The first line of defence a horse has against their own razor-sharp back feet is bell boots. They are essential for avoiding abrasions to these delicate places because they wrap around the front hooves and cover the coronary band and heel bulbs that are particularly fragile. When working with horses or individuals who are prone to overextending themselves and getting hurt, bell boots are frequently used. However, not every horse needs bell boots.
The horse’s front feet are equipped with bell boots, which are safety gear. Equestrians use the bell boot to safeguard their horses from harm and to stop their back feet from slamming against their front feet’s horseshoes and ripping them off. Some horses have the propensity to overreach when running and collide the back of their front foot with the front of their rear hooves. The most vulnerable areas to harm from this impact are the soft tissues at the heel bulb and coronary band.
The lower pastern, coronary band, and heel bulb are the most often injured areas. An overreach injury may occasionally be serious and result in long-term harm. Overextending most frequently results in injury to the heel bulbs. The fleshy area of a horse’s foot’s back, just above the hairline and beneath the pasterns, is known as the heel bulb. When a horse’s hind hoof strikes the heel bulb, the force can be such that it rips through the horse’s flesh, causing intense agony, swelling, and profuse blood. Horses can occasionally experience persistent issues with lameness. When a horse smashes into the back of its pastern, the most severe injuries happen. They may also require surgery for higher-up overreach injuries on the back of their leg since they may lacerate tendons or enter a tendon sheath just above the fetlock region.
Bell boots come in two main varieties: pull-on and open bell boots with fasteners. Pull-on boots slide over your horse’s foot and are often made of rubber. They are perfect for horses who need boots during turnout and frequently get their feet wet because they are simple to clean. Pull-on bell boots should be loose rather than snugly fitting on your horse’s pastern. They may irritate and rub the horse’s skin raw if they are too tight. Although some bell boots have fleece inside to help with chafing prevention, proper boot fitting is still crucial.
The ideal distance between the top of the bell boot and your horse’s lower leg is one finger wide. However, you should only be able to squeeze one finger inside the boots because if they are too big, your horse’s foot would be exposed. The back of the boot should be approximately parallel to the ground when your horse is standing on a level surface. The majority of bell boots are available in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes. Arabians and Quarter horses often wear a medium, Thoroughbreds big, and Warmbloods extra-large. The best course of action is to read reviews before purchasing because there is a lot of variety in manufacturer sizing.