These boots were made for working
While bandages are pretty much a “one size fits all” (or at least most), you need to be careful with boots. Every horse has different legs and you need to measure your horse’s legs before purchasing boots.
Where to measure your horse to find the correct boot size
Cross country jumping boots
Designed to protect your horse through cross country phase of a 3-day event, these boots are usually made of a fairly lightweight, strong material.
Eventing rules say you are not allowed to have any boots that pinch tendons or restrict the movement in any way. The boots have durable strike pads to provide extra protection to the interior side of a horse's leg.
Because the Cross Country course includes brush jumps as well as water jumps, they are made with heavy duty hook and loop closures. The boots can not absorb water, which would add weight and makes it more difficult for the horse to move (it also puts more pressure on the tendons and ligaments in the legs). You can also understand that these boots need to be easy to clean.
Note the hooks to secure the boots.
Open front jumping boots-
The open front design encourages a horse to be more careful going over jumps as the horse will feel a fence pole if he hits it. The closures are often elastic with velcro. The boots provide strike protection from the back hooves for the tendons in the back of a horse's leg. (remember the video we showed in one of the earlier blog posts about leg protection?)
Open front boots are usually placed on a horse's front limbs, while fetlock boots are placed on the hind limbs.
Equestrian Australia has some specific rules for jumping boots: check this PDF document
These boots are designed for dressage to protect a horse's legs from bumps and scrapes, and can be a time-saving alternative to polo wraps.
Dressage boots are usually lined with fleece or neoprene, and are made of materials that are easily cleaned with water. Dressage boots come in all sorts of colours
This type of boot is engineered to support a horse's tendons and ligaments. The boot surrounds the leg and has a strap that cradles the horse's fetlock joint to prevent hyperextension. Horses with a history of or predisposition to support related injuries (such as suspensory injuries) can benefit from this type of boot. Support boots are available in a wide variety of colours.
sport boots with memory foam
For most people this is the first pair of boots they purchase. Check around your local pony club to see splint boots in all types of materials and colours. These are an all purpose boots that have a reinforced inner strike area and are usually some of the most affordable types of horse boots.