Brushing boots are a type of boot that protects the horse’s leg from contact with the opposite or diagonal leg, much in the same way a dressage boot does.
This type of contact tends to happen at speed or over jumps, but it can happen at any time you’re riding your horse. Sometimes a horse forgets what they’re doing and misfires a leg, or doesn’t understand what you’re asking and throws out the wrong leg and connects with another leg. Then you have horses who have conformation that leads to brushing and no amount of training can fix it.
The use of brushing boots is mainly to protect the lower leg, but they can also be used to aid in warming up a horse’s lower legs, protecting them in turnout, and preventing injuries from brush during a trail ride. Brushing boots are considered basic leg protection in that they don’t provide advanced or technical protection of the horse’s lower leg. However, they do protect the splint bones, keep tendons warm and supple, and provide a little support that’s beneficial.
It’s a good idea to not expect a lot out of your brushing boots in terms of what they can do for your horse, but they’re good to have and use all the same. You may find that you need multiple types and styles for different activities, or you might find that one or two types work well for all of your needs.
The following is a look at the best brush boots for horses and what makes them worth putting into your tack box.
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Here Are the Best Brush Boots to Check Out For Your Horse
WOOF WEAR Sport Brushing Boots
Woof Wear’s sport brushing boots are lightweight and sturdy boots that are designed to hold up to the rigors of cross-country riding.
They’re made from a PX closed cell neoprene with vents for airflow. The inside strike plate is made from a strong foam panel for protection, and features an ergonomic design to follow the countour of the leg. The body of the boots come in black only, but the Velcro straps come in a wide range of colors for matching your tack or clothing.
The boots can go on the front or rear legs without compromising strength, protection, or support. Make sure to measure your horse’s cannon bones to get the right size. Clean in the washing machine and hang dry or use a brush and a damp rag.
Shires Air Motion Brushing Boots
The Air Motion brushing boots from Shires are a basic brushing boot that provides support and keeps your horse’s legs cool.
They’re made from Shire’s Air Motion breathable fabric that prevents heat build-up, and feature strike resistant splint pads. They’re closed with two or three wide Velcro straps, depending on the Velcro color you select. The inside leg portion of the boot comes down to cover and protect the fetlock. The body of the boot is black with multiple color choices to add flash to your horse, match your tack, or both. Clean with a brush or damp cloth.
Back on Track Splint 3D Brushing Boots
The Splint 3D brushing boots from Back on Track offer superior comfort in the form of their air flow and shock absorption properties.
The exterior of the boot is made with 3D mesh and features a shock absorbing layer in between the faux fur lining and outer layer. The materials used in the construction of the boot conform to the horse’s leg, and elastic straps with Velcro tabs help make a firm fit without restricting the horse’s movement.
What makes these one of the best brush boots for horses is the fact the boots are made with Back on Track’s Welltex fabric technology. The fabric used in the boots is permanently infused with ceramic particles that reflect your horse’s body heat back into the leg and increase circulation. This action is beneficial to the horse’s leg when ridden, at rest, or while worn during pasture time, and helps a horse recover more quickly after exertion or speeds up healing time after an injury.
Hand wash in cool water and hang to dry.
Shires Equestrian ARMA Neoprene Brushing Boots
The ARMA brushing boots from Shires are an everyday boot that provides reliable protection and comfort for your horse’s legs.
They can be used for hacking, trail riding, schooling over jumps, and just about every light-to-moderate riding activity. The boots feature a padded and contoured strike pad for a close fit and protection against interference. The exterior of the boot is made from neoprene for shock absorption and protection from scuffing and blows.
A pair of boots will fit both front and back legs as long as the correct size is ordered. The boots feature a vinyl edging that won’t catch or rub off hair. Three wide Velcro straps are used to close the boots and keep them in place.
Machine wash in cool water or use a damp cloth, and hang dry.
Back on Track Splint Brush Boot
The Back on Track splint brush boots are a stripped-down version of the brand’s splint brushing boots.
They’re perfect for light riding, schooling, trail riding, or taking short jumps while providing peace of mind that your horse’s legs are receiving excellent protection. They feature the brand’s 3D mesh fabric on the outer layer and have shock-absorbent padding. The boots provide nominal fetlock protection and feature a strike pad made from strong material that resists abrasion while protecting against damage.
Back on Track’s Welltex fabric technology features an infusion of ceramic particles that aren’t felt by the horse, but does help the tendons stay flexible. The ceramic particles hold the right amount of heat against the leg to keep the tendons loose and won’t overheat the leg.
The boots feature two Velcro straps for closure and adjustability. They’re easily applied and stay in place during exertion. Machine wash on a cool setting and hang to dry to preserve their shape.
Harrison Howard Essential Horse Splint Boots
Harrison Howard’s brushing boots are among the best brush boots for horses that are prone to brushing.
The boots feature a contoured shape that easily fits the horse’s leg, and are made from flexible neoprene for easy application. Three hook and loop fasteners are used to close the boots and make quick work of putting the boots on and taking them off. An inside strike guard provides leg protection from the knee to the fetlock.
The boots are available in bright colors as well as black and white to suit your mood or match your tack if you so desire. They can be machine washed at a low temperature and hung to dry, or brushed and wiped down with a damp cloth.
HORZE Noir Brushing Boots
HORZE Noir protective brushing boots use the traditional design for brushing boots, but adds its own design touches to create a stylish boot.
They feature a polyurethane shell, and are lined with neoprene. The inside of the boots feature a padded strike plate for support and protection. Closures consist of three stretch-and-pull elastic straps with Velcro tabs. Each tab features a partial snaffle-bit design for a sophisticated finish.
It’s worth noting that these are another pair of boots that will retain heat due to their full coverage and lack of ventilation. They provide reasonable support and protection, but don’t breathe and cause the legs to heat up. They’re best for use in cold weather as they’ll help the tendons stay loose during and after a workout.
Clean the boots with a brush or soap and water, then hang dry.
Lift Sports Medicine Brushing Boots
Lift Sports offers a basic horse medicine-style brushing boot that provides average protection to the tendons, but are strong enough to support the leg during speed events.
They feature a fully enclosed design with wide Velcro straps that help shape the boots to the leg, and a fetlock strap to “pick up” the joint and support it while working or exercising. The body of the boot is made from breathable neoprene that helps the leg shed heat, and a soft edging that won’t rub away at the hair.
The boots are available in multiple colorways, and can be used on the front or rear legs as long as the correct size is selected. Heavy duty construction means the straps last longer and won’t easily tear away from the body of the boot.
Clean with a hose and soap or in the washing machine on a cool cycle. Make sure to close the Velcro straps before putting into the machine.
The brush boot is a staple in every horse owner’s tack trunk. They’re useful for a myriad of reasons, provide peace of mind for the rider, protect the horse from most minor injuries, and help them feel comfortable as they do their work.
The best brush boots for horses are ones that are designed for their intended use, are durable, and do their job well. They may not be intended to prevent serious injury, but they make a daily ride relaxing and enjoyable because they help the horse in terms of comfortable motion and reduce recovery time.