Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Turnout Boots

I have a few posts in the queue, but I mostly need time to edit the media, so you get an update on Penn's turnout boot situation instead of riding situation.

Back in 2016, I started Penn's bubble wrap journey:

Project Bubblewrap

Penn goes through periods of severe interference as he progresses through training. If I start working on something new, or a new degree of difficulty, he tends to go outside and fancy prance by himself, forgetting where his feet go. This results in bumps and scuffs. Thankfully, none of the injuries have been too bad. He's also getting to a point in his training where I can't have him sidelined by weird bumps and scrapes. He plays too hard with his "friends" and he's a bit of an ass. His friends have been chosen specifically because he can harass them and they give limited flack back, but I'm not taking any chances!

I ordered him Majyk Equipe dressage boots in summer 016, and they have been wonderful.

I don't think you can get this particular version anymore. This is an old photo from earlier in my blog.

I was EXTREMELY happy with them. It annoyed me that they lost their white color so quickly, but they did the job. They held up to 11-16 hours of turnout at a time, worn almost every day, for the last year and a half. They never lead to fungus or crud, they were easy to wash, and dried very quickly. He was never hot and sweaty under them, even in summer.

Unfortunately, in the last few months I noticed they were on their last legs. Not only were they falling apart (the strike plate and padding under it started to give, but the velcro remained perfect), but the fronts rubbed Penn behind the knee as the nylon edging aged. He developed little lumps, which scabbed and peeled. Months after they appeared, they're finally smooth again. I stopped using the fronts as soon as I noticed the bumps and put him in old fleece DSB, but it was too late.

He has matching white lines on his front legs now. Sigh.

If you remember, a few months ago, Penn stepped all over himself while in turnout.

He ripped a hole in the coronary band on his right front.
Which resulted in bell boots.

A side note about the hole in his hoof...

There is a huge hollow hole in the hoof wall. I've been trying to clean it out as best I can (thanks JenJ for the suggestion of diluted betadine through an old needle and syringe to flush it!), and then putting some anti-bacterial stuff in it (the purple stuff, I have no idea what it is, but a farrier told me to use it). At the front edge of the crack, you can see a vertical crack going down- the wall is going to crack away under the main hole soon (the dark area under the hole on the white hoof wall).
I have him on 40mg of biotin a day, trying to get that to grow out as fast as possible, and it is. We never made it to a 7 or 8 week shoeing cycle this winter, the best we did was 6 weeks.

Penn has a bump on the left pastern that was rubbed raw by the bell boots. I've used other bell boots before, to the same results. He can't wear them all the time, and I'm not asking the barn staff to take them on and off every night (or wash them, because mud), which lead me to search for a new turnout boot.

LeMieux Turnout Boots

I eventually settled on these- I found them in the UK on sale for $45ish a pair, so I ordered 2 pairs of medium boots. I was hoping they would be long enough to cover his coronary band, but at least they'll cover the fetlock and pastern (another one of Penn's favorite places to scratch up)!

Trying them on when they arrived.

They are a neoprene-like material, which I am not happy about, but they have a very fine mesh over what LeMieux calls "airprene", so it's not in complete direct contact with the leg. The airprene is perforated in the same way the ME boots were. The velcro is very strong, but I have trouble keeping the bottom strap's hook velcro clean enough to hold.

Penn has been wearing them for about 2 months now. They're easy to apply and they do keep the leg clean and dry under the boot. We had a winter monsoon season recently (I'm sure it's going to keep happening), and they have kept his legs dry and clean from the mud. They are fairly easy to clean off, hose power will wash off the bulk of the dirt, and a stiff brush with a rinse removes the rest.

He loves the mud. Facepalm.

Penn did develop scratches under one of the hinds- I don't think it's related to the boots themselves. I was MIA for 5 days or so due to illness and weather, so I wasn't out to clean anything. He was wearing all 4 in the mud and only 1 leg developed horrible scratches, the other 3 legs were pristine (a point towards it's not the boots). I put his ME hind boots on so that his leg could breathe, and swapped out pairs of these up front each day.

All clean... except for that blanket!

The only problem is that they take a while to dry, which is why I was swapping out the fronts when he was wearing his ME hinds. I would come out in the evening, put the clean boots by his stall for the next day's turnout, and rinse and hang the current day's boots. I think this is a "temporary" problem, seeing as how it's mud season and cold (45F in the barn), which doesn't encourage the boots to dry fully while he's in his stall. It was 50 and sunny the other day, so I hung the boots outside and they were dry by the time I went home (about 3 hours after washing).

The boots are quite good at keeping his legs clean and dry... where they cover them, lol!

They don't come down low enough to cover his coronary band, which makes me wonder if I should order a bigger size, or if there was another version available before. Some of the pictures show the boots stretching from knee to mid hoof, but I don't get the feeling that these will. I'm debating ordering a pair of larges, just to see if they'll cover the coronary band. We'll always have mud here in PA, so extra sets won't be bad to have on hand anyway!

I'll keep you posted on how they do with summer turnout and heat (I'm excited for the full fly protection that goes with full leg protection!), but so far, I like them. Penn hates the hind ones, he spends a bit of time trying to kick them off each morning. I still like the ME boots for turnout- if these bite the dust, I'll reorder ME dressage boots. I'll just have to put a time limit on their usage- maybe a year?


  1. Hampton's blanket looks exactly the same. UGH

    1. All of Penn's clothes are completely disgusting. I'm going to have to prewash them with the hose before taking them to be cleaned, or I'll be charged extra!

  2. Just put plastic bags over his feet and then his feet will stay clean too :P

    1. Hahaha, I wonder if he'd ever stop spooking at himself?

  3. Boy is he accident prone! I figured such a pretty dressage dancer would be more...graceful? lol I always figured something like this would cause scratches or crud so I found it really neat to hear about how that is very much *not* the trend! Can't wait to hear about how it goes through the summer.

    1. The horse is so accident prone, facepalm. He is not graceful when he's running around on his own! He probably manages to hurt himself when he's being an ass to the other horses though. Part of the selling point of the boots is specifically to prevent mud based scratches etc. It's super neat that it actually does that. I'm just hoping his legs don't get overly hot in summer.

  4. Is there any mud left in the PASTURE???