Brushing Boots: A Complete Guide

Brushing Boots: A Complete Guide

Discover why brushing boots are a must-have accessory for your horse. Learn how they protect the legs and ensure optimal comfort during equestrian activities.

Brushing boots for horses are a staple accessory. The equestrian world is constantly developing new products, replacing old and out-of-date equipment with new, multifunctional accessories. But why have brushing boots remained a staple in our horse’s wardrobe, should your horse be wearing them, and if they are, do they fit correctly? We’ve run down a quick guide on everything you need to know about the staple accessory.

What are brushing boots?

Brushing boots are protective boots that guard the lower horse’s leg from injury. Covering from just below the knee, on the horse’s front legs, and the hock, on the horse’s hind legs, the boot wraps around the circumference of the leg to safeguard from all directions.

Traditionally, these boots were made from leather. However, more modern designs include the use of more functional and flexible fabrics to ensure optimal comfort.

What are brushing boots for?

Brushing boots are one of the most popular types of all-around boots for protecting horses’ lower legs from potential injury. They are mostly used to prevent ‘brushing’ injuries during exercise. Brushing is whereby horses’ legs or hooves strike the opposing leg, normally seen during fast work, such as jumping, or during turns, such as lunging.

woofwear brushing boots
Woofwear brushing boots – available from Naylors

Does your horse need brushing boots?

As one of the most basic forms of lower leg protection, most ridden horses will benefit from wearing a pair of brushing boots, even if they are used during more intense work or when lunging!

If you notice injury to the lower leg, such as loss of hair or minor cuts and scrapes, during normal ridden work, this is definitely a sign you should invest in some of these boots. Another tell-tale sign is, when you ride, noticing the sound of your horse’s legs ‘brushing’ together between strides. ‘Brushing’ may be more prevalent when bringing your horse back to work, as their proprioception has not been put into practice over their rest period.

Grafter Brushing Boots
LeMieux Grafter Brushing Boots – available from Naylors

Wearing boots may reduce the chances of pulling out the first aid kit after riding. However, horse boots cannot be worn when competing in dressage. They can be worn during unaffiliated and affiliated showjumping and eventing competitions.

How to fit brushing boots onto a horse

When fitting brushing boots, consider the horse’s measurements, strike pad placement, and straps. Sizing can differ from brand to brand, and getting the wrong size can have a detrimental effect on your horse’s performance! So, what key features should you keep in mind when buying and fitting horse boots?

Measurements

Most boots offer standard sizes such as ‘pony’, ‘cob’, and ‘full’. Taking a rough measurement of the length and circumference of your horse’s leg will help you estimate which sizing bracket your horse falls into.

Remember, the hind legs may need a larger size than the fore legs, typically brands offer a longer version with three straps, as opposed to two for the front legs.

Strike Pad

The strike pad sits on the inside of the leg and is usually made of more hardwearing material than the rest of the boot.

The strike pads can be seen from the inside - image of ARMA brushing boots
The strike pads can be seen from the inside, surrounding the cannon, splint and pastern joint. ARMA Neoprene Brushing Boots available from Naylors.

Make sure to take into account the size, shape, and material of the brushing boots strike pad before purchasing your next boot! Boots with a wide and heavy strike pad may not be suitable for horse’s with finer limbs; this causing the boots to slip down and twist during exercise.

Straps

If your horse is not the best behaved to tack up, then you want some boots which are quick and easy to take on and off. Horse boots come with a variety of strap types so make sure you find some which are suitable for your own and your horse’s safety, not just one’s which look pretty or which will complete a matching set!

If your horse is not the best behaved to tack up, then you want some boots which are quick and easy to take on and off. Horse boots come with a variety of strap types so make sure you find some which are suitable for your own and your horse’s safety, not just one’s which look pretty or which will complete a matching set!

Final words

Brushing boots offer good protection to horses’ and ponies’ legs. They come in different sizes but are typically similar in shape from front to hind variations – although expect hind leg boots to be a little longer. They are recommended for light exercise including hacking, low level jumping, schooling and turnout. They are typically reasonably priced at around £15 – £30.


Discover more from Everything Horse Magazine

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

Related posts