Barefoot Horse FAQs

My horse has his width in one size, and length in the next size up/down, which size should I choose?

If one measurement is in the smaller size, and one in the larger size, you must go for the large size or ideally look to see if another hoof boot is more appropriate. If you go for the smaller boot in this instance, you risk rubbing or not being able to get the boot on at all!

My horses measurements are at the top of one size and the bottom of the next size up, which size will work best?

If the width and length fit into both sizes, go for the smaller size as this will offer the closest fit and we have found that they work best with a tight width in particular.

Can I return the boots if I buy them and they do not fit or I don’t like them for any reason?

You are welcome to return the boots for a full refund as long as they are restored to us in the same condition we sent them in. Boots that are tried without care and are returned with any marks or dirt on unfortunately cannot be refunded (this does not effect your statutory rights).

I like a certain hoof boot but my horses measurements don’t really fit into any of the sizes, can I still use it?

Every type of hoof boot as its merits, but a hoof boot that fit’s the size and shape of the horses foot most closely is more likely to give miles of stress free riding than a hoof boot that doesn’t fit properly. The best hoof boots that are the incorrect fit tend to get trodden on or fall off/break and generally cause hassle so it is better to choose one that may not be your first choice but you know is a good fit measurement wise first.

Can I use hoof boots over shoes for a shod horse?

Hoof boots were not really designed to be used over shoes as this can cause excessive wear in the boots, but some people have had to use them like this for very old or injured horses. The old mac G2 normally fares best if they are to be used for long periods and turnout, but in all cases using boots over shod hooves will more than likely invalidate any warranty that may be offered by the hoof boot manufacturer.

Can I turn my horse out or keep him stabled in hoof boots?

Hoof boots have really be designed for working barefoot horses, and horses under saddle are normally more in control than horses at liberty. Hoof boots and in particular the old mac G2 do fare well being used during non ridden situations, but there is a greater chance of the boot getting damaged or pulled off particularly when rolling etc. Shod horses are also more likely to loose shoes in the field than when being ridden for the same reasons!

Can I boot just the fronts or hinds of my horse and leave the others bare/shod?

Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to boot just a pair of feet (but never one hoof of a pair, or one front and one back) as they fronts and hinds serve different purposes to the horse. It is common in approx 75% of cases than only the front (weight bearing) hooves need protection, and the hinds are comfortable without. With driving horses it is often the reverse as the hinds do so much pushing they need the protection more than the fronts! As a rule if your horse is feeling his feet boot them, if not don’t.

Can you jump and do everything you can with a shod horse when wearing hoof boots?

Yes, with the correct hoof boots correctly fitted (this is paramount!) there is no reason why your horse cannot gallop, jump, splash through rivers and everything besides as you would with him shod.

What are the best boots for long periods or riding/ endurance?

The easy care range such as the epic and bare are ideally suited to performance horse work, as they are lightweight and fit below the hairline. If your horses feet fit this style of hoof boot we would always recommend them first, but often the foot shape is such that another style is more suitable in which case that is the best boot. Every hoof boot can perform well for long periods, boot that fit above the coronet band may require you to protect the horse from potential rubbing, but this is little trouble compared to an epic or bare that doesn’t fit properly because of the foot shape and is ripped off or lost on a regular basis!

Can I use studs with hoof boots?

Yes, we do sell studs for use with hoof boots, but advise they should only be used on soft surfaces as with any stud. The easy boot grip is also an excellent boot for a stud like grip if your horses feet fit the shape of them.

Will hoof boots stay on in deep mud/water?

As long as the boot fits well and is correctly fitted, there is no more chance of loosing a hoof boot than there is loosing a metal shoe in mud or water.

Do I have to use the same make of hoof boots on all 4 feet?

No, you boot the horses feet as pairs, and as the front feet are usually a different shape from the hinds, you will find one style of boot will fit the front feet and a different style for the hinds.

When should I consider using a pad in the hoof boots?

If your horse is sore, is susceptible to concussion or has feet that need to improve internally/ externally you should use a 12mm comfort pad of a style to fit the boot you are using. The 6mm pads are a good ‘insurance policy’ and offer shock absorbance and continued hoof improvement for already healthy hooves.

Should I go up a size if I am going to use hoof comfort pads or EPS pads?

If you are using any of the hoof boots we sell with the comfort pads (12mm or 6mm) that we sell to go with them, you should not need to alter the size you need to buy. This means when you no longer need to use the pads, the boots will still be a good fit. EPS pads are 1” thick – the hoof boots have not been designed to be used with pads this thick and you may need to go up a size to accommodate their thickness, we always advise that you consult your trimmer in this situation first.

How do I know if the hoof boots fit properly?

Each style of hoof boot we sell comes with comprehensive fitting instructions and pointers to tell if the hoof boot is fitting correctly. Universally good tests are to try putting the bottom of the hoof against the outside bottom of the hoof boot to see where the hoof will be sitting in there and if it looks a neat fit, and when the boot is on it is usual for the boot to not be able to turn more than 5 degrees wither way (the boot should move with the hoof). Sometimes the only real test is to ride or work the horse in them which is why we always advise you to hire hoof boots from us first if you are at all unsure.

How long do hoof boots last?

Hoof boots are very durable, and on average will outlast steel shoes 3:1. Add to that the fact that most horses will not be wearing them 24hrs a day and they really can be a significantly cheaper option than shoeing in the long term! Some horses are very hard on their boots (as they are with shoes) and action, conformation and terrain all play a part but the average seems to be 6 months-1 year for a pair, the most extreme cases I have seen were 2 weeks (the horse dragged its toes and brushed due to a very poor action) and over 4 years for a horse hacking lightly across the moors a couple of times a week.

How do I know when to replace the hoof boots with new ones?

As long as the hoof boots fit well, do not rub and give sufficient grip there is no reason to buy a new pair.