After my great experience with the Kevlar Overreach boots by Woof Wear I decided to use the last of my vouchers (received through volunteering at my local riding club) on the Kevlar Exercise Boots again manufactured by Woof Wear. I am a huge fan of lightweight boots for horses as I think they allow the horse far more freedom than a more rigid boot. I won't ride a horse without boots on their legs as I think they are required in order to protect the legs which can be so easily damaged.
Brushing boots or in this case exercise boots basically protect the leg from what is known as 'brushing'. This is when the opposite leg 'brushes' against the inside of the other leg. Repeated 'brushing' can cause damage by constant bruising which can lead to cuts and abrasions. Not all horses 'brush' but I think it is really important to protect their legs anyway.
The Kevlar Exercise Boots are made from 8mm neoprene with a tough Kevlar outer shell which is to resist any abrasion which may happen. Kevlar is durable because of its spider webb like weave. On the inside of the exercise boots is a soft nylon jersey lining which keeps the hair on the legs clean and smooth without causing irritation to the skin. Because they are made from neoprene they are incredibly lightweight and flexible. Even though they are lightweight they are manufactured to be suitable for general exercise whether out on the roads or in an arena for schooling.
The exercise boots have an ergonomic design which ensures a good fit on the legs. Because of their design they are suitable for both front and back legs. The boots are easy to fit as you simply put them on the leg in the correct position (should you have the right size they should fit just below the knee and above the heel, the boots should not go past the heel or above the knee as this can be uncomfortable for the horse) and they fasten with two reinforced velcro straps which are quite wide in thickness but manage to keep the boot in place and secure without slipping.
For me what I like about these boots is just how lightweight they are. The horse hardly knows they are even wearing anything on their legs which is great! Because the neoprene is so supple the boots manage to mould themselves when in position on the leg so they are like a second skin on the horse. The jersey lining manages to keep the fur on the legs smooth without causing any irritation or rubbing. Some brushing boots I have used previously have rubbed my horses legs but these certainly don't which is great as my one horse has quite sensitive skin and they haven't irritated him.
Because I sometimes ride in the rain my brushing boots can retain water which can then lead to rubbing of the legs but with the Kevlar Exercise Boots I've found that they don't retain water at all which is great. Even when they are wet (whether through riding or going in the wash) they are still incredibly light.
Even though I have a few pairs of exercise boots/ wraps that I like using I have been using these quite a lot especially when my others are in the wash. I've found that they don't restrict my horse's movements when being schooled and they bend and move with his movements making them ideal for training as he is able to move freely without being restricted. These boots are worn on three horses and are so far incredibly durable. To be fair my horses don't brush but you can get the normal wear such as scratches on the inside of the boots but because they are made from neoprene they don't mark or scratch. The boots are certainly living up to their tough promise!
For me these boots are great, lightweight, flexible and are easy to wash. They can simply be put into the washing machine on a cool wash and they come out looking perfect. They should be left to air dry to keep their shape but they don't take long to dry!
The boots are available at all good Woof Wear stockists and they are currently priced at around £40-£42 depending on which size you buy (prices from Derbyhouse). The boots only come in black and come in sizes small, medium, large and extra large.