It is of utmost importance to take accurate measurements and choose a hoof boot that is the right size and shape for your horses’ hoof. You wouldn’t go running in a pair of trainers that don’t fit properly, so don’t expect your horse to either!
The best time to measure your horse is straight after a fresh barefoot trim. To ensure the measurements are as accurate as possible, you should use millimetres and not inches. You will also need to use a hard ruler or tape measure, not a soft tape measure. A retractable tape measure is often best, as you can hook it over the edge of the hoof.
First, measure the width of the hoof at the widest point. This is not always in the same place, as it depends on the shape of the hoof (normally approximately ½ way or slightly over ½ way towards the heel from the toe).
Make sure your ruler or tape measure is held straight across the hoof, and not slightly on the diagonal, as this will affect your measurement.
Secondly, measure the length of the hoof. This is not quite as straight-forward as measuring the width, as you have to determine the rearmost point of weight-bearing at the heels. This is where the hoof wall ends and doesn’t include the frog/heel bulbs.
It is helpful to hold a straight edge across the back of the bottom edge of the heel buttresses and then measure from the toe, bisecting the frog to the line you have formed.
If the horse has very upright or under run heels, you will need to
envisage where the heel should be if the hoof was healthy (like the hoof in this picture), and take your measurements to that point, and not the actual point of the buttress, to allow for the extra length of hoof behind the buttress line. If you are finding it hard to do this, try placing the hoof on the floor and visualising it that way - look at it side on, and get right down to ground level
to see the weight bearing area, and visualise where the heels should be. Then try measuring again and it should be a little easier to judge.
USING YOUR MEASUREMENTS
You will then need to find the hoof boot best suited to your horse. You can either compare your measurements to our size charts (each hoof boot has it’s own size chart, and a particular size in one boot will not necessarily have the same measurements as the same size in another style of boot), or you can look at our guide to choosing a hoof boot first, to narrow down your choices.
Ideally, the length and width measurement will fit into the same size. If the width is in one size, and the length in a size up or down, select the larger size. You do not want to try squeezing the hoof into a boot that is too small. If the width and length measurements are different by more than one size, that particular hoof boot isn’t going to be the best boot for your horse, and you should look at a different hoof boot. Another style may accommodate your horse’s hoof shape better. (For the Easyboot Glue-On or Glove hoof boots to be used successfully, width and length must fall into the same size on the size chart.)
Please note that all hoof boots are designed to allow for some growth in between trims, but this will be based on a proper, regular barefoot trim at around 4 weekly intervals. If you measure your horse in between trims, and/or if your horse is trimmed less regularly, then you need to allow a little leeway and be prepared that the hoof boots you choose may not fit as you approach a trim (due to the extra growth), or straight after a trim. You may want to use a tool such as a Riders Rasp to safely control flare, round or roll the edge of the hoof wall (mustang roll) in between professional trims. This should also help to maintain a good fit for your hoof boots.
Please click HERE to see our size charts.
Please click HERE to see our guide to choosing a hoof boot