No horse boot is perfect, and we’ll honestly tell you that FlexHorse Boots are not right for every horse or environment. First, let’s talk about where FlexHorse boots excel, and then we’ll discuss situations when FlexHorse Boots may not be the best selection for your horse.
Of course, FlexHorse boots are extremely flexible and adjustable. The boot not only provides superior cushioning, especially with the FlexPads but going over rocks and uneven surfaces are significantly easier because the hoof isn’t held rigid. The hoof naturally compensates for rocks and uneven surfaces by compressing and adjusting, as compared to the stiffness of a shoe or a hard boot that forces the pastern and leg to absorb variations in terrain. We consistently receive accolades from customers telling us that their horses seem much happier in FlexHorse boots!
Hoof size isn’t static, and the precise size of hoof boots shouldn’t be either. Unlike many other boots on the market, FlexHorse boots allow you to make some adjustments. You can clearly see a slight difference in size after trimming your horse, but did you know that hoof size changes with the seasons also? As the weather changes, hooves expand and contract slightly. The backstrap set allows you to make some minor changes to how the boot fits your horse. In addition to tightening or loosening the back strap by a notch or maybe even two, you can thread the back strap through the lower setting on the back of the boot if a smaller fit is needed. While these two settings won’t compensate for a horse that truly needs a smaller or larger size boot, they do allow for minor adjustments that may help the boots fit better.
Rubbing is almost non-existent with FlexHorse boots because of how the gaiter is situated and also due to the adjustments that can be made to the back strap. As a result, the hoof is enveloped in the boot in a flexible manner, which ensures that friction and rubs just don’t occur like many other unforgivingly stiff boots. We have many reports of endurance riders successfully completing lengthy distances with no rubs.
Snow, mud, and hilly terrain are a good match for FlexHorse boots. We developed the boots in Finland, but they are also used extensively in tropical climates. The boots drain well and hold very little residue because the side holes and back sections allow any debris to naturally be ejected. We have reports of riders successfully using FlexHorse boots in sand, clay, rocks, pavement, lime rock roads, water crossings, mud, and more.
It’s rare to lose a boot, but the reality is that it sometimes happens. If you fear to lose a FlexHorse boot, we encourage you to select brightly colored straps (red, yellow, or blue) so you can easily it. A better solution is to apply the flat rivet to the medial sides of the boots, plus you can install keepers on the lateral sides of the boots. With those enhancements, your boots will certainly stay on the horse’s hooves.
Lastly, laminitic horses are generally very happy with FlexHorse boots due to the soft bottom and forgiving exterior. If necessary, additional padding can be added to the boot to provide support and comfort.
However, there are some circumstances where FlexHorse boots just aren’t the right solution for your horse. In particular, where the horse goes many weeks without trim and has chips and protrusions, the boot may wear unevenly. In addition, horses with toes that are too long cause the distorted hooves, and thus the boots do not fit correctly, the brake over a point will be in too much stress. We suggest shortened trim cycles of three weeks at most and interim toe rasping for optimal wear weekly.
If the movement of the front legs of the horse is not optimal, whether due to inappropriate saddle fit, shoulder stiffness, atrophy, or any reason that causes the front leg hindrances, FlexHorse boots may wear too quickly at the toe. The good news is that these types of conformation issues are often resolved by an equine chiropractor, resulting in a happier horse.
Very steep mountains may cause your FlexHorse boots to wear at the toe because the toe must grip into the mountainside as your horse ascends. In addition, horses that drag their toes, particularly on the back hooves, will wear through the front of the boots. However, excessive wear at the toe during steep ascends and toe dragging affects many other types of boots as well.
At this time, we offer FlexHorse boots in Sizes 110, 120, 130 and 140. We have plans to offer additional sizes in the near future, but if none of the current sizes fit your horse, forcing the boots to fit is like asking you wear shoes that are much too large or too small. We will update our web site and Facebook page when additional sizes become available.
The Answer Is … ?
Hopefully yes! As much as we would like to welcome everyone as a FlexHorse boot customer, we hope that this candid summary helps you determine whether FlexHorse boots are right for your horse.
– Written in cooperation with our dealer-