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The Pros and Cons of Protective Boots

February 2018 by David Marlin, PhD,

The most common piece of protective equipment riders use on their horses is some form of protection for the lower legs. Orthopaedic problems are one of the most common reasons for a veterinarian being called to examine or treat a horse, and this does not really differ between disciplines or level of competition. But, can boots do more harm than good? 

The limbs of a horse are the most common site for injury and the lower limbs (below the knee) more common than the upper limbs. The forelimbs are also more likely to be injured than the hindlimbs. 

One of the things that enable the horse to be so athletic, to move quickly and to jump so well, is how it is put together. The limbs are long and slender, so they can be moved quickly.