Tags: hoof care

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April


Mac is now wearing his booties...or, to be more formal about it, his "Soft-Ride Equine Comfort Boots." 

The hardest part about the change-out was getting the adhesive bandages off his hooves.  The foam pads the vet used had been flattened and had very little cushion left, though I suppose the amount of bandaging crossing the bottom of the foot helped.  My Vet-Wrap, by the way, was staying on just fine. 

Anyway.  I did the worse foot first, on the grounds that it was the critical one.  Mac had objected to having his halter put on (he associates it with his meds, which he does not like) and pinned his ears and threatened to bite me, but I outlasted him without violence and got it on.  Once the old stuff was off, getting the boot on was easy--I could slide it on while holding his foot up, get it partly fastened,  put the foot down and then fasten while he stood there.  The other one, which had only Vet-wrap on it (it's the one I re-wrapped yesterday morning) was easy and went without a hitch either.   I led him around.   To me, it seemed he was walking easier.  He should; the new pads are thicker and more resilient both.  There's a lot of stuff between him and anything on the ground.

Here are some pictures:  first a shot of Mac eating hay with the boots on:

And then a closeup of the boots on his feet:

The materials that come with the boots do not define how to tell a right from a left, and after long staring at the shape the base is just about circular) I  couldn't tell.  But after I got the second one on, I realized that the "Soft Ride" labels on the straps were probably supposed to show on the outside, not the inside.  So they're on the wrong feet.  Mac seems to like them anyway, and certainly walks better in them than in the squashed-down pads the vet had put on him (those are intended as temporary anyway.)   I like the "air holes" in the sides--these are really well-designed booties.  And you can take out the inserts, wash everything with soap and water, and air-dry. 

This is the same kind of bootie that was used on Barbaro once they took the case off his broken leg.   More optimistically, it's used by a lot of people for hauling and shipping horses, as well as for the rehab of tender-footed horses or horses who've had a hoof resection.  I'm quite pleased (so far, she says cautiously) and anyone who thinks such a thing might be useful can look at the website (www.Soft-Ride.com.)