|Boot Size||Boot Width||Boot Length|
|Boot Size||Boot Width||Boot Length|
Step 1 Width
Measure the hoof width and compare to the chart above. Select the boot size which is closest to the hoof width without being more narrow. The example hoof in the photo above measures 4-1/2″ wide. The size 0 boot is 4-9/16″ wide which is 1/16″ wider than the hoof. The size 00 boot is 4-3/16″ wide which is 5/16″ more narrow than the hoof. As Renegades should not be fitted tightly, the size 0 boot is the right boot for this hoof width.
The best time to measure hooves for boots is right after a recent “natural” trim featuring a low heel, a short toe and a mustang roll (If your horse has high heels, see the Hoof Conformation page). The mustang roll is important because the inside corners of the Renegade are “filleted” or rounded to accept the shape of the rounded hoof wall edge(mustang roll).
If, after trimming, your horse has squared off and sharp hoof wall edges, the boot will not to fit properly, which may lead to boot instability. Sharp hoof wall edges are exactly that… SHARP… and can cut the flesh of opposing legs and damage the hoof boots. Ask your farrier to perform a proper mustang roll or at the very least, rasp the sharp edge off with a simple bevel shape. Take note that the mustang roll should go all the way to the heels. The hoof in the example photos does not have a mustang roll all the way to the heels in order to improve clarity and understanding of the rearmost point of weight bearing.
Renegade Hoof Boots should not be fitted tightly! The Heel Captivator is the main means of boot retention, not a tight-fitting boot shell. A Renegade which fits the hoof perfectly would of course be preferred, but somewhat loosely-fitting Renegades are just as likely to be successful in most situations. One downside to the boots fitting perfectly is they may get too tight as the hoof grows longer between trimming cycles.
Without a doubt, experience has shown that a boot which fits loose is more stable than a boot which fits too tight. If the boot shell does not fit easily onto the hoof, or if you cannot seat the toe into the boot with a tap from the palm or your hand, the boots are too tight.
Understand that as hooves grow longer, they also get wider. If the width of your horse’s hoof is exactly the same as a particular boot size, you should consider the trimming interval of your horse and how long they grow between trims and decide whether or not you should go up one boot size to allow for said growth.
Many boot users groom the hooves with a rasp each time before installing boots which helps to maintain a good fit and promotes a healthy hoof.
Step 2 Length
Now compare the measured hoof length to that of the boot length in the chart. The hoof in the example photos above measures 4-1/2″ long, which is 1/2″ shorter than the size 0 boot. This means about 1/2″ of boot base will be sticking out past the rearmost point of weight bearing.
For most types of riding, the extra 1/2″ of boot base length is not a problem, but we do offer a free Cutback Option which shortens the boot base about 1/4″ (6.5mm). If a horse is going to be ridden fast, or in deep mud, or upon highly technical terrain, or otherwise perform in a very high performance manner, the Max Cutback, a cutback of 3/8″ (9.5mm) off the boot, option is something to consider, as it eliminates excess boot material that might cause an interference during such types of riding. Note that toe shape can affect actual boot length requirements, as a hoof with a large toe bevel or over-accentuated mustang roll will not seat all the way forward in the boot, and a hoof which measures 4-1/2″ long may not actually have 1/2″ of boot base sticking out past the rearmost point of weight bearing.
Also, high-heeled and upright hooves (not the natural hoof form) have a steeper toe angle which is usually steeper than the toe angle of the boot and therefore the toe of the hoof will not seat all the way forward which also results in the heel sitting closer to the back of the boot base than it would otherwise. See the Hoof Conformation page for more information.
If you find the boot size selected in step 1 is too short, go up one numerical boot size to gain additional length. This will result in some extra boot width, but as noted previously, the Renegade need not be fitted tightly, and for most situations some extra width is OK. If your situation requires a better fit for width, see the Custom Boot Modifications page for more information.
If you will be riding in deep mud, crossing streams with rocks and boulders, or riding fast, it becomes more important to match boot length to hoof length. Horses known to overreach, forge or interfere should also be more closely matched for boot length. While we offer our Cutback options that cover most situations, the boot can also be custom-trimmed in the field with hoof nippers and finished smooth with a small rotary grinder like a Dremel tool.
Understanding Hoof Length and the Rearmost Point of Weight Bearing
It’s easy to see and understand hoof width, but hoof length can be tricky because we must be able to determine the rearmost point of weight bearing at the heels. In the photos above, the bottom of the hoof has been sprayed with a light coat of black lacquer paint and then lightly rasped across the heels to remove the paint and some hoof wall. Doing this serves to provide a clean, flat surface at the heels, with the paint improving contrast. As you can clearly see, the rearmost point of weight bearing is at the colored line drawn across the back of the heels. If you have trouble projecting an imaginary line onto your tape measure, you can apply a piece of masking tape or duct tape onto the hoof with the back edge of the tape aligned with the heel.
Another way to look at this is to imagine for a moment you applied wet paint to the bottom of your horse’s hoof and then walked him across a smooth hard surface. When looking at the hoof prints left behind by the wet paint, the rearmost point of weight bearing would correspond with the rearmost point of the print, but not counting any print left by the frog. (We’re not recommending you measure the hooves with wet paint, but this example may help serve as a visual example.)
In addition, we need to discuss heel shape, as most heels won’t be nice and flat with crisp edges as depicted in the photos above. Somewhat rounded-off heels are more typical, especially for those horses landing heel first, which is natural. Some trimmers will also intentionally round the heels to help promote a heel first landing and to help mimic the rounded heels found in the wild hoof, in a trimming technique known as a ‘Reverse Breakover.’ Such trimming methods are recommended and will not negatively impact the fit of the boot.
Fortunately, the measurement does not need to be a perfectly exact science. The closest estimate to the rearmost point of weight-bearing is sufficient for the purposes of measuring and sizing.