The Bell Boot Incident 2015

The Bell Boot Incident 2015

Who’d have thought I’d have more than one post to write on this blog about bell boots?  Back in 2013, bell boots caused Simon to sit on the ground like a dog.  At the show this past weekend, we had another incident with bell boots but this time it wasn’t nearly as visual.

Since Simon has pretty severe hock arthritis, I take a lot of (USEF legal) measures to make sure that he’s comfortable at shows and doesn’t get stiff sitting in his stall.  So when he came out feeling a little stiff Sunday morning, I was on alert.

His trot felt a little stiff in the front, which is not normal.  Hind end weirdness?  Maybe, sure.  Front?  No.


While I waited for my trainer I felt him going, and he did improve to normal.  Plus his canter and jump felt fantastic so I decided that I was being paranoid.

This was until after my first class, when I mentioned to my trainer that he came out a little stiff.

“Yeah, I thought he looked stiff at first too,” she said.  That’s when my alert raised to slight alarm, because now it just wasn’t me being paranoid.

I trotted him a few laps for her, and he felt weird starting off again.  The words coming out of my mouth were something like, “Not right!  Not normal!  Scratch!  Not worth it!”  My brain on the other hand, was taking things a step farther.  Lame!  Suspensory!  NEVER TURNING TIGHT AGAIN!  BROKEN FOREVER!


Before I lept off my horse to go scratch and then call the emergency vet, my very sane and rational trainer wanted to check his bell boots.  His new black bell boots I ordered to match his open fronts, since he typically lives in gummy brown pull on bells.


Sure enough, under each bell boot was a significant sized sore from rubbing.  You may now award me the worst horse mother ever award.

She took off the bell boots, and miraculously my horse was cured.  No more weird trotting, so we finished our second class and then I doctored him up with silver spray.  Now all I have to do is cease feeling guilty about it and email SmartPak to see if they will refund me from the murderous black velcro bell boots.


20 thoughts on “The Bell Boot Incident 2015

  1. Copper is such a diva about bell boots. We need to find a set that he likes. They don’t rub him (or at least not to the point that it looks like he’s been harmed) but he acts like they itch him the entire time we’re riding. We did WP instead of hunter this year though, so the need was minimal. We’re going to try to do both this year, so I think we need to try gummy bell boots. 🙂

  2. Ahahaha! That Britney gif! Perfect description.

    I only ever use velcro bells for riding, and never leave them on for turnout. It’s pull ons or bust for turnout. Otherwise, PrincessPig gets rubs. And sores. And other nasties.

    Thoroughbreds are princesses. Velcro is the worst of the peas. 🙂

  3. Oh noes! I have a pair of all rubber velcros that I don’t think will make it onto Riesling’s legs when he destroys his current pair. I have had good luck with the fleecy ones

  4. Stampede will soon be joining the shoes and bell boots club, so I hope he doesn’t do any of this!

    So weird that of all the bell boots you find ones that bug him. I usually do pull ons or the velcro ones from TSC myself since they are cheap and black. It’s been a long time since I’ve used any though, not looking forward to it!

  5. Glad it was such a minor, fixable issue. Don’t feel bad – we’ve all done something similar. One time my horse got out of the trailer lame on one foot. Cue major panic mode. Trainer found giant rock lodged in his hoof (seriously it was like an 8-ball size!) so quick fix. I felt so guilty that he had that rock in his hoof for the whole trailer ride (like 2+ hrs!) even though I’d hoof-picked him that morning. Things just happen sometimes.

  6. I’ve always had problems with velcro bells rubbing (not that I use them for any of my current horses)
    I know I’ll need them when Fabian starts his ridden work (he over reaches like a psycho) so I’m starting to shop around now! Gummies seem to be the clear winner so far.

  7. After an incident like this, bell boots are the first place I check for any wonkiness! Of course, whenever you check they aren’t the problem. Glad it was resolved easily (and cheaply). SmartPak is so good about doing returns/exchanges on stuff like this.

  8. Ouch! poot guy. I actually never have my horse wearing bell boots unless she’s in danger of having a grab and I can’t get the farrier out in time, or during shipping. The reason behind this is I have seen quite a few bad falls happen because the horse steps on its bell boots and trips, falling completely over and injuring the rider. I know they can be great protection but I think it really depends on the horse whether or not they actually need them and if it’s worth the risk to horse and human. Glad you got to the source of the problem and it’s nothing worse though!

  9. Aww 🙁 Don’t feel’re a wonderful mom to Simon and it’s not like they can talk and tell us what’s bothering them exactly! I’m glad it was solved in the end though and sounds like he’s going to be A ok!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.