Saturday, October 8, 2016

Bell Boots

Today's subject is Bell Boots.

I believe in keeping a shod horse in bell boots at least for turnout, having lost a few shoes before and forked over the extra cash for an emergency farrier trip I would rather spend the money on boots than new shoes.

Stella ripped off her very first shoe less than a week after it got nailed on, and tore off a bell boot under saddle a week later so I think she needs them.  However, she has so far murdered 5 (FIVE!) pairs of bell boots and my pocket boot is feeling it.

The first pair I used on her were the flappy flappy petal kind.  They come in cool colors so you can coordinate, make a ton of cool noises so people can hear you coming, and you can replace the petals easily.

She tore so many petals off in the first couple weeks I gave up on them.

Next up were standard velcro boots.  I like these boots from Roma which cost about $8 from Riding Warehouse  the price is right for replacing them twice a month.  Eeeccckkkk.

What I don't like is how the velcro gets clogged down in mud and eventually stops sticking.  I'm trying to get better about taking them off on a regular basis and hosing them down to clean off the velcro.  However, all the pairs she has ruined have had the stitching torn out before the velcro wears out.  Would this happen with more expensive velcro boots?  I dunno.

I've considered trying the pull on kind, I think they'd last longer with the lack of velcro but I've heard nightmare stories about getting them on and off the horse.  Any thoughts on this?  Do they make more or less sturdy pull on boots that are easier to get on and off?  I see several different kinds of pull ons.

I'm also looking at these Professional's Choice ballistic overreach boots.  Still the problem with velcro but they look like they have a closer fit so she might not step on them as much.

Plus, cool colors!

Those have pretty much been the option for years until Thinline came out with their new Gatorbootz Bell Boots.  They are purported to have a latch that is easy to open by humans, eliminating the struggle with pull on boots, but never by horses, eliminating the velcro issue.  They are a bit pricy at $54.00 a pair but if you aren't replacing velcro boots twice a month the cost quickly adds up.

Has anyone tried the Gatorboots?  Since they don't turn up is the clasp easy enough for my farrier or barn manager to undo when needed?  Thoughts on bell boots in general?


  1. I have been using the professional choice bell boots for years. They seem to last way longer than others, BUT I do want to try the Gatorboots! They look promising!

    1. How do they fare in turnout? Mud and wet conditions? I don't want them to hold water.

  2. I don't need bell boots for anything but I just want to buy those twinkly professional choice ones because they are pretty haha :)

  3. I can't do the velcro either for the same reason. Plus my horse is just as likely to eat it off as it getting bogged down with mud and being useless. I like the pull on boots. Definitely a pain to wrangle, but once you get a good system worked out I don't think they're too bad.

  4. I find the pro-choice boots tend to twirl on me and I can never get them to fit properly.

    I use the Romas and have absolutely no problems with the mud and velcro :( They last me about 3-4 months per pair.

    I used Pull-ons with Fiction before. They were SO HARD to get on and he got them off almost instantly. So those were no-gos :(

    1. Thanks! Do you find that the stitching comes out of the boot before the velcro wears out? That's been my issue in 3 pairs of boots so far.

    2. Very rarely the edge comes undone, but for the most part I only replace them because the rubber starts to crack/chip after about 3-4 months of 24/7 use. My horse runs around like crazy, so he should be quite hard on them, so not sure why they seem to work so well for me.

  5. Once you've pulled on the bell boots once or twice they get easier to do. Centaur makes a really thick heavy duty one. Otherwise I'd skip the Pro Choice boots completely. They are garbage IMO. I always used Davis brand bell boots.

  6. I gave up on bells. I cannot keep any brand on longer than a week and I was so sick of buying new. they didn't seem to help keep shoes on anyways! That las pic though, curious to see review when they start coming out.



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