FAQ

Answers to most commonly asked questions

Hoof Boots

When is the best time to have a Hoof Boot Consult with Beccy


Immediately after a trim or shoe removal is the best time to have a hoof boot consult. This allows for optimum fit throughout the trim cycle. If you horse is coming out of shod, he or she may need support from hoof boots immediately after coming out of shoes and in this instance, we recommend you seek appropriate expert advice. We offer expert integrative equine podiatry consults and if you would like to book Beccy, please complete this online form. If you like, you can contact us to book a free 15 minute support call with Beccy.




My horse is currently shod. Will he need hoof boots after his shoes are removed?


Transitioning to barefoot can mean some horses require additional care and attention as some horses come out of shoes with weak hooves and need support initially. We recommend you seek appropriate expert advice and help from a specialist who can advise you on how best to support your horse. We offer expert integrative equine podiatry consults and if you would like to book Beccy, please complete this online form. If you like, you can contact us to book a free 15 minute support call with Beccy.

Why not book a hoof boot consult with Beccy to help you find the right solutions for your horse?




How do I know my horse needs hoof boots?


Great question! You should consider hoof boots for your bare foot horse if the following is true:

  • If your horse has less than ideal hooves and posture*
  • Your horse is lame and requires support (following vet advice)
  • If your horse has thin soles or is described as “footy”
  • If your horse is shod and you are planning to go barefoot
  • If your environment does not support your horse hoof health
  • When advised by your hoof carer or vet
  • The horse has a condition or disease and hoof boots and/or therapeutic pads are thought to help
  • The environment (exercise, play, rest or living) is abrasive, hard, uneven or frozen and you need to protect the hoof from wear, bruising, trauma, point pressure and potentially from slipping
  • Your horse is wearing more than he is growing and the wear is creating imbalance and placing the horse at risk of trauma, injury disease or infection

*In our experience, horse owners and even industry professionals are not necessarily recognising changes in posture and hoof shape which indicate a loss of health, well-being and resilience. We can help you recognise healthy posture and hoof ideals and whether hoof boots, or a different intervention might be appropriate for your horse, in the environment provided. We offer online courses, consultations, educational events, mentorship and resources which can help you support your horse PRO-Actively achieve and maintain healthy ideals! Our VIP Membership gives you access to mambers only resources and exclusive discounts so check this out too! Contact us for more information.




Hoof Boots are recommended to support my horse with thin soles. Can Hoof Boots be worn 24/7


Hoof Boots, when used correctly, can be a useful rehabilitation tool for the shoeless horse. We have used hoof boots to support horses with navicular syndrome, laminitis and other diseases as well as low palmar P3 angles and broken back hoof pastern axis. We sometimes recommend Hoof Boots for extended periods of use and ALL hoof boots should be removed daily for inspection of the hoof and the boot.

It is very important to use the correct Hoof Boot for the purpose required and ensure it is well fitting. All hoof boots are designed differently and for different purposes, shapes and sizes of hooves. Some are better suited for exercise, some for rehab. We would encourage you to contact us for expert help and assistance to find the right hoof boot for your horse. We even offer a hoof boot consult to help assess and find a boot which provides what your horse needs!




Can I make my own pads?


