November 7, 2018

The Use of Over Reach Boots for Horses

What is Overreaching?

Overreaching is when a horse snags or “grabs” their front heels with the toes of their hind legs which may result in injury. The area that sustains this injury is usually the delicate heel and pastern of the horse, so cuts and abrasions on these areas can become a cause for concern. Overreaching commonly occurs during fast-paced exercise and jumping, although it can occur while walking under certain circumstances.

What Are Over Reach Boots?

Over Reach Boots or Bell Boots are used as riding gear to prevent the horse form overreaching. Over Reach Boots can also be used to protect the horse while wearing studs so that it does not injure itself with the stud on the opposing foot.

When Over Reach Boots are Necessary

Over Reach Boots are not necessary as everyday equestrian equipment because overreaching will rarely occur around the grounds or in the stable. However, there are situations in which they become an important necessity. These events include:

·         Hacking

·         General schooling

·         Jumping

·         Eventing

·         Turnout

·         Transportation

How to Fit Over Reach Boots

Over Reach Boots should fit around the ankle with enough room to slide one or two fingers between it and the horse’s pastern. A well-fit Over Reach Boot is easy to identify, you will see that the bottom back rim of the Over Reach Boot is barely touching the ground when the horse is standing normally on a level surface. When the Over Reach Boot is fit this way it will protect the horse from injuring itself through overreaching. If the Over Reach Boot is not fit properly it will cause chaffing which can result in further complications.

Preventing Chafing with Over Reach Boots

All you need to do to prevent the Over Reach Boots from chafing your horse are the following:

·         Ensure the area is clean by brushing away any dirt from the hoof walls and pastern.

·         Be sure to remove the Over Reach Boots after the activity they were being worn for and allow the skin and hair to dry well.

·         Wash away any grime from the inside of the Over Reach Boot when you have finished using them. Use this time to ensure they are free from any tears or abnormalities that will cause friction against the horse’s skin.

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