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30 September,2017

Calls for horse boot safety standards

A physiologist is calling for a recognised standard for horse boots, saying they should have a protection rating similar to riders’ hats and body protectors.

Dr David Marlin, former head of physiology at the Animal Health Trust (AHT), runs a consulting business and has previously undertaken a study into the effectiveness of equine leg wear.

Ten years ago, he was commissioned by a tack company to do a study on horse boots that revealed a wide variation in standards, with some boots not “fit for purpose”.

The investigation prompted a meeting with manufacturers to discuss introducing a protection rating. Dr Marlin believes that a decade on, something should be done.

“I studied a lot of top-name boots, some quite good and some were very poor,” he said. “The worst I saw was piece of plastic drainpipe roughly cut with a pair of industrial scissors to use as a tendon protector — there’s always the risk if a material isn’t appropriate and it splits, it could cut into a tendon.

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Image credit: Trevor Meeks

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