Pads and the boots that hold them are just one intervention to help create healthy ideals (posture and hoof proportions). And like any intervention, pads serve a specific purpose and will have a specific impact or stimulus to the hoof which will be positive, negative or pretty neutral in terms of whether it helps create or maintain healthy ideals. Pads can be made from many materials and they all have different properties. The boots that holds them, the trim applied to the hoof, the environment of the horse and other factors will influence the efficacy of the pad, so choosing the appropriate pad isn't necessarily straight forward. For example, we make bespoke pads from leather 2 degree wedge pads and adhere to it a diabetic orthotic insole material used in the orthotics industry. We carefully shape the completed pad in 3 dimensions to exactly fit a boot to prevent spinning and create the optimum fit. This pad combo is chosen where there is a low palmar P3 angle (where the back of the pedal bone is too low) and where there isn't a straight hoof pastern alignment. This is critical to a horses health - not having sufficient depth to the capsule and misalignment of the digit bones reduces the ability of the horse to perform and places it at risk of trauma, injury, disease and infection. So in this example, simply using a yoga mat, or other flat pad on the market and having your trimmer or farrier trim down the heels without realising the full impact of this won't create a resolution to the problem which led you to use a pad in the first place. We encourage owners to be creative in problem solving and supporting their horse, and we run educational events which do just that. We also encourage due diligence in the assessment process and choose the best intervention which creates a solution in the short and long term. Here's a guide on making pads for boots: https://www.holisticequine.co.uk/post/guide-to-using-hoof-boots-and-pads And here's our educational event list: https://www.holisticequine.co.uk/events





Barefoot Hoof Care

My horse has thin soles. I have been recommended a product on a barefoot FB group to help with this. What would you recommend?


A thin soled horse is a real risk of trauma, pain, injury, disease (including both laminitis and navicular syndrome) and infection. The correct intervention will depend on what is actually going on... a thorough hoof assessment will provide deeper information and a clearer path as to how to help. We recommend booking a consult for expert advice and support.

Thin soles is a serious hoof concern and impacts not only the hoof but the hole horse/body. Thin soles suggests imbalance and insufficient vertical height, and probably low palmar P3 angles, broken back hoof pastern angle and poor energy management. All this leads to compensatory posture and a vicious cycle of depletion, stress, even pain and inappropriate force on the hooves, which creates more of the same. Simply using a product might not be enough to break the cycle, or quick enough and then it can become a real welfare concern.

Advice found online, no matter how well intended, might not be appropriate for your horse. Advice contains information, but the information is of limited value without knowing what is really going on with your horse. I recommend expert assessment and then discussion on what intervention is best for your horse, in his environment. Check out our Consultations for more information.




What products do you recommend for hoof cracks in barefoot horses?


When there is evidence of pathology (eg a hoof crack - which can also be a sign of distortion or both), we must consider healthy ideals (hoof shape and posture) and if the horse has these or not. A heathy hoof will not crack. A horse with less than ideal hoof proportions and posture will have more resilience to trauma, injury, disease and infection. So is there a straight hoof pastern angle? Is there sufficient vertical depth to the hoof? Is the palmar P3 angle healthy? Is there close to 50:50 heel:toe ration and base of support to the limb and horse around the centre of rotation? Is the posture healthy? What are the influential forces or stimulus to the hooves?

If you don't know, or your hoof carers doesn't know, then how can you create healthy ideals and therefore prevent cracks in the hoof?

For example, if there is insufficient vertical height in this hoof, this will create unhealthy proportions/ratios and leverage/torque on the hoof and joints and ultimately reduce the horse’s resilience to trauma, injury, disease and infection - which is far more serious than simply a crack in the hoof wall.

Being barefoot isn't a guarantee for healthy hooves - there are MANY factors and influences on your horse’s health and understanding what is appropriate for your horse takes knowledge and wisdom.

So think about ensuring your horses hooves have appropriate leverage management, as close to 50:50 heel:toe ratio around the centre of rotation as possible, appropriate palmar P3 angle, straight hoof pastern axis, appropriate vertical depth and medial/lateral balance in all dimensions. Assess the hoof and the posture as whole body rehab/therapy and consideration may also be needed to break the cycle.

If you or your hoof carer do not know how to assess for this or create this, you will need additional expert help. We offer educational events, online courses, consults, mentorships and resources to help you become a PRO-Active horse owner and help you make informed decisions for your horse.

Incidentally, we do use and recommend products to treat and prevent infection in hooves which are vulnerable or have cracks. For general use, we use Pure Green 24 daily, followed by Hoof Clay. For more serious cracks or infections, we use Clean Trax and Clean Trax Soaking Boots.









Holistic Horse Care


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