By Carole Herder
What is your favorite piece of horse equipment? What could you not do without? I think we all have that ‘essential’ tool, the ‘must have’ aid.
Excluding your bridle and saddle (if you use them!), is it your hoof pick? Your long-lines? Your neck rein/strap? Your rasp? Your plaiting bands?? For many people, maybe not so much in the horse world, it is the Swiss Army Knife. Or maybe you don’t feel you need anything at all, like the wonderful Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, pictured here!
An essential piece of equipment is one that aids you when in need, something that ensures you can get out of a difficult situation, a tool that is the only item to allow you to do a job. In this materialistic world, we often think things are essential when really they are quite unnecessary if it came to the crunch – “I have to have my lip gloss or my gloves or my soft brush...or my lead rope”.
For me, my essential item has to be my hoof boots, and not just because I am President of the company! They are vital to my horse and to any horse I have in my care.
Imagine going out on aggressive terrain, unlike the bedded stalls or grassy pastures of your home – and you forgot your shoes! Ouch! And now you actually have an additional 20% of your own weight (average weight of rider and tack is 200 pounds) on your back, so it’s pressing your tootsies even further into the terrain they are not accustomed to. Double Ouch! Would you go back home and get your sneakers on. You betcha.
If a horse has just been freed from shoes, horse hoof boots will protect them. If they have sensitive feet, my horse is protected. How about when travelling two horses together who are unfamiliar with each other? Hoof boots can cover their hooves and protect legs from kicks. Breeding? Hoof boots, again, protect. Need more traction when riding on difficult terrain? Cavallo hoof boots help. During rehabilitation or recovery from foot conditions, horse hoof boots are great for soaking, keeping bandages on and protecting from dirt and mud.
They really are the number one piece of equipment for me.