The best horse shipping boot
The health of your horse's legs is of the utmost importance. And during transit to shows, sporting events, or trails, the vulnerable tendons and bones in your horse's legs are at risk of injury. The right pair of shipping boots or wraps can help protect your horse from knocks, scrapes, and bruising during a trailer ride.
As you search for the right shipping boots, you'll want to consider how far and how often you travel, the personality of your horse, and features like style and materials. In this guide, we'll explore all of the important factors that may influence your choice of boots and share our top product recommendations, including our favorite, the tough, durable Roma Deluxe Shipping Boots.
Considerations when choosing horse shipping boots
Travel frequency and distance
If you travel frequently on primarily short trips, you may want to choose boots that go on and off easily. The most durable, toughest shipping boots tend to be time-consuming to take on and off, which can become cumbersome with many short trips or multiple horses.
If you'll be traveling long distances, it's probably worth the time and money to opt for higher-quality boots that take more time to attach and remove but protect your horse's legs more thoroughly.
Your horse's temperament
This factor is so important that it may influence whether you decide to boot your horse at all. Some horses simply don't deal well with wearing boots and can become spooked, skittish, and even more likely to injure themselves than they would without boots. Your horse's stance in the trailer and personality also play a factor in your decision to boot or wrap. If your horse shifts, prances, and bangs against the sides of the trailer, it's a good idea to spend the time helping your horse adjust to boots.
Boots vs. polo wraps
Polo wraps: Polo wraps look similar to an ace bandage and can be found in several different textures, colors, and thicknesses. While wraps won't protect your horse's legs quite as rigorously, they are more versatile and can be used during sports training, races, and competitions.
Boots: Boots provide maximum protection from scuffs and knocks but are much heavier and thicker than wraps and usually don't fit quite as snugly. Most boots are made to be worn only while the horse is in the trailer during transit and should be removed immediately after the horse exits the trailer.
Measure carefully and pay close attention to the manufacturer's sizing charter to ensure your horse's boots are the right size. Boots that are too small can lead to problems with fit and proper blood circulation, while boots that are too big can slide down, get caught on hooves, or lead to a stumble.
The stiffness and durability of a pair of shipping boots directly correlates with its denier -- or fiber thickness and density. Boots with a higher denier will be more durable and tough than boots with a lower denier. Most boots are made with a hard nylon shell that varies from 400 to 1,000 denier and a soft fleece liner.
You can find thinner, minimally padded shipping boots for less than $45, but don't expect them to last on long trips. Pricier boots with a higher denier (thicker fibers that create a stiffer, more durable boot) and generous lining run closer to $65.
Q. Should my horse wear boots on all four legs?
A. Yes. Your horse will put more weight on any leg that is booted, which means that putting boots on only the front legs can cause uneven weight distribution during travel. Boot all four legs to help your horse maintain a balanced stance.
Q. How can I help my horse adjust to wearing shipping boots?
A. If your horse isn't familiar with traveling in shipping boots, spend some time practicing before your first trip. Put the boots on for 15 minutes without trailering first. Then try a short trip wearing the boots to help your horse get comfortable before your longer trip.
Horse shipping boots we recommend
Best of the best: Roma's Deluxe Shipping Boots
Our take: Durable, well-made boots that provide outstanding protection.
What we like: Tightly woven 1,000 denier shell. Comfortable fleece liner. Thick Velcro tabs keep boots solidly in place. Extremely tough.
What we dislike: Sizing can be tricky. Requires some breaking in.
Best bang for your buck: SKYCY's Neoprene Travel Boots
Our take: High-quality, versatile neoprene boots that fit like a glove.
What we like: Two sizes available. Velcro tabs keep boots secure and snug. Front vents make these boots ideal for either travel or sports training.
What we dislike: Available in red only.
Choice 3: Weaver Leather's Shipping Boots
Our take: Ergonomic travel boots that are both stylish and functional.
What we like: Durable nylon shell and soft fleece liner. Strike plate protects hooves from scuffs. Stays in place during travel. Excellent fit that looks polished and tailored.
What we dislike: Sizes run large.
Noelle Ihli is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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