Do Boots Affect a Horse’s Walk

In a study conducted by Santiago D. Gutierrez-Nibeyro, DVM, MS, Dept. ACVS, ACVSMR at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, that while they impact a horse’s gait, hoof boots can be beneficial.

Many trail riders often provide hoof boots for their barefoot horses, giving the horse protection and traction. Hoof boots also cushion the soles of the hoof, particularly for those horses with problems of pain, injuries or defects. Some researchers believe that hoof boots when changing a horse’s gait can have therapeutic benefits.

Horses wearing hoof boots have slower gaits, and experience longer ground contact, lessening the impact with the surface. The boots may offer more protection for limbs as well.

Gutierrez-Nibeyro and his group of researchers are investigating further to determine if hoof boots can be beneficial to both a horse’s hoofs and limbs.

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