Boy do I hate STOMPING! Not just the damage it does to my horses feet as they rattle the nails lose from their hoof wall, but the actual sound of stomping. I have three OTTB’s and a large pony. For the most part, the pony is oblivious to flies, even when they draw blood. On the other end of the spectrum is the little bay Thoroughbred that begins stopping in March, as soon as the first fly wakes from winter hibernation.
All my horses are turned out in fly sheets, two of the horses wear masks, two do not. I swore off fly boots years ago, like maybe 10 years ago, because by second or third day of wear the horses would come in from the field with the boots down around their pasterns, basically creating a tourniquet around their legs. Heaven forbid if they got wet or muddy.
Last summer, my 5 year old, Mr. Destructive, was stomping his shoes off between resets. My farrier had had about enough of coming out to replace them and ultimately not having any hoof wall to nail into. He mentioned another client who was having great success with Shoofly Leggins. Fall was approaching and I was skeptical. I ordered one set (they come in sets of 4) in a size L from Valley Vet Equine Supplies. Thrilled does not begin to describe how happy I am with these fly boots. Last year’s set is still going strong and I ordered 3 more sets this spring.
Shoofly Leggins are cone shaped with a stiffener up the side. This prevents bagging down around the pasterns and creates a gap around the leg so the skin can still breath and there is no rubbing. At the bottom of the boot, around the coronet band, there is a very small band of felt and velcro tab. It is my experience that fitting the bottom of the boot just above the coronet keeps the boot from sliding down over the heel bulb. A thin strip of velcro run up the length of the cannon and there is another velcro tab at the top of the cone. I have found that even when I don’t get the length of the boot sealed tight, it stays in place and does its job as long as the top and bottom are secure.
Mr. Sensitive wears his overnight during the peak of the biting fly season. At peak season, I also put a pair on the pony’s front legs which he seems to appreciate.
Sometimes Mr. Destructive will pull them off with his teeth if he gets bored, but none of his boots have been damaged and they are easily rinsed off in the wash stall and hung to dry.
The best price I have seen is $39/set at State Line Tack with a promotional discount. They are also available through Schneider’s, Valley Vet and Amazon for $50 give or take.