Last Updated on December 10, 2020
Bell boots are worn by horses to keep them from overreaching. Overreaching is when a horse hits his front hoof heels with his hind feet when moving forward. If a horse overreaches he can injury himself, potentially in a serious manner.
Bell boots protect a horse from injuring themselves via overreaching. Overreaching can be caused or exaggerated if the horse is poorly shod. Corrective horse shoes that are improperly set can lead to the shoe stud of the hind feet to hit the front heel which can lead to further injury. Sometimes this can lead to the shoe being completely ripped from the horses hoof.
Overreaching occurs frequently in jumping and eventing horses. This is due to working quickly and in sometimes poor conditions such as mud or slick surfaces. Bell boots are almost always worn by horses in these events as it is important to prevent overreaching and it’s subsequent injury.
Bell boots are also used to protect horses during transportation. While horse leg wraps protect the lower leg of the horse they do not provide protection to the hoof or feet. This is where bell boots are effective. They keep the horse’s heel protected from bruising and damage.
Some horses can become injured when put in pasture and for this reason bell boots are often used when a horse is put it. Some horses will run and jump around, especially during colder months, when turned out. Bell boots provide protection to the hoof under these conditions.
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Fred is the editor of Equine Ridge. He grew up raising horses and has been riding, training, and competing for almost four decades. Fred started out performing on the AQHA and PHBA circuits. Fred trained other competitors in English and Western riding disciplines and today offers free riding lessons to youth who would otherwise not be able to afford lessons. When not working with horses he can be found backpacking or trying to brew the perfect cup of coffee. Email Fred at firstname.lastname@example.org