The act of riding horses to the jump is a thrilling experience and something that horses tend to be game to do naturally. The action of a horse going over a jump of any height is one that puts pressure on the joints, tendons and ligaments of the lower legs.
Polo wraps were once deemed sufficient for protecting a horse’s legs and letting them feel the rap of the pole if they didn’t pick their legs up high enough. But this led to horses being laid up for long periods of time as they recovered from tendon injuries due to insufficient support, shock absorption, and protection from the jumps.
However, the biggest issue horse riders face with jumping is the fact that the front and hind legs coil and recoil as the horse launches itself and lands the jump. All jumps, no matter how short or high, put strain on the horse’s legs and can lead to long-term injury and sometimes permanent damage if care isn’t taken to protect their legs.
Jumping boots offer full protection and support for the lower legs and give a horse something to press against when in motion. The horse’s tendons are much less likely to overextend, allowing the horse to use itself more effectively, and giving the rider improved control leading up to the jump and landing.
In turn, the horse recovers from its performance in less time, is less likely to suffer damage, and stays sound for the long term.
P.S. To learn about other types of horse boots, check out this article.
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The Best Jumping Boots for Horses
Here’s a look at the best horse boots for jumping, their properties, and their intended uses.
CareMaster Horse Tendon Boots
This set of tendon and fetlock boots are designed to allow the horse to move with ease during high-speed sports including jumping and running. The boots won’t bind, and the open fronts allow for air flow as well as letting the horse feel a pole if they knock their legs.
Both designs are anatomically correct, cover all the sensitive areas of the leg, and deliver the best possible fit and support. A soft lining conforms to the shape of the horse’s leg and consists of a thick elastic cushion that absorbs and reduces shock transmission to the leg.
The boots feature a shell made from polyurethane for durability and protection. The closures use clip-on buttons with heavy-duty elastic straps to provide a close contact fit without binding. This design also prevents the boots from slipping during use. They’re lightweight, easy to apply, and are easily cleaned with a brush or wiped down with a damp cloth.
Zerodis Tendon and Fetlock Boot Set
The Zerodis tendon and fetlock boot set is a budget-priced set of boots that work well for schooling over low jumps. They feature a polyurethane shell that provides protection against interference or a strike, and have a neoprene lining that aids with air flow and extra padding for cushion.
The tendon boots use two wide Velcro straps for closure, and the fetlock boots feature a single Velcro strap. Both boots have an open front and side that allow for air flow and sensation while still allowing the horse to feel a bump.
The boots are durable and supportive, but the fact that they’re budget priced means they may not last as long as boots that are higher quality and come from a known manufacturer. However, these boots are worth buying for days when you want to have an easy ride, and a heavier boot isn’t needed for support.
The boots are easily cleaned with a brush and a damp rag.
Harrison Howard Horse Sport Medicine Front Shock-Absorbing Boots (Best Heavy Duty Boots)
Harrison Howard’s horse sport medicine boots feature heavy-duty protection for horses who are working under stressful conditions such as endurance, barrel racing, or in high-speed competition.
The body of the boots is made from breathable neoprene to prevent blisters, and features Velcro straps for closure. A fetlock sling is built into the boot and provides support to the joint during activity. The boots are designed to stay in place and conform to the horse’s leg without restricting or binding.
The manufacturer recommends limited use of the boots during intense workouts. They come in a range of colors and prints for versatility. The boots come in front and back sets for the best possible fit and support. Machine washable on a cool setting and hang to dry. Close the Velcro straps before washing.
TrustBreech – Extreme Vented Sport Boots Set
TrustBreech’s extreme vented sport boot set features a pair of boots for front and rear legs, and features lightweight, breathable materials. Shock-absorbing EVA foam is used for a cushion and a neoprene lining delivers extra shock protection as well as aids with comfort and fit. They’re easily applied and use Velcro straps to close the boot against the horse’s legs.
Wide Velcro straps make it easy to put the boots onto the horse, and a fetlock strap provides support to the fetlock joint. The boots feature heavy duty construction for durability. Machine washable as long as the straps are closed and a cool temperature cycle is used. Hang dry.
Weaver Leather Prodigy Original Athletic Boots (Most Color/Pattern Options!)
Weaver Leather’s Prodigy boots feature a full-cover design and a tendon strap that delivers light support. The tendon strap is known as Weaver’s Dynamic Sling System to protect the fetlock joint and tendons during exertion. The boots are made from a shock-absorbing EVA foam and feature a neoprene liner for a secure and comfortable fit. The boots feature wide Velcro straps to secure the boot at the side of the leg and prevent twisting.
The boots can be used on the front or back legs, but measure your horse’s legs to ensure a correct fit. Darted edges at the top and bottom of the boots prevent dirt from getting in. Heavy-duty construction is used throughout the boots for durability and longevity. The boots come in a variety of colors, so you can match an outfit or just have fun. Machine washable on a cool setting, or wash with a hose and hang to dry.
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ViaGasaFamido Open Front Jumping Tendon Horses Boots
ViaGasa Famido jumping boots feature a polyurethane shell and a neoprene liner for shock absorption and protection. The boots come in a bright yellow color only, and feature a black liner along with black Velcro.
They’re ergonomically shaped and cover the fetlock joint on both sides, and the neoprene lining helps the boots conform to the horse’s leg and won’t rub. The closure design along with the ergonomic shape keep the boots in place no matter how strenuous the activity.
The boots are closed with two wide Velcro straps that are locked into place on the side with a vertical strip of Velcro. They’re not machine washable, and you’ll have to clean them with a damp rag or with a hose.
Restokki Ventilated Breathable and Jump Leg Boots (Most Affordable)
The Restokki jumping boot set is a budget-priced set that work well for a light round over short jumps, schooling, and hacking.
The jumping boots feature a polyurethane shell that’s shaped to contour around a horse’s lower front leg and fetlocks in the rear. The shell is durable enough to protect against interference and strikes. They have a breathable neoprene lining that conforms to the horse’s leg and supports the tendons. A pair of Velcro straps secure the boots in front and are locked in place with a vertical strap of Velcro.
The boots come in construction yellow only, which means your horse will be very visible when the boots are in place. The manufacturer of the boots is an off-brand, but that doesn’t mean the boots are bad so much as you’ll want to keep these as a backup when other boots are dirty or otherwise unavailable.
Eskadron Horse Boot Value Set
Eskadron has a reputation for making quality horse boots, and this set of tendon and fetlock boots is no exception. They’re simple in construction, but use materials that provide excellent shock absorption and protection from strikes. The open front boots cover from below the knee to the fetlock joint, and the fetlock boots cover the inside of the fetlock joint.
The outer shell of the boots is made using a TPE thermal molded plastic that’s strong enough to withstand stress and impact, while the lining is made from neoprene for fit and comfort. The front boots use two Velcro straps for closure and feature a third strap to lock them into place, and the fetlock boots use a single Velcro strap. They’re easily cleaned using a damp rag or brush.
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The best horse boots for jumping are ones that suit your purpose and provide the support your horse needs when going over a fence.
Jumping boots come in strengths that provide light and medium support for low-level jumps, and heavy support for higher jumps taken at speed.
The overarching goal of using jumping boots is to keep your horse sound, comfortable, and prevent an injury that can keep your horse sidelined for weeks, or worse, permanently injured to a point that it can’t jump any longer.