Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What Do Wednesday: Boots

Sidenote reeeeal quick- I think I have fixed the mobile app for those that mentioned it was not working for them!  Mine is no longer completely black, so I am hoping it is not for y'all as well. 

Another Wednesday is upon us and I had a hard time picking a topic at first. Everything is so mundane  in the winter. But then, I did laundry!

Horse laundry, specifically. In the scheme of "not doing much riding of worth and knocking out annoying barn chores" I decided to destroy my mothers super expensive washing machine and wash all the super muddy polos and boots I had stacked up in my laundry bin at the barn.

As was rolling the hundreds of polo wraps I own & texting Aimee about my love for polos and how I just want all the polos (polos forever) in every color,  we connected in our love for polos. I realize not everyone obsesses over polos like we do, and many actually dislike them.

In general, above all other tack things, I am a lower leg clothes whore. Completely. There is not a boot or wrap I can resist. Unless its like $200.

Dressage people have their quick wraps/polos. Jumpers have their leather open fronts. Eventers have hard shell/breathable air flow things. Western people have SMBs. Endurance people have splint boots. And then theres me. Who has them all.

One of my goals this year is to aquire some Devonshire Open Front Because because they are straight sex. I mean look at them.

Of course, I have 4 other sets of leather open fronts, but none of them fit quite right. They don't have "the feeling". The Devonshire's would be the most expensive set of boots I would have in my trunk, but I mean...look at them. At $165 I can say that there are so many people out there that wouldn't bat an eye at the price, so I am making them "My 2015 Tack Purchase".

B in his Devonshire's
My love affair with boots began early on as a newly christened horse owner at the age of 10. I went to one of my first 4H meetings with my bitchy pony Dolly in tow (whom I ADORED) & learned about splint boots.

The obsession was swift and aggressive.

I had soon convinced my parents Dolly NEEDED 5 pairs, in different colors, and the love for boots blossomed into a rather unhealthy obsession.

By age 12, I had several polo wraps, so many splint boots I lost count and I saved up to buy myself some black SMB's. They were beautiful and I was in love. I felt so proud to have bought them myself and rocked them out on XC at my first show. Spirit wore the shit out of those.

Splint boots and black SMBs at my 1st ever event!
I still have those SMB's to this day. How crazy is that. SMBs are tough boots, and I've put them through hell. Them damn things is 12 years old and still hangin on!

The next year I joined Pony Club and I learned the "PC approved" way to wrap legs. I was also introduced to standing wraps and again, acquired so many standing bandages in every color that my bins were overwhelmed. I loved them. I felt so informed and powerful and like I could do anything with the perfect set of matching standing wraps or polos. ANYTHING.

Through PC I learned about leather open fronts, quick wrap boots (like the Dover brand schooling boots) and Woof boots for XC. I HAD TO HAVE THEM ALL.

Dover Schooling aka a "quick wrap"
FFW to present day, and I can honestly say I have kept almost everything I bought as a teeenager in semi-pristine condition. Not only am I a tack whore but I am also a pack rat.  I think I've only had to get rid of 3 sets of polo wraps and 2 sets of splint boots due to hard wear. Literally everything else I've kept. I SWEAR I have 20 sets of polo wraps. No joke. Mostly in black or white. I probably have 4 sets of woof boots, in varying stages of wear, 3 easy wraps, & 4 sets of open front. Most or all bought at discount price from Ebay or off a friend. Tack ho-ing, the economical way!

I own one, yes only ONE, pair of brand new, very NICE XC boots that was my "2012 Tack Purchase".

The beautiful Dalmar's
My point being, I LOVE all boots and I think they all have a purpose.

Polo's I use for dressage and hacks mostly. I think they offer a little bit of support, and used in tandem with flexwrap EquiSport bandages (a little like vetwrap, but re-useable) they can offer A LOT of support. I tend to not use them as much in summer time, as they can be very warm. Sometimes I even use polo in back, with easy wraps up front.

Classy in B&W
For summer use, I snagged a pair of Climatex combination bandages off eBay for a stupid cheap price and LOVE love LOVE them. They wick away moisture and seem to offer a sick amount of support for those horsey tendons and joints. I trust them so much I sometimes jump  in them.

Easy wraps up front, Cliamtex behind
For stadium, I really like leather open fronts. They offer protection, look classy for shows and keep the horses honest about rubbing rails. Sometimes I will also break out my white Roma's I keep only for showing. 

Leather open fronts
White Roma's
For jump schooling, I prefer the cheap open front Roma brand. As they are easy to hose off, cheap, pretty good quality, and offer great protection. Not much support, but thats when I use EquiSport bandages in tandem! Sometimes I even use quick wraps over EquiSport.

Modeling the EquiSport's under quick wraps up front

For XC, I use Dalmar's up front, petal bells, and woof in back. Sometimes (almost always) with EquiSport for the extra support. Before I bought the Delmar's it was Woof all around.
Yankee in 2011 modeling the petal bell boots and woof boots all around 
--> I know a lot of people are very against boots, and then there are those like me that are very for boots/wraps. I believe that as long as you know how to properly wrap polos, and know how to fit other boots, they can only help and not hurt. Being mindful of the temperature outside is a big factor as well, and there is much debate about overheating tendons. I tend to be overly cautious and might baby the horses a bit, but I think prevention is the best medicine.

In past experience, my horses have ONLY hurt themselves in work when I didnt boot or wrap them. Of course. So now every ride I put something on. Wether that be a full EquiFlex/combo wrap, polos, easy wraps or boots, I always always always have something on their legs.

