Bell boots are used on the front hooves to protect them and sometimes the shoes from overreaching by the hind legs. Overreaching occurs when the toe of the hind foot extends forward and strikes the heel, coronary band, fetlock or flexor tendon of the forefoot on the same side. Repeated hits from the back leg can cause open sores and cuts to form on the foreleg. Bell boots come in sizes small, medium, large and extra large.
Easy Boots or Hoof Boots
The easy boot is a closed shoe that can be placed on the horse's hoof and easily removed (unless they are glued on). It is pretty much a boot that is placed over the entire hoof. These types of boots can be used in place of shoes, in the event the horse will be walking over some very tough or hard footing, and are often used by long distance riders. The boots are light, durable, and protect the entire hoof from damage and provide cushion and traction for the horse. Sometimes in the case of a horse throwing a shoe, the easy boot can be used until the farrier comes out again. Easy boots come in a variety of sizes. There is usually a Size Chart on the ordering page so that you can find the correct fit for the horse.
The horse shoe is designed from metal and actually nailed to the bottom of the horse's hoof. Don't worry though, experienced and certified farriers are nailing the shoe through just the hoof wall, which is comparable to the cartilage of our finger and toe nails (theirs is just thicker). Horse shoes protect the horse's hoof from everyday wear and tear. Some horses need them and others do not. The metal shoes need to be replaced every 6 to 8 weeks. Horse shoes come in a variety of sizes, but they are usually fit to the shape of the horse's hoof by the farrier.