Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gluing vs. Gaiters

Another question: "As long as you're on the hoof boot subject, please tell me about gluing the hoof boot onto the hoof vs. using a gaiter. Is there a reason one would be preferred over the other at any given time? I've noticed the gluing is more common on the endurance rides. What about conditioning rides? How difficult is it to remove the hoof boot with the glue?"

My answer:

The reason I foam on my boots for multidays is two-fold -

1. I don't want to wake up earlier to put the boots on (especially when my horse is ready to go!!) and take the boots off every night. I put them on the day before, and do not have to worry about them all week.

2. Anything above the hairline has the potential to rub, so by foaming on the boots, you eliminate all possibilities of rubbing. This is particularly important over lots of miles and lots of days.

For conditioning, I use gaiter boots. I usually just use front boots, and put them on before the ride, and then pop them off after the ride. This gives me flexibility to use all the different hoof boots on the market....

A foamed on boot can be difficult to remove, you need to loosen it with a screw driver, then pry it off. And then pull your foam out of the boot.

Karen Chaton's blog has detailed instructions on how to foam, and how to remove the boots. Here is a link, search on foam: http://easycareinc.typepad.com/karen/

A downside to foaming is that thrush grows in that anaerobic environment, so make sure you clean the hooves, and try a piece of gauze in the frog with a thrush medication on there (Natalie Herman's trick).

Another down side is that once they are one, they are on - this has been a problem at 3 different rides for me. I have foamed on Easyboots, but then it rains. The Easyboots don't do great in mud, but the Grips do. I would have liked to pull off the Easyboots and put on the Grips, but I didn't because it is a bit of a process to remove them.

Bottom line - Gaiters for training, foam for multidays, and your choice for the one or two day rides!!


Carla said...

Thanks for the great info! What are Grips?

Tracy Browne said...

Grips are like an Epic, only the traction is perfect for mud and snow. Here is a link to their web site where you can view them to get more info: