Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for best horse shipping boots

There is an old proverb that states, “A horse may stumble, though he has four legs.” This is never truer than in a moving trailer subject to starts and stops as well as sharp turns at various speeds. Even a solid, well-mannered horse can get nervous in a trailer and wind up stepping all over themselves in apprehension.

To prevent horses from hurting themselves, horse owners and trainers have come up with a variety of boots, bandages, and wraps to protect the exposed bones and tendons in a horse’s legs. Manufacturers have taken over the construction of them, and there are several good choices on the market.

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Let your horses get used to wearing boots before going on their first trip. Start with 15 minutes, then gradually work up to longer periods.

Key considerations

Frequency of travel and temperament

Shipping boots are intended to protect your horse from injury while traveling, but opinion varies as to when, how often, and even if you should boot a horse during transportation at all.

A great deal of the disagreement centers around two areas of concern. The first is how often a horse is put in a trailer for transportation. Most horse owners agree that horses who are only transported once in a great while probably don’t need to be booted. (However, the definition of “once in a great while” may vary among owners.)

The real bone of contention arises when you’re discussing horses who are being transported on a regular basis. Some owners claim they never boot their horses and they’re perfectly fine. Others complain that their horses injure themselves every time they’re in a trailer if they’re not booted.

What it really comes down to is the individual horse. Many horses become high strung and nervous when they’re in a moving trailer. They may prance around, back up, bang into the sides of the trailer, and so on. This could lead to injuries. Therefore, if your horse displays symptoms of excessive nervousness in a trailer, shipping boots are probably a good idea — even if they don’t need boots or wraps at any other time.

How far you travel

A corresponding question is how far your horse will be going per trip. On a short trip, many horse owners state they spend more time putting the boots on and taking them off than the length of the trip itself. Time management isn’t the best argument in the world against protecting your horses from themselves, but it’s a realistic one.

The shorter the trip, the less risk there is of your horse sustaining an injury. If you’re just driving a few miles down the road, it might not make sense to spend all that time booting your horse. This may be especially true if you’re transporting several horses at a time. Spending half an hour to boot two or three horses, then another half an hour unbooting, may not be a good use of your time. Again, though, your decision will depend on the temperament of the horse.

The longer the trip, the greater the chance your horse will have the opportunity to sustain an injury. If this is the case, you should give serious thought to booting your horse for the trip.



Many horse shipping boots have an outer shell of nylon with a fleece or synthetic fleece lining. The outer shell may be 400-denier, 600-denier, or 1,000-denier. In the textile industry, a denier is a measurement for “linear mass density of fibers”. Manufacturers use the denier to ensure the material their using is durable enough for the product they’re selling. The larger the number, the tougher the material. Therefore, a 1000-denier fabric would be considerably stronger than a 400-denier fabric.


The size of the boots is important. If they’re too small, they won’t fit, and they may cause circulation problems. If they’re too large, they may come off, slip, or catch on a hoof and make your horse trip and fall. Manufacturers typically provide boot size.

Wrap vs. boot

Before the advent of specialized boots, horse owners used leg wraps, also known as polo wraps. Essentially, they were long white bandages wrapped around the horse’s legs. Today, wraps are available in a wide variety of colors, thicknesses, and textures.

Shipping boots don’t fit as tightly as wraps and are generally thicker and heavier. They are really only meant to be used during transport, whereas wraps are primarily intended to be used during races and other competitive activities.

"No one knows exactly when the earliest form of boots – polo wraps – were invented, but since they were named for the game of polo, which wasn’t invented until 1789, it had to be after that."


Horse blanket: Tough 1 Timber 1200D Waterproof Poly Snuggit Turnout Blanket
Keep your horse clean and warm when you’re traveling with this turnout blanket from Tough 1. It comes in three different colors and has fleece protection across the withers as well as adjustable straps.

Halter: Weaver Leather Original Adjustable Nylon Horse Halter
Available in 20 color choices, this halter from Weaver Leather comes in three sizes: small, average, and large. They are excellent for traveling and made of tough nylon with box stitching and heavy-duty brass hardware rings and buckles.

Grooming kit: Weaver Leather Grooming Kit
You’ll need to groom your horse and wipe them down after a trip, and this grooming kit from Weaver Leather has seven pieces in a strong nylon tote bag. The bag, brushes, and combs come in five different color combinations to fit any taste.

Lead rope: Weaver Leather Poly Lead Rope
You’ll need lead ropes when you’re traveling, and Weaver Leather has 10-foot polypropylene lead ropes in more colors than you can easily count. The snaps are available in brass, chrome, and nickel. They have a comfortable, broken-in feel right out of the box.

Polo wraps: Weaver Leather Polo Leg Wraps, 4-Pack
For those times you when you need additional protection under the shipping boot, these polo wraps from Weaver Leather come in 15 colors and patterns with Velcro closures. They’re made from pile fleece and are fully machine washable.

Horse shipping boot prices

Below $45 is the low price range on shipping boots. Horse shipping boots in this range are economy boots with thinner material and less lining. They may be appropriate for short trips.

For a set of horse shipping boots with a higher denier count and more lining, you can expect to pay $45 to $65 in the mid-range. Above $65, you’ll find shipping boots for larger horses.


  • Putting the boots on your horse should be the last thing you do before putting them in the trailer.
  • When you’re taking your horse off the trailer, carefully examine the boots for scuff marks, scratches, or cuts. If you find any, you know that you just saved your horse from hurting themselves.
  • Take the boots off your horse as soon as possible after getting them out of the trailer.

Other products we considered

We like the Saxon Travel Boots. They're available in two sizes: cob (medium size) and full (large size). You can choose a set in blue or black. Each boot has five Velcro straps to facilitate ease when putting them on and taking them off. The straps also help the boots remain in place.

Another great choice is the Economy Travel Boots from William Hunter Equestrian. This is a set of four navy blue boots, and it is available in small, medium, and full sizes. The padding is thick and comfortable, although the way the boots fit around the legs is a bit odd. The bargain price more than makes up for it, though.

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In addition to shipping boots, there are bell boots, brush (or splint) boots, shin boots, open front boots, knee boots, skid boots, medicine boots, and fetlock boots.


Q. Do I need to put boots on all four legs on my horse?
Yes. Research has shown that horses will put more weight on their booted legs than the unbooted ones. Booting all four legs keeps their weight evenly distributed.

Q. How should I boot my horses for long trips across the country?
For long trips, it’s a good idea to wrap all four legs in a polo wrap and then put a shipping boot over that.

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