Horses are unpredictable animals with a mind of their own; sometimes things just seem to spiral out of our control. Your horse can refuse at a ghostly fence, expressively and uncontrollably gallop out of the dressage arena from a slight ‘monster in the hedge’, more likely to be a pheasant rustle, or, refuse to go near the terrifying demon judge in your showing class. However, the feeling that you get when the class you enter goes to plan, regardless of discipline makes all the effort, bloody, sweat and tears completely worth it. It does not ultimately mean winning the event but to pull off a harmonious and correct performance that proves all the hard work was worth it, feels great. At the end of the day this is what every rider, be that professional or hobby, seeks.
Horse welfare is imperative within the equine industry and travelling horses is no different, it takes a high quality of management, care and experience to safely load and travel horses from A to B. Trailers and horse box’s are very much the opposite to a horses natural environment, a small confined, noisy box that moves from side to side as well as forwards and backwards, with no room for movement, it is easy to see how things can take a turn for the worse for both horse and handler, and unfortunately, to get to such competitions often means travelling is required. To protect our horses inside the trailer we can use several items: rugs, guards but most importantly, travel boots. There are many different makes of travel boots, however, those that stands out from the sea of never-ending horse products are the ‘Deluxe Weatherbeeta travel boots’ and here’s why.
A few years ago, my horse Charlie and I had been preparing for a local riding club show where we planned to enter jumping and showing classes. I had put in a lot of time and effort before this day as most riders will understand. I arrived at the show, opened the trailer only to realised something was not right. I leant down and peered to the back of the trailer and noticed blood trickling down his hind leg, from below his knee down to his coronet band. He had somehow taken off his travel boot and trodden on himself. Luckily my horse does not wear back shoes which proposedly could have made the situation worse. The accident resulted in him being slightly lame with a bruised lump on the cut area so we bandaged his leg and came all the way home again.
On discovery of my horses cut leg, I retrieved the travel boot he had pulled off in the back of the trailer to realise he had ripped the stitching away of 2 of the fastening straps. When I searched for a new set ideally, I did not want these to fall to pieces and the ones that caught my eye were the ‘Weatherbeeta Deluxe Travel Boots’. Deluxe is the perfect word to describe these boots as they are truly designed to provide everything and more. One of my favourite features is the additional strike pads that guard the coronet band and hocks providing more protection as the PVC material is sturdier than the body material alone. The dense inner foam contrasts with the strong 1200 denier outer layer ultimately producing an incredibly light feel to a very strong product. Finally, the boots are fastened by 3 large Velcro straps. The Velcro has a large surface area which therefore, reduces the risk of the boots becoming loose around the leg and the chance of the horse ripping a boot off in the trailer. Personally, I wouldn’t turn back from Weatherbeeta now.
I am a competitive eventer studying at Hartpury University. I often take my horse out to events and I now have peace of mind knowing my horse is in the trailer in Weatherbeeta products, providing the highest protection to my equine companion.
“Horses first the rest later”- Michael Whitaker. This is a favourite quote of mine from one of the top aspirational showjumpers in the equine industry. No matter what, horse welfare should take priority over everything and Weatherbeeta products are designed to keep your horse safe, secure, and sound.
Pictured: Doing what we love, Jessica & Charlie (Addington Manor Equestrian Centre)