The Swiss Horse Boot
Count Pompeii shows off his new Swiss Horse Boots
|We have tried this boot with
very good results. It was invented in Switzerland in the 1980s as an
alternative to traditional shoeing. In 1999 it was rated "the best
hoof boot in Europe" by a German equine foot-care study group.
Because of its sturdy construction, the Swiss Hoof Boot outlasts nail-on
shoes six-to-one ! Most of these boots last a minimum of one year, while
some have been used for three years before needing to be replaced. While
it does not have a replaceable sole, it does have replaceable straps and
buckles. We found that it was fairly easy to put on and take off. Each
boot weighs only 12.3 ounces.
Because Count Pompeii had never worn any type of hoof boot before, we allowed him to wear them in his paddock at first. However when he was brought out, the Russian stallion seemed to become quickly adjusted to the different feel and sound of the boot. It is important to note that when the ride was concluded, the Swiss Hoof Boot was taken off, and Count Pompeii was returned to his field. Only this time he was "barefoot".
A Word of Caution - The farrier who had been recommended as the best professional in our area was asked to help us initially fit the boots on Count Pompeii. Being a traditional "nail and hammer" type of farrier, this fellow showed a lot of open contempt for the Swiss Hoof Boots as soon as we opened the shipping box. Before we could stop him, he grabbed a knife and cut away the heel on the two front boots. "It will rub the horse's heels," he said - as if the inventor had not taken this into consideration! So if you try these boots yourself, do not let your farrier make the stupid mistake ours did! We might add that the only place the boots rubbed was where Clever-Dick had cut them.
We have therefore not been able to test these boots over any serious mileage, but we think they show great potential.