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Hoof Boots in the Hunters?

Putting this out there to gain more knowledge and hopefully help our other people as well as I am planning on showing this year but am in the situation where I typically use hoof boots in areas where terrain is not familiar to me to avoid any issues with sharp rocks and heavy gravel that may be present. Typically shows aren’t always predictable in the between rings footing and I would honestly like to know what the stance is on this and what other people are doing.

So, with the rise in horses going barefoot in the jumpers its obvious that what fly’s in the jumpers typically does not transfer to the hunters so where do competitors stand for the hunters in hoof boots. I would be thinking the slimmer styles like ScootBoots that are less chunky than the cloud boots or Cavallo boots but nevertheless are still quite visible. I was thinking of contacting USEF and USHJA to see if I can find “official” perspectives on them but I would love to hear what people on here are thinking whether you use hoof boots or not in the hunters or any alternatives! Thanks for any an all feedback, super interested to hear perspectives!

I understand they are not allowed in dressage


Depends on the show. Here for shows sanctioned by the provincial org it’s at the discretion of the show secretary or judge. My local show series is happy to accommodate.

OP best to check with the organizers of shows you are looking to compete at.

Don’t show hunters, but have seen jumpers going to the ring in scoot boots that are removed when they enter the warmup ring and then put back on when they’re done in the show ring. The footing in the show and warmup rings is better than the non-ring areas.


From the USEF hunter rules:

HU106 Equipment

  1. Light pads and bar shoes are permissible, however, bar shoes indicate a weakness and in Conformation classes a judge may penalize accordingly. All artificial appliances, including but not limited to nasal strips, nose nets, belly bands, boots, wraps and bandages are prohibited. In the case of inclement weather competition management may permit the use of bell boots.

This appears to be talking about boots for the legs.


I’ve seen barefoot horses wear the boots to and from the ring, but never showing. Most, to my understanding, are not designed to be worn for jumping.


The above poster cited the USEF rule against them but I think the hunter rules need to catch up with today’s farrier practices. Hoof boots are no more a sign of unsoundness than shoes. The lawyer in me wants to argue that hoof boots are no more an “artificial appliance” than shoes. I don’t have any of mine shod more than necessary. They are all barefoot behind. Frogs are supposed to touch the ground but I digress. Not all horses can go barefoot, but often with good management they can.

I used to show one of mine locally in the 2’6" hunters barefoot on all fours. He was actually not sound in shoes, but fine without. He would have loved today’s frog support pads. At shows, I schooled him in EasyBoot Gloves but pulled them for the show ring. Even for a local show.


ya the FEI for dressage does not allow anything that goes above the hair line/cornet band

I like this idea, might look into something that is a quicker on and off than scoots so if we do the on/off entering and leaving the ring that we don’t hold up anyone or crowd the in gate

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ya I saw that mention of leg protection and shoes and bell boots and all that but there isn’t any mention of hoof boots still so I might contact them directly and see what they say

Many are designed for less active use but also many are out there for use while jumping. Scoot Boots seem to be the most popular for jumping sports and fox hunting and all that because they are very slim fit and aren’t clunky at all and are very secure. They are what I have but certainly there is a wide variety of options out there for any disciple

thanks for sharing what you do, I really appreciate the insight, just so there isn’t any confusion, that particular USEF rule is in regard to leg boots not hoof boots so tendon boots and brushing boots for example are not allowed but there is no literature on hoof boots in particular

We only put them on the fronts. And have gotten pretty handy with the scoot boots.


They also don’t come up above the hair line, so there is more discussion about venues where they should be legal. But obviously need to check that with your show officials.


You need to check but generally no boots if any kind are generally allowed…. If a horse needs them because say, they over reach etc, then that would count against them in the hunters! If the weather is really bad I have seen judges make announcements boots are allowed!


ya, I get the sentiment behind over reach boots and tendons boots/brushing boots in the hunters because its supposed to be the most “perfect” to boil it down so no over reaching or brushing banging legs or whatever but the hoof boots are not the same as a brushing boot, bell boot, polo wrap etc which I why I started this thread to see what people know because I know that I don’t know and I want to see what others are doing or if someone knows anything concrete

My understanding is it’s still a boot so wouldn’t be allowed! I’d ask but I wouldn’t be surprised if they aren’t sure so say no just in case! This is how they handled nose nets for many years until they finally allowed them (in Canada anyway!)

If they say “no” if I were you, and the steward says they’re ok to warm up in… just quickly take them off at the in gate


I feel like a horse that can compete barefoot should be able to walk across the parking lot barefoot.


Scoot boots straps do indeed go above the hairline