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 yet uncontrollably gallop out of the dressage arena from a slight ‘monster in the hedge’ (pheasant) rustle, or, refuse to go near the terrifying demon judge in your showing class. Us horse owners try and deal the best we can with these problems that can’t necessarily be prevented, however, putting in all that time and effort to turn your muddy donkey into something presentable, driving multiple hours away, manoeuvring a ‘not so easy’ to drive horse box through winding country roads to turn up at a show, just to realise on leading your horse out of the box that he has ripped of his travel boots and somehow trodden on himself to draw blood down a perfectly shampooed, now swollen leg. Now, that is something that can be prevented and WeatherBeeta travel boots are designed just to do that.
The feeling that you get when the class you enter goes to plan, whether that be show jumping, showing or dressage. 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 eventer/ rider seeks, and to get to this point many stepping stones need to be crossed such as fitness of the horse or pony, rider preparation and experience, feed and supplements to help aid the horse in the performance and the one this blog is about, the journey to the event.
A few years ago, this exact situation happened to me. My horse, Charlie, and I had been preparing for a local riding show where we planned to enter jumping and showing classes. I had put in a lot of time and effort before this day as you riders and budding show fanatics will understand. I arrived at the show and opened the trailer but as soon as I opened the door I realised something was not right. I leant down and peered to the back of the trailer and realised 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 would have ended a lot 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.
Horse welfare is incredibly important in the equine industry and horse owners generally care a lot about their equine companions, like myself. Encouraging these domesticated animals to travel in a trailer or horsebox is very unnatural for them. A trailer is a very strange environment where some horses are incredibly calm whereas others can panic and refuse to comply. To protect our horses inside the trailer we can put on many items: rugs, guards and the one this blog is aimed at is protective travel boots. There are many different makes of travel boots, however, the one that stands out from the sea of never ending horse products are the Deluxe WeatherBeeta Travel Boots and here’s why.
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)