I wasn’t a “boot person.” All of the 20 years that I have been riding, I have not had a need to use boots on either of the horses I owned (or so I thought). I just wasn’t around trainers or barns that really utilized them on a consistent basis.
There would be a handful of special horses that would need boots, but those were either older or work horses. My understanding was if you weren’t working your horse HARD then you didn’t need them. I ride western pleasure, even though not “light” work, it can’t be a whole lot of strain/stress on my horse’s legs, right? Wow, was I wrong! Horseback riding, a sport you will forever keep learning new things!
I finally snatched up some of the Professional’s Choice for One Stop Ventech Elite 4-pack boots and let me tell you, these have been a game changer. Before we get into it, here are some features as listed on onestopequineshop.com:
Definitely some solid features but going into this review with my initial skepticism of the “need” for boots, I knew it was going to take a lot to convince me. Opening these up and feeling the UltraShock lining, I was already impressed. It’s super cushiony, lightweight and ventilated for optimal breathability. This boot is molded to fit perfectly on their fetlock and guide the Velcro straps in the correct position. Also, the inside tells you LEFT FRONT, RIGHT HIND, etc. so you can be rest assured you are putting them on the right leg. Bentley is a quarter horse standing at about 15 hh, so I got her a size Medium. If you are unsure which size your horse needs, I’ve included a size chart below.
I put them on before I lunged Bentley, for that extra added support and truthfully, to see if I could notice a difference in her movement. I always love the first few steps after putting boots on a horse that isn’t used to them lol! I mean did you even know your horse could step that high?! Anyways, whenever we first start lunging, her stride starts out kind of short and choppy (especially in the winter) until she gets blood flowing, stretches out a bit and then I can really get a feel for how she’s moving. While wearing these, that adjustment period was much shorter. Her stride was longer, freer and she just carried herself like she was more comfortable. After about 15 minutes of lunging, I double checked these boots to make sure they weren’t falling off. Nope! Straps were still velcroed securely and boots in original position. At this point, my skepticism was turning into silliness.
Now time to ride. I have to admit, I was actually excited to get on and feel the difference that I was seeing. Sounds corny, but after having Bentley for 9 years, I celebrate any small victories. Plus who isn’t excited when they see their horse thriving from something new? I start off each ride with some bending and flexing in the middle before heading out to the rail. These boots were perfect for keeping her fetlocks protected for some of her “missteps” as she figured out her bearings. During the trot and lope, it felt smoother and I could feel her reaching, lengthening her stride. I’m not claiming that these will elongate your horse’s stride by any means, but in my case, I could tell Bentley felt more relief and therefore naturally she was just performing better.
I am now a “boot person.” Every time I ride, I use these boots. They are such a great investment and an EASY preventative measure for your horse. Use them for riding, lunging, turnout, trail rides, etc. It’s worth it.
Use this promo code: PCEXCLUSIVE at checkout to get our Professional’s Choice for One Stop Vtech Elite 4-pack of boots in Camo/Orange, Plaid/Black, or Orange for $146.99! That’s an additional $18 savings! Click here to check them out.