Mountain horse winter riding requires a unique set of gear: snowshoes, a high-quality saddle, chaps, and winter riding boots. These items can all be purchased at your local tack shop or online. If you decide to shop online, there are a few things you should look for in the boots. The first thing to consider is size. You’ll want a snug fit so your feet don’t get trapped in the boot.
Mountain Horse Winter Riding Boots
Next, you need to make sure the boots will keep your horse warm. Your horse’s legs will be covered with fur, which can be thick and uncomfortable in cold weather. To protect the feet, you’ll need leather or suede boots that are warm. You don’t want the boots to bunch up near the front, either.
Fit is important in winter riding shoes. The shoe should be wide enough to accommodate your entire foot. It should also have enough given to allow you to slide your foot between the shoe and your horse’s leg. Finally, the boot shouldn’t be too tight. You should be able to wiggle your toes without pain.
One thing many people fail to consider is whether the boots they wear will protect their feet. Are they waterproof? Will they provide support for fractures? The sole of the boots should be sturdy yet slip-resistant. There should be enough room for your toes. A boot with a strap is ideal because it lets you get a good fit and will support the boot’s laces.
Another consideration is the type of heel you want. Western boots have a round toe, while the English and Australian are round with more of a square toe. The choice is yours, but don’t let others pressure you. Make your own decision.
Most boots will be sold with a matching hat, but be careful about this. Sometimes the boots will have a hat that is actually a part of the boot. Be sure that it matches the style of the boots. The boots you choose should be warm, at least 5 degrees above body temperature. Don’t ever buy a pair of boots that aren’t suited for the climate where you live.
Tips For Choosing
When choosing your boots, you should pay attention to what you’ll be using them for. Consider using boots for dressage, trail riding and competition, which use heavily layered soles. A heavier wool sock in one of these conditions may be more than you need. For dressage, nylon should be fine, while for trail riding, a heavier sole is better.
Another consideration is to match the winter riding boots to the horse you’ll be training. Matching saddle colors can be helpful. Your dressage trainer should have a different color than your horse. If you’re buying your horse one-year-old, you should already have a saddle color picked out. You also need to consider what type of hooves and teeth your horse has. Many trainers will tell you to get softer or different nails, so be sure to choose accordingly.
The boots themselves vary widely. They may be made of leather, canvas, suede or other materials. Some of the boots are closed-toe, some are slip-on, and some are full-foot. Some come with shoelaces, while others come without. Your budget will likely play a large role in how many pairs of boots you choose to buy.
Things To Consider While Purchasing
One area to consider when purchasing boots is the type of winter climate in which you live. In climates that tend to have warm seasons, you need to spend more on your boots. Conversely, in colder climates, you may want to spend less on your boots. It all depends on whether you need the added warmth of extra insulation and lining.
Be sure that any books you buy are warm. You never want to wear a pair of boots that are too warm because it may cause you to spend more time in the hot sun. Likewise, you never want to buy a pair of boots that are too cold as they can cause you to shiver more than is healthy for your horse.
Be sure that the winter riding boots you choose do not have any sharp edges on them. It is very easy for an animal to accidentally injure itself if it nicks itself. This can lead to possible infection as well as a painful injury. Many pairs of boots are sold with pre-drilled steel points on the side so that your horse can’t hurt itself. A well-made pair of boots will also be designed so that they are not distracting to the horse’s overall performance.