How to protect your poultice
What is a Poultice Boot?
A poultice is a common treatment used to relieve inflammation in the hoof. A poultice boot is, as its name suggests, a form of boot that goes over a poultice.
How is it used?
A poultice boot can have many uses:
- to hold dressings in place for an abscess or punctured sole
- to protect an injured or diseased hoof from dirt and debris
- to protect the hoof in the case of a lost shoe
- to protect a bruised sole.
The added benefit of some poultice boots is that your horse can be turned out in it, providing you pick the right one. This is great if, like me, you’ve got a horse that stresses when left in on its own.
What different sorts of Poultice Boots are available?
Believe it or not, there are three different sorts of poultice boots:
- A poultice boot
- A poultice bag
- A hoof boot.
The difference between them can be categorised in 2 ways:
Both of these inevitably affect the selling price. So if you're on a budget and purchase the cheapest, it'll have a limited life and use.
Features of Poultice Boots
Look out for the following common features:
- Most of are sold individually which makes bearing the cost easier
- Most fit right or left hoof and front or back legs
- The part that secures the boot in place is replaceable
- Most provide a size chart with the measurements of the hoof so that you can work out what size you need.
Shires Breathable Poultice Boot
Soft, durable poultice boot for protecting hoof dressings.
Cons: Strap and clip cannot be replaced if they break.
Woof Wear Medical Hoof Boot
Close fitting hoof boot to keep dressings in place and protect from dirt and debris.
Pros: Can be used for turn out in dry weather
Lasts 2-3 weeks
Kevlar® interior for durability
Grooved sole for extra grip
Asymmetric zip to give the boot a close fit.
Cons: Not waterproof
Not suitable for riding
Hoof needs to be measured correctly and carefully to ensure you get the right size.
Comment: This boot took the market by storm when it first launched by this massively trusted brand. Since then Woof Wear have made improvements to it, i.e. the zip has been improved so that it's much more robust.
Vet Strider Poultice Boot
Snug fitting plastic hoof boot with spare ties.
Pros: Made of robust plastic
Same boot can be used for front and hind hooves
Comes with 10 replacement cables and more can be bought separately
Can be used for turn out.
Cons: Looks like a physics degree is needed to work out how to put it on
Can only be used on a barefoot.
Tip: It's best to warm the Vet Strider Poultice Boot in hot water initially to help it mould to the foot.
Shires Poultice Boot
A tough, waterproof boot for soaking hooves or protecting dressings.
Pros: Wide neck is drawn shut with a buckle which is then secured with a Velcro strap
A textured sole reduces the risk of slipping
Cons: Bulky and therefore not suitable for turn out
Only goes up to a large size.
Cavallo Entry Level Boot
Simple, strong hoof protection.
Pros: Industrial grade 1680 denier nylon upper
Simple front fastening with strong Velcro closures
Can be used for riding.
Cons: Can only be used for barefoot horses
At the upper end of the price range.
Take home message…
Rather than waiting for the day when you need a poultice boot to keep a bandage on or keep a hoof clean and protected, get organised and get one today because when it comes to your horse’s health and their feet, you need to be prepared. Poultice boots are a vital piece of your first aid kit.