Today I finally had time to sit down and do a boot comparison! I now have 5 different pairs of miniature horse boots with one more pair on the way for Mikey.

I made a very long video that I will share below, but I’ll go ahead and type up my findings here as well.

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I’ll start with the Easyboot Mini because I have the most experience with that boot! Together, Sky, Bonnie and I have put quite a few miles on several pairs of Easyboot minis. I’ve had to purchase 4 pairs over the last two years. The bottoms don’t wear out but the tops do. The velcro gives out and sometimes rips off completely. One boot had the top part ripped off of the bottom half. That proved impossible for me to fix. I still use those boots for horses that are tender footed on the track. I just tape them shut with duct tape or athletic tape. LOTS of tape!

The Easyboot Mini’s worked very well for all of our hiking, ground driving and light driving. I found that the sole of the boots is a bit thin, so I did put pretty thick pads in them for driving. The pads helped with protection and cushioning.

When I started putting on more miles, crossing water and getting the boots really dirty they just didn’t hold up at all. Once the velcro gets wet/dirty it stops sticking, then the boots fly off. That is so annoying!

Also they don’t have any way to drain the water out when you do lots of water crossings. This caused the boots to rub both of the ponies that were wearing them. And we wrapped their hooves in vet wrap to help the boots stick better and help alleviate the rubbing. (Often the smaller bits of gravel and sand work their way into the top of the boot and rub Sky around her coronet band so I started wrapping her hooves with the vet wrap and that really helped!) Because the water can’t drain out they slosh along as they move down the road. This was a problem on our drive because we were with a large group and couldn’t stop and empty the boots for a few miles. That was frustrating and hard on the ponies.

That long drive made me come home and start looking for a better boot for long distance. That search brought me to the Equine Jogging Shoes. I’ve looked at these several times over the years, but they are VERY pricey so I held off. In the last month I’ve bought 3 pairs! I’m pretty excited about these boots.

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This pair of boots is the Active model. They are the newest model and there are just a few minis using them right now! I’m so excited to give them a try. I really like how they close, the amount of velcro and that little tab along the side of the boots. They act as a back-up to the velcro! Just what I needed on that long drive. They have very aggressive tread and a nice break over in the toe. That break over is SO important in a driving boot! This could be the difference between strained tendons and sore shoulders. Break over is IMPORTANT.

There is quite a bit of material in the sole of these boots, more than in the Easyboot Minis, providing more protection to the horse’s sole. I have small dampening pads in these boots to help them fit Sky a bit better, but don’t need them for cushioning!

I really like the top of these boots and how they completely wrap around the top of the horse’s hoof. It will be very hard for little gravel bits to get in there.

I am so amazed at how light these boots are! They are about the same as the Easyboot Minis, with more great stuff going on!

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I bought Zorro the 24/7 glue on boots because he is having a hard time growing heel. He is such a mover and a shaker that he just needs a bit of protection while his hooves try to grow. Time will tell how well they hold up!

I love the aggressive sole of this shoe and the leather uppers. They are so lightweight!!

Gluing them on was a bit stressful… I’m going to write a blog about doing that next!

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The next boot will be the SoftRide Boots. These boots were completely priceless with Bonnie’s founder and laminitis. There were many months that Bonnie would not have been able to walk without them. These boots have the laminitis gel pad in them. That pad is built up more in the heel and less in the toe to provide some relief for the laminitic horse.

These boots are strictly therapy boots. They are not for hiking, going for walks or driving. They are very HEAVY. I’ll show that below! There isn’t a break over in the front of the boot at all which is fine for limping around the dry lot or trailering, but not for walking long distances, hiking or driving. I can’t stress this enough… these are therapy boots.

The tops of these boots are soft and never caused any rubbing with Bonnie and she would wear them for many days 24/7. The velcro is still going strong as well!

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The last boot I’ll talk about here is the CLB by Cavallo. There is very little I have to say about this boot that is good.

The soles are made of plastic. There is no tread at all on them. They are so slippery. Every time Sky wore these and had to work in the grass she fell down. NOT a safe option for a driving horse. They are very slippery on the gravel and we drive on a lot of gravel roads. They are very slick on the pavement. Zorro wore them in the parade last month. He was a very good boy and it’s a good thing because they were very slippery. Sigh. Just not a good option!

The tops of these boots have rubbed every single mini I’ve had them on. (That’s only 4, but still!) Because the soles of the boots are so hard and plastic I always put a 6 mm pad in them. Otherwise the horses are still a bit ouchy. Oh! And we have worn holes in the soles of two pairs of these. The plastic is not holding up at all. When I contacted Cavallo about the holes they said no one else was having that problem and my horses must have hooves that don’t work in these boots. Hmmmm. I wasn’t sure what to say about that! We put about 10 miles on the boots when they developed the holes.

