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!

 

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!

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.

The two girls and I have been walking about 4-5 times a week together for nearly two months. At the beginning I noticed that Sky was wearing her toes off a bit on the gravel road. She was a little tender on the rocks and as her toe wore down more she got more tender. I started looking into the Easyboot Mini Hoof Boot. I wasn’t sure about them. They look so thick and heavy and awkward.

Then I remembered that my mom saved the little mini hoof boots I had specially made many, many years ago for a little stallion I had that was very tender on the gravel and pavement. I dug through my stuff and found them! With a little trimming I got them to fit Sky and she went down the road merrily after that.

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This last week I noticed that Bonnie was getting quite sore on the rocks. She is a trooper and would just keep on truckin’ but she was gimping along. I trimmed her up and knew that she wasn’t going to be able to go out on the rocks without boots so I started looking into the Easyboot Mini Hoof Boot again. Again I thought they looked awkward. I could not find very much information about them anywhere on line. I googled miniature horse boots and found lots of pictures of minis wearing other types of boots but not many of these particular boots. I found photos of minis wearing the Easy Boot Epic style, but they don’t come quite small enough for my minis.

When I finally made up my mind I went to Valley Vet Supply to buy a pair of size 3 boots. Of course they were out of stock! I contacted Easy Care and they told me I wouldn’t be able to get a pair until the end of August! Well with only 4 days off Bonnie has gotten quite chubby again and I knew I couldn’t wait until then. I searched around and found a pair on eBay. Thank goodness! I had to laugh that I went from not really wanting a pair to frantically searching everywhere for some!

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They came in the mail yesterday and after unpacking them I was quite impressed! They are tiny. The soles are quite thick, but they are not heavy. In fact they are lighter than the other boots I have that Sky has been wearing. The uppers of the boot are very soft. I think they will squish down a little bit on the back of the boot under the pastern. That is where they come up a bit higher than I would like. They are very easy to put on and take off, yet they stayed in place perfectly on our walk with lots of trotting and Bonnie climbing around in the tall grass on our breaks. She was climbing up and down the steep hills along the road looking for the best grass to nibble on and the boots stayed on perfectly! And they didn’t fill up with rocks or get cheat grass stuck in them. I love that part!

I’m not sure how they would be in the water. They don’t have drain holes, so I think they would fill up with water and possibly rub. When I took them off I noticed a little rubbing just above the coronet band on the front of her feet. I may have to wrap that part of her feet with some vet wrap, but I’ll keep an eye on that area. It may have just been ruffled hair.

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Bonnie LOVED them! After the initial awkward feeling of having something on her feet (she walked lifting her front legs up really high at first! I tried to get it on video but could not manage both horses, the ropes and my phone at the same time… LOL) she walked right out. She did a lot of trotting, which meant I did a lot of jogging. All good for us! Her ears were up the entire time and she was licking and chewing and blowing out a lot. I could tell that she was very happy to be out and with all her forward, clearly the boots felt nice on her feet! We only walked 3 miles this morning… I will work her up to 4-6 miles while wearing the boots. Even their slight weight is more than she is used to. I don’t want to sore up her shoulders and back.

On our first day with the boots I have to say I really like them. I’ll keep you updated as we put more miles on them!

**Edited on September 30th**

Well we’ve had these boots for two months and I can say that I still love them! Bonnie does great in them and we have put them through the WRINGER! We have climbed through sage brush, climbed a few big rocks and totally went 4 wheeling in them. The only thing we haven’t done is cross water!

I took a picture of them to show where the hoof sits in the boot.  The bottom of my thumb is where the bottom of the hoof sits. As you can tell it sits down inside the boot a bit making the sole not as thick as it looks:

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I have also made a few videos showing Bonnie walking in them:

The boots have held up very well to the hardships I’ve put them through. The stitching is nice and tight and they never fill with debris from our hikes. When we get home the only thing in the boot is Bonnie’s hoof!