Matching Front and Back? Not Always Necessary!

Ever wondered if your horse needs matching hoof boots on all four feet? The answer is most often no. In fact, it’s more common for horses to wear different styles or even sizes of hoof boots on their front and back hooves.

Why the Difference?

Hoof boots are designed for specific hoof shapes and functions. Front hooves, which bear most of the horse’s weight, often require a different design than the hind hooves used for propulsion. This is especially true for breeds like Thoroughbreds, known for their low heels and asymmetrical hoof shapes.

Do Boots Need to Be Identical Pairs?

Some boots, like the Cavallo Simple or Sport, come pre-packaged as pairs and can’t be purchased individually. However, within some ranges, you might have options. For example, the Cavallo Trek allows you to buy single boots. Additionally, it’s not uncommon to fit horses with different sizes on their front hooves, or even different designs within the same brand. For instance, Scoot Boots offers an original and Enduro version, allowing for fitting horses with varying heel heights (hi/low syndrome).

Matching for Looks vs. Comfort

While matching boots might look aesthetically pleasing, prioritizing style over proper fit can lead to long-term problems. Ill-fitting boots can cause rubbing, lost boots, and discomfort for your horse. During a professional fitting, your horse will have the opportunity to try different brands and styles on both front and back hooves, or just the hooves needing protection.

Don’t worry about matching your horse’s boots perfectly! Instead, focus on finding a comfortable and secure fit for each hoof. Consulting with a professional hoof fitter is the best way to ensure your equine has the proper hoofwear for their needs.

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