These are the lightest of the boots, probably because of the plastic soles. They do have water holes for drainage, but because they are so slippery I would never use them in water. They have several different velcros closing them and I like that as I think they would stay shut even when wet and dirty. I hope they take a look at these boots and take miniature horses a little bit more seriously. Minis are major athletes and the things we ask them to do are quite challenging. They need a good boot that can hold up to that!

Here is a collage of the boots and how much they each weigh. This was fun to do! I have been so curious as to how much the SoftRide boots weigh. And I was wondering if there was a big difference between the Equine Jogging Shoes and the EasyBoot Minis. There isn’t too much of a difference! The lightest are the CLB boots, but they sacrifice traction for weight. I would rather have a bit heavier boot and lots of traction!

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Far left: EasyBoot Minis, second from left: Equine Jogging Shoes, second right: SoftRide Boots and far right: CLB by Cavallo

As an aside these are the boots I’m getting Mikey:

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The Equine Jogging Shoe – Ultimate Model. They were on sale because they are phasing them out so I went with these ones. I had to save a little money after buying the other two boots for Sky and Zorro! I will let you know more about these boots once they arrive.

Here is the video I made. Warning… it’s a long one!

 

The weather around here is finally starting to calm down a little bit! We did have a huge wind storm yesterday, but it was blowing the storm away not in… so today was gorgeous!

Two days ago I wanted to take Sky for a little drive and went to get her Cavallo boots only to find that she has worn holes through the soles of them! We got them last November and maybe put about 10 miles on them because of the winter. I can’t believe they didn’t last longer. I emailed Cavallo and they are sending me another pair, hoping that this pair was defective somehow. I hope that is the case as well!

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I will say that they are so slippery in the grass, I can’t drive Sky in grassy areas with them on. She just slips and slides around, proving they would not be good boots for CDE’s! So after using them just a little bit and watching Bonnie wear her Easyboots off and on since December I have to say the Easyboots are longer lasting. They are very well constructed and Bonnie seems very comfortable in them even though she rarely gets to have them off. I will be purchasing more Easyboots for the rest of my ponies, but will not be buying the Cavallo boots again. I love having the options and appreciate their customer service, but can’t afford boots that can’t be worn anywhere we want to drive!

Sky and I went for a nice relaxing drive. Because she didn’t have boots we started out driving around the front yard doing long figure of eights and circles then crossed the driveway and drove around the hay stack and then went out on the road a little bit. They just put down new gravel and it’s deep and lovely so she didn’t have too much trouble out there! We wandered down to the corner where our neighbors gate was open… we couldn’t resist! We went through the gate and walked and trotted around the corner of their field. Sky was so interested being somewhere new! The sun was shining so pretty and I just felt so very happy!

When we were walking back home there was an antelope in the middle of the road. I didn’t get that on the video because I couldn’t drive her one handed while encountering an antelope! LOL But she did great and the antelope panicked and crawled through the fence to run off with it’s brother or sister. Antelope make a funny ‘honking’ sound when they are calling to each other. I hear it often and look around trying to figure out what is making that sound only to remember it’s the antelope!

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Sky looking at the Antelope alongside the road.

When I got home I brought Bonnie out and we went for a short 15 minute walk in the very soft deep grass in the front yard. I took her boots off she she could have a little break. I also took my shoes off so I would be sure to stay in the very soft area and not wander into the harder ground. She isn’t ready for that yet!

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This face! I love it!!

Bonnie’s blood tests came back positive for IR, but negative for Cushings. Based on the numbers (which I don’t totally understand yet but am researching!) Bonnie may do well on the Thyro-L powder. We will give it a try and if it doesn’t help we have some other options. This goes to show that it’s a good idea to get a couple of opinions as another vet I talked to about her felt Thyro-L wasn’t the way to go, but I can’t remember why!

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Sky’s blood tests came back normal so we are going to really start driving for reals now! I have access to a beautiful mile and an a quarter drive with little to no traffic and lots of beautiful scenery so I will be hauling Sky down there to drive a couple times a week! I think sometimes I’ll bring Zorro along and pony him behind the cart to get him in shape too. I plan on ground driving him this summer, with the idea that he will pull the travois this fall. He is just a two year old so I won’t hitch him to the cart this year. Sky looks thrilled in this photo, but she was very happy to be out driving tonight! And even when we left the farm she didn’t get silly or anxious, but stayed curious and connected the entire time. We are having so much fun!

Just wanted to share a little of the fun on the farm!

I made a long-ish video that shows all the miniature horse boots I currently have and  I show Bonnie walking in the Easy Boot Mini and the Soft-Ride Boots for a nice comparison. I’ll keep you updated on how I think the Soft-Ride boots are helping over the next couple of days!