So, bloggers, its your turn! What is your opinion/POA when it comes to wraps/boots for riding? Do you swear by it? Detest it? Not really sure? What do you use primarily? Why?

Feed me your secrets!


  1. I'm also a wrap-or-boot-every-time kinda person. Polos (generally) for flatwork, especially during the cold months. The reason being that I think it would be nice to have warm fuzzy polos on my legs if I was exercising outside when it's cold out. Otherwise, I do my Tekna open fronts/ankles for jumping, lessons, showing, wet conditions... etc. I love those dang things. Cheap and easy to clean and CLASSY looking! And they fit my 14.1 pony perfectly, which is hard to do. Right now I'm running XC in cheap-o neoprene splints because I'm too poor to buy legit XC boots just yet. Those will be my '2015 Purchase'. I however do not boot or wrap when riding in deep snow, because I don't want snow to get packed into boots, and polos are dangerous when they get wet since they can slide down. Then pony goes nekkid.

  2. I boot pretty much every ride, especially because my horse moves kind of base narrow, so he has a tendency to whack himself.

  3. I love boots and wraps! Also bell boots for every ride, why risk a heel grab? I have an insane number of woofs:4 strap, 5 strap, 2 strap, double Velcro. Three different sets of open fronts (but I want more), fuzzy dsb boots (quick wraps as you say), and all the polos! Also some insanity from the consignment aisle in the form of n.e.w. hinds and devoucoux fronts for xc! Ooo I almost forgot, my new favorites, the dressage boot (seems fine for jumping as well) from majyk!

  4. Alllll da boots. SB is teaching me how to hoard *nod*

  5. Love boots, hate polos. I have the Dover ones you pictured for quick hacks/whatever, cheapy open fronts for schooling at home and JUST ordered a pair of Equifit open fronts for shows and when I'm feeling fancy :-D

  6. Haha! I bought petal bell boots last month just because I've never had any before and they sounded cool. I keep wanting to try them out, but maybe not the best idea on an OTTB in the winter in an indoor.

    I boot every ride. I pass on bell boots right now because courage is barefoot for a few more weeks (and then back to bell boot hell), but I always do front boots to prevent anything scary and hind boots because he's so base narrow.

    Also you need more colors of polos.

  7. I love me some boots, but I'm not a huge polo fan... although I do kind of want a pair of Climatex wraps....

  8. I love boots. And the only time my horses have themselves while riding is also without boots on (like that time my hubs didn't boot up Vegas and didn't tighten his girth, and the saddle slid under her and she got a leg through the stirrup and ripped her leg to pieces). So yes, all the colors, and the kinds! My "english" boot collection is finally up to par with the "western" collection!

  9. I polo or boot about 99% of the time, even go so far as to put bell boots on ponies to encourage SK to move her shoulders more. Woof boots are my life, I heard that Dalmars can shatter and am scared to use them, but Rhyme has a used set of four. I love the look of boots, how classy they can make you look and just how it can just finish up "the look"

  10. i love boots too - but am also somewhat forgetful... these days i try to always have something up front - usually splint boots - bc my mare has whacked herself a few times. she can also occasionally knock her rear ankles when she's due for a trim... so yea i should probably be better about this (esp bc i actually have some nice boots!)

  11. Pulled enough shoes, to always do bell boots now. I'd have more polos, but I have an obsession with bright colors, which doesn't mesh as well with H/J land apparently. I use them interchangeably with open-fronts until summer, whether jumping, flatting etc. I have those Dover boots for flatting or when Princess is in turn-out since she occasionally does something more than graze. I have some super cheap, but frankly quite nice looking leather open fronts for lessons (i.e. jumping) and summer months when just wrapping a polo makes us both sweat. I love the look of polos done right, but open-fronts work way better to remind my mare to not jump by braille.

  12. I'm very meh about boots. I am one of those who grew up only throwing on splint boots to jump in a lesson.

    Riding in the pasture I just don't even think about putting on boots. Mainly because on any given day I may ride into the pond a bit so polos wouldn't work, I'm not getting my leather open fronts wet and pond smelly, and same with the smell and the cheap splint boots.

    I see the point in them for high impact work where my horse might knock into her own legs or knock her legs into something else, but I've never been a big believer in the supposed "support" provided by boots - also, if she can gallop around like a lunatic without anything supporting her lower limbs, I don't really think she needs any support to go for a little ride.

  13. I'm pretty meh on boots and polos too. I rarely use them, and when I do it's more for decoration than any real desire for protection. I pretty much never jump in them because my horse has the laziest legs on the planet and takes full advantage of whacking poles when booted--even open fronts.

  14. I boot every ride. I have Boogaloos for each of my horses for schooling and Penny wears fleece topped bell boots. I have a set of Equi Fits and eskadrons for showing in stadium, and Premiere Equine boots for cross with Prof Choise no turn bell boots, or I use the Boogaloos for lower levels. My woofs are back ups for schooling. I never use polos because they do nothing other than protect against minor bumps...but they aren't enough for bumps from a shoed horse. No matter how well you wrap, they simply can not support the leg, lots of research out there now showing it. They are fine to protect from light brushing though.

  15. And yes, the background is no longer black! Yay!

  16. I LOVE boots. I wrap or boot every ride. I love the Eskdron climatex wraps, too.

  17. I've never used boots... literally I've never put boots on a horse of mine lol. I guess because I missed out on the pony club thing. ;) Since I don't know anything about boots I do want to ask something.... when flatting without boots if your horse always hurts himself how does he not hurt himself out in the pasture without boots? I have a guess, but I'll see what you say first in case my idea is stupid haha.