A Closer Look at the Best Splint Boots for Horses
Whether you're at the rodeo or on the ranch, your horse deserves the best. Splint boots for horses are something you certainly want to have on hand. What are splint boots used for? And how do they compare to medicine boots for horses? Continue reading as we examine what to look for in the best splint boots for horses and how NRS can help your equine partner avoid injuries.
What are Splint Boots Used for?
Also referred to as "brushing boots," splint boots are used to protect and support a horse's front and hind legs (particularly the splint bone) during activities like lunging, jumping and reining, along with other forms of fast movement. They help safeguard the lower legs from injuries that may occur if one leg strikes another. Splint boots are also great for overly excited horses who can accidentally knock their fetlocks together and horses who may stumble after intense labor.
Splint Boots vs Sports Medicine Boots for Horses
Compared to splint boots, sports medicine boots help protect barrel horses' legs during quick runs. They aren't as padded as splint boots, but they provide more support to the tendons and ligaments. Medicine boots for horses cover the lower leg, front and back, from the pastern to below the knee.
They're typically made with polyurethane foam, and some styles even have bulletproof panels in the fetlock cradle. Some medicine boots for horses are designed with foam padding on the insides to ease the blow of an awry hoof during a run.
While sports medicine boots for horses can be very helpful, they shouldn't be worn for extended periods of time. If left on for too long, they can cause your horse's leg to overheat. Medicine boots for horses can be worn for warming up and running, but you should remove them afterwards.
How to Put Splint Boots on a Horse
If you've ever wondered how to put splint boots on a horse, rest assured that it's very simple. Start by brushing the horse's leg to remove any dirt or debris. Then, open up the boot by undoing its velcro straps. Inspect the inside of the boot for any lingering horse hair from the last time it was used. If you find any remaining hair or dirt on the inside of the boot, brush it thoroughly or spray it down and allow it to fully dry in the sunshine before placing it on your horse.
Now, you're ready to put the splint boot on the horse. Gently place the boot around the horse's knee and slide it down so that the bottom of the boot covers the horse’s fetlock. Then, fasten the velcro straps. You want the straps to head towards the rear on the outside of the horse's leg. The bottom most strap should wrap around the horse's leg for a secure fit.
Make sure you apply even pressure throughout this process. If splint boots are too tight, they can cause discomfort and pressure injuries. If they're too loose, however, they can become dislodged or leave rub marks on your horse’s legs.
Tips on Selecting the Best Splint Boots for Horses
To provide your horse with proper care, you need premium equipment. We recommend doing the following to ensure you choose the best splint boots for your horses:
- Get the right size. When a splint boot fits improperly, it can cause immense discomfort and even injure your horse. Be sure to take your horse's height, weight and breed into consideration, as well as the circumference of its leg. Boot sizes are available in small, medium, large, and extra large, and most manufacturers provide sizing charts for reference.
- Test the fit. Even if you think you've gotten the right size, make sure to double check. To do this, slide one finger between the splint boot and the horse's leg. You want your finger to feel snug between both surfaces. If the boot is too loose, dirt can get inside and disrupt the horse's movement. If it's too tight, it can damage the horse's tendons.
- Maintain proper upkeep. The best splint boots for horses should always be clean. Simply scrubbing them with soap and water and letting them air dry is usually enough.