horse hock boots

Best Hock Protectors For Horses

Best Hock Protectors For Horses

Horseback riding and training can be expensive, but it is worth it to keep your horse happy and healthy.

One product that you may need to keep your horse comfortable and injury free is hock protectors.

Read on to learn more about hock protectors and why they can be so valuable for your horse, as well as some suggestions of great hock protectors for you to purchase for your equine partner! 

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Why Do I Need Hock Protectors?

Hock protectors can be an important investment into your horse’s health. These are a product that you can put on the hocks of your horse to protect them against injuries such as scapes, bumps, or hock sores. They are especially helpful for when your horse is stabling or trailering, and can even be worn overnight. They can both protect against new injuries and prevent the worsening of existing hock injuries that your horse may have. There are plenty of different styles of hock protectors out there, which we will go over in greater detail below. 

Best Hock Protectors For Horses

If your horse needs hock protectors, you may be overwhelmed by the options out there. Below, we will go over some great options that can help you expedite your search! 

Professional’s Choice (WSL) PCTHBM PC Theramic Hock Boot 

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The Professional’s Choice hock protectors are the best on our list. These are the most expensive out of the three hock protectors on this list, but they provide the best value.

They have a Velcro closure to keep them fastened on your horse and can be used before and after workouts, too, in order to prevent exercise-related injuries in your horse. They are a great 2 in 1 option! It is also important to note that these particular hock protectors have been said to run large.

Vomvomp Hock Shield Protector

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The vomvomp Hock Shield Protector is the most inexpensive option on this list, so it can be great if you are looking for a budget-friendly option. They are also bright orange, so they are a stylish option, too! The design of the vomvomp hock protectors is such that the design allows for a full range of motion, but still fully protects your horse’s hocks at the same time. They can also keep warm horses that have arthritis, and are made of a soft fleece for ultimate comfort. 

Intrepid International Hock Shield Protector

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Next up is the Intrepid International Hock Shield Protector. The hick shield is a patented design and, like the vomvomp model above, has been designed to offer the full range of motion for your horse. As many hock protectors will be kept on overnight or for a longer amount of time as your horse’s hock injuries heal, this is very important! These hock protectors are padded and lined with a soft fleece to be gentle against your horse’s skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you prevent hock sores in horses?

Hock sores are, as the name suggests, the small sores or scuffs that a horse may develop on their hocks, located halfway down their legs. They can either appear as scabbed-over wounds or can appear just as areas where the hair has been rubbed off of the horse’s legs. There are a few ways you can prevent this, such as inspecting their bedding and improving it if necessary— by moving soft dirt into the area, for example. You can also get hock protectors or hock boots for your horse to wear. 

Do hock boots work?

If your horse has any hock injuries, or often gets injuries in this area, then hock boots can be a way to protect the hocks and prevent this— or prevent any existing hock injuries from worsening. Hock boots can be especially helpful when a horse is stalled or trailering. They are also a common solution for horses that have either arthritic or capped hocks. One of the many benefits to hock boots is that they can be used overnight once your horse has grown used to them, making it possible to protect your horse from any hock injuries around the clock! They can also be worn for 3 to 3 weeks without being removed, though it is still wise to remove them during your horse’s grooming sessions so you can ensure that their hocks are cleaned and groomed, too! 

What is the best treatment for hock sores in horses?

Hock injuries can become very common in horses, so it is important that you know how to deal with them. Of course, if you are unsure, you can always discuss treatment options with your vet, too. When your horse has developed hock sores, an ointment or a cream is a common solution to treat them with. It is important that you look at the ingredients of the ointment you are used— or prescribed. For example, if the ointment is high in petroleum, this can limit the oxygen that reaches the area, which in turn will prevent the hair from growing back here as fast. This is important for you to be aware of and to consider.

How do you put on a hock shield?

A hock shield is a hock protector that is able to be custom fit to your horse for more comfort, while protecting the hocks of your horse from abrasions or other such injuries. They also help to prevent the occurrence of hock sores. A hock shield looks similar to a knee pad for your horse! In order to put on your horse’s hock shield, you should follow the instructions that come with the product. They typically have a strap that you can tighten or loosen to fit your horse’s hocks, and then you can Velcro fasten it closed. There is also an inside tab that you can adjust if the outside tab is either too long or too short. 

