Overreach boots, or bell boots, are bell-shaped boots made for horses to protect the front of their foot area from being injured when they’re training or exercising and the hind leg overreaches and scratches or brushes up against the front leg. This can be very painful for a horse and even cause serious damage to this part of the leg, but since bell boots are both protective and reasonably priced, you can easily find the perfect pair to meet your needs.
Many overreach boots are a pull-over type, which means they fit over the foot area and all you have to do is pull the one-piece boot over the foot. Others, however, wrap around the foot and are closed with some type of device, usually either a Velcro strap or a hook-and-loop fastener. The hook-and-loop fasteners tend to be a little quicker to operate than the Velcro strips, which is why they are often called quick release fasteners.
Why Choose Quick-Release Fasteners on Your Bell Boots?
These types of fasteners offer many advantages over other types of fasteners, but of course, the number-one advantage is that they are much easier and faster to open and close when you’re placing them on or taking them off of the horse’s foot area. This is especially important when you’re exercising, training the horse, or you’re out in the middle of the field or arena and have to do what you’re doing quickly so you can move onto something else.
With Velcro fasteners, you may have to fold and unfold them several times to get them to fit exactly right, which can take a lot of time if the horse is fidgety or you’re in a hurry for one reason or another. The hook-and-loop fasteners fit together quickly and you can often open and close them with one hand, making them super-easy as well as quick. Let’s face it, bending down to take care of an overreach boot can be cumbersome and difficult, but with fasteners that offer the quick release feature, it can be a much easier task for you every time.
This isn’t to say that the hook-and-loop fasteners aren’t very secure, because just like Velcro fasteners, they offer the perfect fit without being too tight or too loose. The hook slips easily into the loop part, providing you with a smooth action and a very easy way to make sure the boots are totally secure by the time you’re finished. Some bell boots even have two of these fasteners attached, making for an even more conforming fit.
Why Are Bell Boots So Important?
Bell boots cover the area from above the coronary band to below the heel, and they are one of the most common types of boots purchased for a horse’s front legs. In addition to the hind leg possibly clipping the front leg while galloping or training, it is also possible for the hind leg to step on the back of the front shoes and either pull them off completely or loosen them up a bit, neither of which is good for the horse.
If you’re curious whether you need these boots for your horse, you can start by asking yourself a few questions. For instance, if you finish riding or exercising your horse and notice scrapes, bruises, or dirt marks on its heel or pastern area, your horse may need bell boots. It may also need them if it loses shoes in turnouts, or even if it overreaches during activities that include jumping, roping, barrel-racing, or training dressage, among others.
As a general rule, the more aggressive or high-speed the activity is, the higher the chance that your horse will damage the front feet with its hind feet, but minimizing or eliminating that damage is as easy as purchasing a pair of overreach boots. Remember, unlike other types of boots, these are only needed on the front legs, so you don’t have to purchase them for all four legs.
One of the most important aspects of choosing bell boots is making sure they close right so that the fit is just right for your horse’s legs. Boots that are either too loose or too tight can cause problems for the horse, including long-term problems, which means you have to make sure that closure or fastener works the way it’s supposed to work. The quick release type of closures is often preferred over the Velcro type, mostly for people who have fidgety horses or who find themselves in a hurry when dealing with the horse’s boots.
All overreach boots are made to fit securely without being too tight or too loose, but if you’ve decided you want the hook-and-loop closures and you’d like to research the brands so that you can find the boots that are perfect for you, below are just a few of the best bell boots on the market today.
The Classic Equine name is known for its high-quality horse boots, and this set is no different. They are available in 25 different colors that include basic colors such as red, blue, mint, teal, purple, and orange, as well as a variety of prints and designs that truly offer something for everyone. They also come in many different sizes to guarantee the perfect fit for every horse out there, meaning your horse will always be well-accommodated.
Made out of 2520-denier nylon, the boots are both stain-resistant and water-repellent, meaning they will take good care of your horse’s feet regardless of what you put it through or even the climate conditions outside. The lining is made out of soft jersey material for extra comfort, and the shock-absorbing center does a great job of cushioning each step to reduce the chances of serious injuries to the foot and lower-leg area.
The quick release double hook-and-loop closure offers a reinforced design that promises the perfect snug fit, and the boot itself is contoured to fit the shape of each leg, making it seem like it was made just for your horse and no one else’s. If you want excellent support and protection, these are the boots you want. Their technologically advanced materials guarantee you’ll be able to use them for a very long time, and they provide the durability you need regardless of how rough you plan to be with them.
Available in either black or white and several different sizes, the TuffRider bell boots have a unique ribbed design and the hook-and-loop closure that many horse owners prefer. They are easy to operate and super-comfortable for the horse, and at roughly $16 per pair, they are economical as well. In fact, even if you have more than one horse on the farm and, therefore, need to purchase several pairs of these boots, it won’t hurt your pocketbook to do so.
These boots are made out of a tough rubber material, giving them both the flexibility they need and the toughness that is required to stand up to any type of hoof impact. The quick release design makes them easy and fast to maneuver, and the sturdiness of the rubber means they can last regardless of the terrain or the activity you put them through. They can survive the elements with ease, and they combine both hard rubber with just the amount of softness they need to be super-comfortable every time.
The TuffRide company makes a variety of products for the horse in your life, including not only leg protection items, but also clothing for the rider, horse-grooming products, tack items, saddles, and a whole lot more, which includes all types of bell boots for horses.
These are ribbed bell boots that help deflect any type of hoof strike, and they are perfect for both light work and simple turnout. Indeed, anytime you consider overreach a possibility, your horse needs these boots for protection. The strong PVC materials offer the right combination of sturdiness and flexibility, and the double stitching adds additional strength so you can rely on the boots to work properly for a very long time.
Available in several different sizes and in both black and white, the secure hook-and-loop closure ensures a perfect fit every time, and you can easily and quickly maneuver the boots and place them on or off the horse’s legs with ease every time. Lightweight at under 10 ounces, it will only cost you roughly $14 for a set of two boots, making this both a very efficient product and a very inexpensive one.
The Centaur PVC boots offer many advantages, not just the quick release fastener, and one of its biggest advantages is its ability to stand up to all of the abuse it receives. In fact, any horse that participates in high-performance or aggressive activities, including horses that are just extra-playful, can benefit from wearing the boots. They are made to be worn any time, including daily, and still work great, so this is one part of being a horse owner that you won’t have to think much about from now on.