin, but you'll want to keep the fleece clean and dry for max effectiveness.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) - Heavy-duty PVC is a tough, synthetic materials that is molded into bell boots with double-locking hook and loop closures, as will be seen with the Davis Bell Boots. Like rubber bell boots, PVC boots are available in a wide range of both conservative and enjoyable colors. PVC could also be a good option for your horse in case you are looking for economical boots with sturdy sides to deflect hoof strikes.
Nylon - Several kinds of no-turn bell boots are made of nylon, an extremely durable and lightweight material. An example of this type of boot is the Professional's Alternative Ballistic Overreach Boot, which has a really dense center designed to absorb impact and a soft nylon lining.
Neoprene - Some boot manufacturers incorporate neoprene, a soft, flexible and resilient material, into their bell boots for comfort towards the horse. For example, Back on Track Bell Boot pair a fake leather exterior with neoprene interior, and Eskadron gives the Pikosoft Bell Boot with a strong suede-like materials on the outside and a neoprene lining.
Open Cell Foam - Robust artificial outer shell lined with open cell foam, a lightweight and breathable materials that disperses shock and heat. As the horse wears these bell boots, its body heat warms the froth and permits it to mold to the horse to assist take in impact.
Carbon-fiber - Horses which are extraordinarily hard on bell boots while engaged in vigorous leaping activity could benefit from bell boots such as the Woof Kevlar Overreach Bell Boots which incorporate carbon fiber strike pads. Carbon fiber is lightweight however extraordinarily strong to offer a high level of impact protection.
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