So, Which Boot do I Choose?
Decisions, decisions ......
Glove Glue-On Trail
So you've looked at the Easyboot SA selection and are at best
unsure and maybe just plain confused. You are faced with choosing
between three hoof boot types, viz. Glove, Glue-On and Trail. Take
heart because you are not alone in your indecision. Using hoof boots
is a relatively new and fast developing subject about which not much
is known by the broader riding community. This article will help you choose the correct boots on the
basis of how you intend to use them.
First a bit about the boots
If you look at the Gloves and Glue-Ons you will notice that they
are similar. They are in fact the same except for the gaiters. So
Gloves are Glue-Ons with gaiters. In fact, if you wanted to turn
Glue-Ons into Gloves you can do so by ordering the gaiters
The Trails however, are a different design completely. They do
not look at all like the others.
All three boot types have different fastening systems:-
Gloves use friction, elasticity and gaiters
Glue-Ons use one or two types of glue, depending on who is
Trails use wrap-around Velcro straps
Competitive or Recreational
This is the most important part of the decision. By competitive
we mean long-distance rides through varying kinds of terrain that are
judged or monitored to determine whether the horse is sound enough to
continue, even at the end. This includes Endurance and Competitive
Recreational riding would include all other types of riding, often
including training for competition.
Distance and Speed
The Trail boot comes with a statement that it is for riders who
intend to do no more than 40 kilometres per week. This is a clear
positioning statement from Easycare Inc who have developed and tested
the boot. Of course, you will want to know what happens when you do
41 km, and the answer is “not much”. However, if you asked the
same question about riding 80 km in Trails the answer would likely be
“quite a lot”. There are two reasons why the Trail is not
intended for horses that do longer distances.
Firstly, the Trail fastens around the pastern (hair and soft
tissue) so it more likely to chafe than the other boot fastening
systems. Note however that this can be prevented through the use of
Secondly, the 'break over” of the Trail is further forward than
the other types. In effect, it is designed for work at slower
speeds. If it was used in an Endurance race of 80 km at a typical
speed of 15 km/hour, it would not be as comfortable for the horse
compared to using Gloves or Glue-Ons.
Gloves & Glue-Ons
These are the same except for the fastening system. They are both
high-performance boots designed for long distance and speed. Gloves
are, by a country mile, easier to put on and take off than Glue-Ons.
On the other hand, Glue-Ons are far more likely to stay in place
through thick and thin, for a number of days. Anyone can put on and
remove a set of Gloves with a modicum of instruction. Applying
Glue-Ons takes far more knowledge and experience but the knowledge is
available and is quite within the capability of the average Joe and
Jill who wants to take their horse to the ultimate level.
Some riders restrict their use of Glue-Ons to multi-day events or
unusually long or important rides, using Gloves for the
run-of-the-mill rides e.g. 80 km. This is due to the longer set up
time for Glue-Ons and the cleaning out of the glue residue so that
the boots can be reused.
So finally, what do I choose?
Hopefully you are now able to make your choice in a more informed
manner. If you are strictly recreational and do not intend to use
the boots for more than 40 km per week, Trails are for you.
If you are competitive e.g. Endurance, you may wish to start with
Gloves. The more competitive you become, the more you will want and
need Glue-Ons. For your training rides you will probably want a set
of Trails too. That sounds like a lot of boots but compare it to the
cost of shoeing every six weeks, remembering that you are expecting
to get up to 1500 km from a boot. Boots are an investment while
shoeing is a straight cost. And always remember why you choose the
barefoot lifestyle for your horse in the first place.