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After having had a few horses in my time that over reach I now ride all my horses in over reach boots. Over reaching is caused when the toe of the hind foot makes contact with the coronet band, heel of the horse's front foot. Therefore, constant striking by the back hoof can lead to damaging the front feet and leaving open cuts and bruising which is certainly not pleasant for the horse. Therefore, over reach boots are used and they cover the back part of the hooves of the front feet protecting from being knocked and banged.
Over reach boots come in all sorts of styles made by various suppliers. They range from the cheap being £5 per pair to the expensive at over £60. In effect they all do the same thing but obviously depending what budget you have you can buy whatever style you'd like. The pair I use are the Rhinegold Sheepskin Trimmed Over Reach Boots. I chose them simply because I wanted a pair that were lined with sheepskin as I didn't want a rubber pair rubbing the back of my horse's feet.
Rhinegold are a brand found in the UK and are relatively budget friendly. I don't like all of their equipment simply because it doesn't suit my horses but there are items which I am very pleased with, one being these sheepskin trimmed over reach boots. They come in at around £20.00 per pair which for a pair having sheepskin included is a relatively good price as the pair I'd love are about £55! They are easy to buy online as many online tack stores stock Rhinegold so they are not hard to get hold of.
The over reach boots come in black only which is fine by me as black doesn't show up the dirt or dust that easily. They are made from a neoprene material which apart from being incredibly flexible and soft to the touch it doesn't retain water easily so therefore dries very quickly. Ideal when riding in damp conditions and that way they won't rub the skin and fur on the horse's legs. Neoprene is a widely used material in the equestrian world due to its lightweight but strong properties. The outer shell of the boots has a suede finish to them making the boots look a bit more sleek.
The boots themselves are fastened by a Velcro strap the width of the boots and has the Rhinegold 'R' on the front in white. The boots do come in three different sizes pony, cob and full. The Velcro strap is not adjustable but the three sizes tend to fit 99% of horses and ponies so there should be a problem. Of course like most Velcro products and horses they tend to get clogged up with hay, straw, dust and dirt so it is important to try and keep the velcro as clean as possible in order that they fasten properly and securely.
The boots fit just above the coronet band of the horses hooves this is the top part of the hoof just before the fur starts. They shouldn't be too tight or too loose to prevent any possibility of an injury or discomfort. My pair fit nice and snug over about ¾ of the hoof and protect enough of the back of the hoof to protect any collisions from the back hooves. The sheepskin comes over the top of the boots but doesn't go all the way around the boots, simply just lined at the top so it keeps the fur clean and protected, it saves any rubbing that may happen. The sheepskin is a natural colour so is bound to get a little dirty when the boots are in constant use. The sheepskin like the over reach boots themselves is incredibly soft and certainly gives the boots a posher look!
I've had my pair for a few months now and they are nearly used on a daily basis and are still in great condition. Yes, they have been washed a few times (they wash very well and come up lovely and clean) but they still do the job that they were bought for. They manage to protect my horses hooves from any contact made from the back hooves and the sheepskin doesn't rub either. I can't complain about them whatsoever. The neoprene material has lasted incredibly well and hasn't frayed or become too worn. They simply do look as if they have come straight back out of the packet! Definitely a recommendation from me and because they are so hard wearing and fit beautifully I cannot give them anything less than 5 stars!
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Sizes: Pony, Cob and Full
Price: £22.00 - £17.00