Hoof Boots and Their Use in Competition

Hoof Boots and Their Use in Competition

With a rise in hoof boot popularity, increasing numbers of venues are beginning to allow the use of hoof boots in unaffiliated competition. Currently, competitions run under British Eventing (BE), British Show Jumping (BS) and British Dressage (BD) rules do not allow the use of hoof boots, therefore you cannot compete at affiliated events in boots.

Endurance competitions are the most common events where the use of hoof boots is accepted. Many endurance riders will carry a single hoof boot as a spare tyre so that in the event of a pulled shoe the boot can be fitted immediately, allowing the rider to continue safely. Alternatively, boots may be used on barefoot horses to protect their hooves from the rough, uneven terrain during the ride.

Unaffiliated competitions are often run with their own rules. Some venues will stick to BE, BS and BD rules and others are more flexible.  There are many venues and clubs which do allow the use of hoof boots at their unaffiliated events in the UK.


Can I Warm Up in Hoof Boots?

Yes, you can warm up in hoof boots and this includes at affiliated competitions but you will have to remove them before entering the ring. This can be particularly beneficial for protecting the hooves when moving between arenas, especially if the venue has stony terrain.


What Action Should I Take if I Wish to Compete in Hoof Boots?

To avoid being penalized or asked to remove your hoof boots at a competition, we advise contacting the venue or event organisers prior to entering the class. If there is a specific reason for using boots, for example a recovering hoof injury, it would be helpful to explain why.



Why Compete in Hoof Boots?

Hoof boots provide protection to the hooves and will have a dampening effect on concussive forces. They also offer many additional benefits such as protection against excessive wear on sandy surfaces, being able to compete during the transitional phase from shod to barefoot, and protect hooves on varying terrain when competing in cross country.

Some riders could be hacking to an event and need boots for the journey.  Some venues have stony car parks where you may wish to keep your horse booted in order to protect the hooves from potential bruising. 

Occasionally there might be a situation where a horse is recovering from an injury where boots would help prevent dirt or debris entering the wound.


 Which Disciplines Can You Compete in Wearing Hoof Boots (UK)?

Endurance is the main discipline where the use of hoof boots is accepted. Eventing and jumping competitions also allow the use of boots however, dressage (including the dressage phase in eventing) do not always accept the use of boots. Hoof boots are not permitted in showing classes.

Some of our local venues allow for hoof boots to be used, these include:

  • Keysoe Equestrian Centre (Unaffiliated jumping and XC but not Dressage classes)
  • Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre (Unafflilated show jumping)
  • Weston Lawns Equitation (Unaffilated competitions)
  • Rockingham Forest Riding Club (At club level events but not qualifiers)


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3rd January 2019

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