Hock Boots for Horses

To understand how hock boots assist your horse, we first need to understand the hock of a horse. The hock is the joint in the hind leg located between the knee and the fetlock, angled to point backwards. For horses, the hock moves a lot, especially when the horse lays down and stands up. Your horse’s hocks are always going to be touching the ground. And this is how hock soars can develop.  Hock boots for horses.

If you want to help hock sores to heal, to prevent them in the first place, or just to make your horse more comfortable, it’s a good idea to get some hock boots. Think of them as knee pads for horses.

What Are Hock Boots Used For?

There are three main reasons that you would use hock boots with your horse. The most common uses are for healing hock sores, for protecting your horse during travel, and for helping work horses recover after a long day.

The hock joint on your horse is almost impossible to wrap properly with dressing, since it’s always moving, and so a hock boot is honestly the best way to keep your horse’s joints healthy and comfortable. 

Hock boots can be used by horses of any breed, during any stage of life, from any discipline, and involved in any level of work. Old horses and young horses, racehorses and work horses. Hock boots can be used by all!

How to Use Boots

Hock boots typically come padded, and they work sort of like knee pads where you wrap them around the horse’s hocks and then tighten them using fasteners, snaps, or buckles. Hock boots should be tight enough to stay in place without being too suffocating for the horse. Under no circumstances should the hock boots interfere with your horse’s circulation or the way that it moves. 

Check the hock boots regularly so that they don’t become too tight and cause boot sores on top of hock sores. This can be a nightmare scenario. Your horse should be comfortable and the hock boots should be snug and secure.

Hock Boots for Trailering 

Using hock boots for trailering is handy so that your horse doesn’t bang their hocks. This is critical, especially if you’re horse isn’t used to being moved in a trailer. In layman terms, the hock boots will keep your horse from stubbing its toes. Your horse will be protected from bumps and scrapes, and with the right hock boots, your horse will also enjoy increased circulation. 

What this means is that the horse will come off of the trailer less stiff than if they had not been wearing hock boots. No scrapes or bumps, a well-rested horse, and a much better experience for the animal.

Hock Boots for Sores

Using hock boots to help heal sores is one of their most popular applications. Hock boots will stop the abrasion and rubbing that happens when your horse gets up off its stall mat or the hard ground. If your horse already has sores, the hock boots will definitely prevent them from getting worse, kind of like a band aid. 

Plus, hock boots can help to increase circulation, which will in turn helps the sores to heal faster than they would on their own. 

Hock Boots for Working Horses

Any horse that is involved in heavy work can benefit from hock boots. When your horse works hard, they work out their joints and especially their hocks. To help your horse recover after a workout or a hard day of labor, hock boots can help to provide compression or even ice therapy. 

You can even combine ice therapy with compression to help take away any stiffness or swelling in your horse’s joints. The same increased circulation that helps to heal wounds will also help to keep your horse’s joints in tip-top shape!

When to Use Hock Boots

You should never use hock boots when your horse is unsupervised outside of its stall. You want to make sure your horse isn’t moving around too much and doing things like running or jumping, otherwise all the action could damage the hock boots. And if you have an especially ornery horse, it may even try to chew the hock boots off. After all, boots aren’t the most natural thing to a horse. 

The best time to use hock boots is when the horse is being supervised inside of its stall. However, if you choose to leave the hock boots on overnight while your horse is not supervised, it’s important that you add a special wrap onto the horse’s leg just below the hock boot. 

By adding a bit of wrap, it will ensure that the hock boot won’t slide down the horse’s leg as it walks or kicks in its stall while you’re not watching. This exact same method should be used for trailer rides as well. 

How to Prevent Hock Sores

Hock boots are first and foremost used for treating hock sores. Hock boots were designed to prevent your horse from acquiring uncomfortable sores and for treating sores that have already developed. But as with everything in life, the best treatment is a strong prevention. 

To prevent hock soars in the first place, you need to make sure the environment your horse is living in is suitable. For example, hock sores can often develop because you use too little bedding. Without enough bedding, your horse is repeatedly rubbing its hocks, which can eventually lead to sores. 

Of course, stalls with a concrete floor are a nightmare for horses. Rough flooring is also horrible and can cause sores to develop. The easy solution here is to add stall mats and as much bedding as necessary to keep your horse’s hocks in great shape. Always clean the stall regularly and make sure that you don’t leave your horse in a wet stall.