You have decided your horse needs boots, now what? First of all, hoof boots have made huge strides in their ability to go on easily, stay on through mud, sand, and water, and come off easily when you have finished riding. Yes classic Easyboots are still being made, and even they have gotten easier to put on and take off. As an endurance rider, I have used the following Easycare products: Easyboots, Easyboot Epics (Easyboots with a gaiter attached), Easyboot glue-ons (tight-fitting shells that are glued on), and Easyboot Gloves (tight-fitting shells with gaiters attached). These have all been successful options for both trail riding and in competitive events.
However, my favorite boots for ease of use (easiest to put on/ off and also best retention) are Renegades or Viper boots. Lander Industries is a U.S. Business whose founder invented a hoof boot with a pivoting and cushioned heel captivator. Because the heel pivots, the boot easily slides on and off. It also prevents heel rubs because the captivator moves with the heel bulb. Water and mud slide out the back rather than weighting down the boot, and they stay on for days or many miles without rubs if fitted properly, which is why its important to have whatever boots you choose fitted professionally.
I am Central Oregon’s only dealer for Renegades and Vipers due to the strict screening process the manufacturers have for their boots. I carry fitting shells for every size of Renegades (6 sizes) and Vipers (about 20 sizes) and try to have a variety of sizes and colors in my truck at all times. I also have fitting shells for Easycare Gloves and Glue-ons so I can show you a variety of styles, colors, and price ranges. How much does a fitting cost? There is no charge for fitting within Deschutes County up to Sunriver. I am so confident that people and their horses will love my boots that there is no need to charge for fittings.
Remember that boots are a very important tool with the barefoot horse. Even if your horse has a great barefoot hoof, chances are that his turnout area isnt filled with sharp gravel or rocks. It simply isn’t fair to expect your horse to navigate these surfaces with the added weight of a rider. If your horse is lamintic or recovering from injury, I also sell boots for therapeutic purposes, at a fraction of the cost that local vets sell them for. So, for all of your booting needs, call Natural Hoofcare Bend first.
Nutrition is a huge part of keeping hooves healthy and your horse sound. Wendy can recommended products which can minimize metabolic impact while keeping your horse busy eating all day and getting the nutrition he or she needs. Wendy can also help with pasturing ideas to keep your horse busy and healthy.