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BEST Open Front Jumper Boots

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  juliethegr8t 10 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • mvrchk Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 2

    Okay folks. I’m looking for the BEST open front jumper boots. My mare and I are moving up to the 3’6″ and 3’9″ jumper divisions this summer and I want something to help protect her legs. Everyone seems to have a preference- fleece lined, neoprene lined, leather, synthetic, etc but are there any boots out there backed by scientific research that proves they reduce concussion? Are a pair of $200 boots necessarily better than a pair of $20 boots?

    ErikaReed ErikaReed
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 3

    I’m pretty sure equifit boots have scientific research saying they help absorb impact. I have multiple equifit products and love them all. I love the t-foam liners. it’s literally like memory foam and forms to the horses tendons each time.
    The brand Veredus seems to be very popular now – my friend has a pair and I love them. they stay in place so well. she jumps around 4ft and after she’s done doing multiple courses the boots haven’t moved an inch.

    juliethegr8t
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    “Best” is a relative term in this case, because like you said – everyone seems to have a preference. Horse boots in general provide little to no support, there is a lot of evidence showing that. In a lot of cases they can do more harm than good. Certain brands may claim they have tested their boots and that they provide support, but that is all it is – a claim. That claim has to be backed up by peer-reviewed scientific studies to be proven. A company can say whatever they want about their boot and provide whatever “evidence” they want, but you have to take all that with a grain of salt because it is (just due to the nature of it) biased.

    I personally do use open front boots for stadium (I event), just to protect from any possible injuries to the tendons from the back hooves, or a fall/getting tangled up in a fence, etc. I use Thinline boots to practice in and show in Equifit D-Teqs or leather. Both are breathable (my number one consideration) boots that conform to the horse’s leg – they have nice cushioning on the inside but are a type of hard shell on the outside.

    We do now know, from scientific, peer-reviewed studies, that tendons are damaged from heat. Lots of people like the look of fleece, and some even subscribe to the idea that it will wick sweat and keep the horse’s leg cooler (like a fleece halfpad used directly on a horse’s back, and we’re talking real fleece not synthetic), but the opposite is true. If you’ve ever seen fleece boots taken off a horse’s legs after a hard workout you’ll see what I mean – they’ll be soaked in sweat. The same is true of neoprene (and neoprene lined), because neoprene does not breathe AT ALL. It’s in fact waterproof. Leather isn’t bad if it’s leather lined, and a lot of the synthetic boots out there have developed ways to ventilate their boots, so these reasons are why I use what I do.

    PeI (Premier Equestrian International, a British brand) has developed a really great vented cross country boot that I use (SmartPak sells them), and they also have a wonderful tendon/open front boot with the same type of technology. They’re my personal favorite but I’m saving up for them at the moment! I do like the Equifits as well and don’t think you can go wrong with them, there are multiple models and price points. Easy to find used ones in good condition too if you need to save some money.

    In that, I would say yes there is definitely a difference between $20 boots and $200 boots. Most of the lower end boots are neoprene or rubber lined and with hard plastic shells. No ventilation, and quite a few of them cause rubs on many horses.

    Good luck with whatever your choose!

    StormWarrier
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    I LOVE my Equifit’s, and am a huge advocate for them. That being said – I do still love my regular old Woof open fronts too.
    My coach who does Grand Prix likes his Veredus and uses them on his GP horses.

    I think it’s kind of what YOU want for your horse, and what works best for them.
    The Equifit’s work for me because I love the memory foam, and can actually tell a difference in the horse’s I’ve jumped in them.

    panache panache
    Topics Started: 6Replies Posted: 27

    Eskadrons are my favorite they are great in the hunter and jumper ring and offer great support, they are also very durable. Warning they are a little pricey but it is worth it

    Life is not about waiting for the clouds to pass, its about learning to ride in the rain
    juliethegr8t
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    panache, read my post. Boots provide little to no support (usually the latter), and Eskadrons are no different. They’re actually a lower end boot compared to the others we’ve been discussing (Equifits, Veredus, PEi) as well. They’ll help protect your horse’s tendons from injuries caused by over-reaching or getting caught up in a fence/poles, but that’s about it. Let’s take their “nicest” boot – the AIR FlexiSoft Open Fronts. Smartpak describes them as such:

    – Breathable, perforated Neoprene regulates temperature
    – Mesh-protected air channels in the outer shell ensure ideal air circulation without letting in sand and dirt
    – TPE outer shell with reinforcements along the back of the boot provides protection against knocks and bumps
    – Specially moulded fetlock area and the flexisoft zone ensure optimum freedom of movement

    These are just a fancy version of what I was describing when I discussed lower end boots ($20 boots vs $200 boots). They’re a hard plastic shell (TPE stands for Thermo Plastic Elastomer, which applies to a range of polymers, or plastics), with a neoprene liner. I am still not sure why people say that neoprene is breathable when it is a waterproof material. Putting small perforations in it might allow it to breathe *a little*, but it isn’t going to be anything like the vented boots and/or boots that have a breathable liner to start with. It’s kind of like the new SMB boots – they are neoprene and so have been all the previous versions, but now the neoprene isn’t as thick and is perforated, supposedly making it breathable. I’ve seen both SMB II’s and the new SMB Elite’s used on the same horse in the same conditions and if there was a difference in the sweat produced under the different style boots it was marginal. Boots came off = very sweaty legs. So really the “air channels” in the outer shell of these Eskadrons aren’t going to make much difference either.

    I guess if you’re going to be putting your boots on right before you go in the ring and taking them off right after and cold hosing/icing you would probably be fine, but I personally wouldn’t risk it. Tiny tears caused by heat in the tendons build up over time and can end up causing injuries long term. *That* has been proven.

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Jen and Tally
Apparently I've been obsessed with horses since I was born, and I used to beg for pony rides on a regular basis. I started showing in 4-H, progressed to equitation and jumpers in high school and rode on the IHSA team in college where I also discovered the joys...

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