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.