What to Look for in the Most Common Types and Styles of Horse Boots

Horse Boots

Whether you are a professional equestrian, an up and comer, someone who’s new to the sport, or simply love to ride for recreation, you need to make sure you have the right boots. For riders, that means choosing between the many iterations of sleek leather and rubber riding boots. For horses, that means making sure your mount’s legs, cannon bones, and hooves are protected against debris and any obstacles that may get in their way.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of horse boots along with some of the different styles that imbue them with their unique aesthetic flourishes.


Open Front Jumping Boots

These are among the most common kinds of horse boots, worn by most horses doing equestrian sports of some fashion or another. Their design allows horses to feel what’s around them when riding, which is critically important. For as much as you want to shield your horse’s legs, you don’t want that to come at the cost of your horse not knowing what’s around them and, thus, accidentally running into an obstacle, tripping them up and potentially leading to serious injury.

Open front jumping boots help prevent that. They provide sturdy padding while their open design allows horses to feel obstacles in front of them.

Cross Country Jumping Boots

Designed for longer rides, cross country jumping boots are typically lightweight. Like open front boots, they open at the front so as to allow your horse to detect nearby obstacles.

Horses can sometimes accidentally strike their own legs while running at a full gallop in preparation for a jump. This can really hurt, as you would imagine, so cross country jumping boots include strike padding that helps protect the insides of their legs from obstacles as well as their own hooves.

Dressage Boots

When buying dressage boots, finding the right colors and styles to accentuate your horse’s appearance as well as your own are quite important. Elegance and grace are a huge part of dressage, and your dressage boots should fit in with that while wrapping around your horse’s leg so as to provide extra support. Most dressage boots are black, white, or brown, so as to blend in nicely with your horse’s legs. Other riders prefer to match their dress boots to their riding colors.

Splint and Hind Leg Boots

Both of these types of boots are designed to protect your horse’s fetlock and cannon bone. The latter is especially important, as it takes on much of the weight on a horse’s leg while riding. Splint and hind leg boots, thus, give the area added support.

Bell Boots

Your horse’s hooves are more sensitive than you might imagine at first, and, thus, require added protection against injuries. These boots are specifically designed to protect your horse’s hooves. The bell-shaped design fits snugly atop your horse’s hoof, coming down part way. The interior usually features fleece or neoprene.

By keeping these different types and styles in mind, you can make sure your horse has the protection it needs, all while looking stunning.

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