Today was a great day for some spring cleaning around here. The morning was pretty nice, just a bit breezy and quite warm. It got windier and colder as the afternoon came along, but I was on a roll! Seven hours later I had accomplished, a clean shed…

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TWO relatively clean dry lots…

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Two ponies with freshly trimmed hooves, two ponies groomed within an inch of their lives… AND we went for our first walk of the season!

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The girls both did so well on this walk. We have quite a few new horses on both sides of the road that were running and bucking and whinnying as we went by and though Sky got all worked up, Bonnie stayed steady and unfazed. You would never guess that Sky is 14 years old this year!!! She is soooo ready for the harness and the travois. And I’m so ready to have her pull me in the cart sometimes. She ran my BUTT off today!

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Sky on the right wearing her teeny, tiny Cavallo boots. Bonnie on the left wearing her Easyboot mini hoof boots. Both seemed quite happy in their footwear!

Bonnie still has her good days and her bad days since she foundered in December. I am feeding her 3-4 flakes of hay in a slow feed net once a day, 1/2 cup of Crypto Aero Whole Food once a day with a scoop of Remission, the only thing missing is exercise! So we are back to our daily walks. Bonnie didn’t take a lame step today. She wasn’t spooky at all on the walk, she would trot up when I asked her to and follow politely when I needed her to. She was totally and completely responsive for the entire walk. I could not be happier with these two girls! The wind was howling and it was COLD and they just walked and trotted right out!

I have been touching Bonnie when I feed her every day. I run my hand along her side, or place my hand on her back as we walk to where she eats. Then I’ll run my hand along her side and around her hind end. These are things I could not do last year and if the rope touched her side or hind end she would race away and turn and face. Today the rope could be along side her and when Sky would run around and end up behind her with the rope tight around Bonnie’s butt she just stood like a statue! Ready to wear a breeching? I think so!

When we got home they followed me everywhere looking for more attention. They were so happy to be out and about in the neighborhood! I was happy to have them out.

Tomorrow I’ll trim up the boys and give them a good grooming. They are muddy messes as boys seem to be!

 

When I found out that Cavallo was making a hoof boot for miniature horses I was so excited!!! I knew I had to have a pair. They sent me some photos of the boot before it was available and I liked the look of it. My mom got me a pair for my birthday. (Well they are really for Sky- but you know what I’m saying!)

Cavallo introduces the Cute Little Boot
Cavallo introduces the Cute Little Boot

It’s a smaller boot than the Easyboot Miniature Horse Boot and has a lower profile. The Cavallo boot has drain holes in case you drive your mini through water. I like how the front of the boot looks, we’ll see how it holds up when climbing rocks and trekking through sage bushes.

The CLB's front closure.
The CLB’s front closure.

They are tiny. Looking at them I wasn’t sure they would fit my mare, Sky. But I tried them on and they do! They wouldn’t fit Bonnie’s more round hoof but Sky does have little feet. I think of all my minis, they would only fit Sky and Zorro – and not Zorro for long! They did say they will be coming out with a few more sizes in 2017… I will definitely need the next size up to give Sky a little more room. But these will work for now!

The bottoms are much different than the Easyboot. The Cavallo boot would not be suitable for slippery floors, such as hospital floors. They are a hard plastic. The Easyboot has a rubber sole, therefor I think they would be work on slippery surfaces.

Easyboot on the left, Cavallo boot on the right.
Easyboot on the left, Cavallo boot on the right.

Here they are from the side:

Easyboot on the left, Cavallo boot on the right
Easyboot on the left, Cavallo boot on the right

I like the low profile design of the Cavallo boot. It just looks sleeker than the Easyboot. I am concerned how it will be on grass however. The bottoms do seem quite slick! Time will tell and we will be putting lots of miles on both boots…

Easyboot on the left, Cavallo on the right
Back View: Easyboot on the left, Cavallo on the right

A couple photos of the fronts of the boots and how the closures work:

Cavallo boot front
Cavallo boot front and closure
Easyboot front and closure
Easyboot front and closure

Here’s my beautiful model Sky and her new boots!

The CLB's!
The CLB’s!
Sky and her CLB's.
Sky and her CLB’s.

**EDITED TO ADD:

We used these boots for the end of fall and beginning of winter and wore a hole right through the bottoms. I contacted Cavallo because I wondered if this was normal. They sent me a new pair of boots and we wore through those in the same amount of time. They said my horse’s don’t have the right feet for their boots. Hmmm. We haven’t worn through the Easyboots. Bonnie finally did rip a pair of them after wearing them nearly 24/7 for almost a year. She was racing around and stepped on the back of the boot with her hind foot and ripped the boot off. I have since bought two more pairs of Easyboots and we love them! The Cavallo boots are incredibly slippery on wet grass and gravel. I do NOT recommend them at all.