Hoof boot suggestions for an OTTB transitioning to barefoot living

Looking for hoof boot suggestions for my newly barefoot OTTB. He has been living in Cavallo Simple Boots with gel inserts but the mud in his turnout has rendered the Velcro straps nearly unusable. They also take a really long time to dry out after being hosed off… Any recommendations?

Bonus points if the boots can be used during long-lining/riding once I bring him back into work this spring. Thank you!!

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I’ve used Renegade boots in the past and really liked them. My mother also bought a pair for her OTTB when he transitioned to barefoot. They do have a velcro strap, but the rest is plastic/rubber so they’re easy to hose off and dry quickly.

They’re a little pricy, I think around $100/boot? But they’re really durable. We’ve both ridden with them on too.


I ride trail in Scoot Boots, the boot itself doesn’t have Velcro. If you choose to add the gator for the back, it does but I have also seen them with snaps. I tried renegades but they weren’t as good of a fit for us.

This may be a dumb question, but . . . why does he need boots in turnout if his paddock is muddy? It seems that the mud itself would provide a lot of cushioning. Have you tried just taking the boots off?


Siding with @OzarksRider here :roll_eyes:
My TB (never raced, but ponied at the track) went Cold :turkey: barefoot back in the early 90s, when horse boots were more of a rarity.
He’d been shod for the track before I got him, then keg shod as a Hunter the next 5yrs.
Did he limp on gravel at first?
Was he sound on softer surfaces - grass, trails?
Did he toughen up?
So much so I Evented him barefoot, schooling Training, showing BNH for the rest of his life.


You could try Keratex hoof hardener. I like Woof boots.

Also agree that if he is in softer footing, boots just because he had his shoes pulled likely aren’t nessecary, and likely a real mess/pain in the butt. When I pulled Charlies shoes, he was barefoot unless we were on trails.

Going barefoot is a process. If hooves aren’t exposed to rougher surfaces, they won’t toughen up/get callouses. Charlie had ground asphalt in some areas of the pasture like where the water trough was/at the gate etc, and that was good to help build more strength. If there isn’t any underlying issue the boots are addressing, let him be barefoot, especially in a muddy type situation.

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I’ll look into those, thank you!

I have been looking into those as well, thanks for the input!

I left him bootless at first but he has very thin, weak hoof walls that started separating after a week of being barefoot. My farrier suggested booting him to minimize the amount of dirt and debris getting in and causing further separation, at least until his feet strengthen a bit more.

Scoot Boots have open spaces along the sides, so they probably would not work well to keep dirt and debris out. They’re great for trail riding though. That’s what my horse uses.

I have had great luck with Old Mac G2s for both t/o and trails. I also use them if I give my mare free roam of my concrete, but matted, aisle overnight because she can wear down her heels in a short amount of time. I boot all 4 for my horse. The OMG2s are bulky but she doesn’t mind them at all. We’re currently into mud season here in Ohio so I don’t boot in this kind of weather.

I second the Renegades. I use them on my recently barefoot Standardbred when we ride and he does really well in them. I use them on the trail, in the arena, and jumping. I got the Vipers in black, 145mm x 145mm (my horse has huge feet). The fitting is crucial so make sure you really check out their sizing chart. My trainer had an assortment I was able to try and landed on the size I bought that works for him through his trim cycle.


Happy in his hoof boots


I’ll check them out, thank you!

Awesome, thank you!!

I used easy care cloud boots and they were good on the mud, but I did 12 hrs on/12 off and put Gold Bond powder in them when it was wet😊 the pads are really comfy to encourage heel first landings so strengthen the caudal portion of the hood/digital cushion. Still haven’t found ones I like to ride in yet! She is sound without, but I’d like to have some for trail riding.

Thank you!!

I had a TB mare for many years, and used hoof boots on her for 12 years with her. I found that after the initial transition from being shod, she was fine with being turned out and ridden in the ring/arena barefoot. The feet do toughen up.

But I still used hoof boots for most trail riding. In my experience, the only thing that really matters is that the boots fit. That may seem like a no-brainer, but, as you may have found out, it’s sometimes hard.

My preference, because of that, was for boots that came up over the back of the hoof; in particular, I used the Easy Boot Back Country–but in their initial version. I know they’ve changed the model and I don’t have any experience with the new version.

The boots that cover more of the hoof and heel bulb tend to stay on a little better and are easier to use throughout the hoof trimming cycle without you having to do some rasping yourself. They may not be the best choice for certain types of riding (endurance perhaps) or certain types of terrain. But on western Mass’s stony trails with frequent muddy streams, they were great.

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I remember someone posting about a Facebook group that would help people find good boots, and also allow sales of boots that didn’t work out. Anyone remember this?

My mare is doing great barefoot, when turned out and worked on soft footing, but I may need boots for hard/rocky footing. Unlike OP’s horse, she has lots of sole and very strong hooves.

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There is a Facebook group called Hoof Boot Exchange that I’ve used to buy and sell. You can buy lightly used boots for much less than new ones. If you don’t know what size though it might not be so helpful.

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