Shipping Boots

I know there’s lots of discussions on shipping boots but I believe every situation is unique in whether to use them or not. I am purchasing a very valuable warmblood I’ve been working towards for the last year. She used to be trailered with her owners down to Florida and back every winter but now has remained at the farm for 4+ years. I took her to my house and then a show last year. At first, we put her in a slant (which at the time I had little knowledge on proper warmblood size slants and the trailer was not wide enough for them) but this is what her owner put her in. There was a trailer bag in her stall and she ended up somehow destroying it, I believe she ended up catching a leg in it and then fell down. She was miraculously unharmed and walked it off just fine. We trailered her loose without the dividers for the rest of our weekend and she was fine to stand in the center of the trailer. The owner will be bringing her to my house again, I’m assuming in the same trailer as we still have not found the right one ourselves. I’ll make sure she travels without dividers again. I have full size high quality shipping boots that I’m wondering if I should put on her for the trip home? She has not worn them before so would I be endangering her even more by putting in them? I also just don’t want her to somehow hurt herself on the short trip home. I’ve heard of them slipping down and then the horse’s stepping on them/slipping. This happened with my gelding before. Perhaps I am not velcro-ing them tight enough? Should I just allow my new mare to be ‘naked’ on the way home? It’s only about 30 minute drive. I will be putting her in a head bumper regardless as her ears brush the ceiling in their trailer (they told me it’s a 7’4").
They are delivering her hopefully next week so I will need to know soon.
Thanks all


There is no harm in shipping 30 minutes in properly fitting shipping boots. BUT, I’d suggest going out to that horse and putting them on the horse in the stall so the horse can get used to them. Make sure you walk the horse! IME, horses step high for a few minutes and then just ignore the boots.

Properly fitting boots should never slip down. Alternatively, you can use fleece lined leg boots that have a front and hind set. With bell boots. That’s what I use.

Likely you’ll be fine shipping the horse 30 minutes nekkid, but that’s when you get into trouble! If you think this horse fell in the trailer before, boot.



I honestly wouldn’t bother with the shipping boots for a 30-minute trip, but if it puts your mind at ease, it probably won’t hurt either. I’d just echo J-Lu’s advice of making sure the boots fit and are put on properly and that the mare gets a chance to get used to them before loading her. Walk her around for a bit until she’s ignoring them.

Congrats on your new horse!

If you’re worried about shipping boots slipping but want some piece of mind for protection you can also use standing wraps or brushing boots + bell boots. She’s likely more used to those options and so might also avoid any adjustment either.

Though i will echo others that a 30 minute ride she should be fine without any boots!

Congratulations :slight_smile:

I learned on my last trip with my mare that no boot is safe in the trailer in regards to slipping down.

I put her in fleece lined boots that I ride and jump and trail ride in regularly. Never had any slippage issues at all while riding.

Took her off the trailer, and those boots were all the way down around her hooves! She was trying to kick them off, probably was doing the same in the trailer hence the slipping.

If this horse were mine, I’d put her in bell boots on all 4, a head bumper, and a net of super delicious hay. I’d skip the shipping boots all together, and be extremely careful with even brushing-type boots.

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I use sports medicine boots with bell boots when shipping. They are quick to put on, horse usually doesn’t notice them. I used to have a set with bell boot attached but that was years ago and I haven’t seen them recently