Adventures in Booting Non Ideal Conformation

10 year old, 14 hh, Morgan/Welsh Pony gelding Kenny came home to RHE last November. He’s a hoot to ride and as full of personality as the breeds that he is made of might suggest! In the short time that he’s been here he has already provided me with a couple of first time challenges, namely clipping a horse (thanks for your ninja skills T!) and booting. Since I have 3 Arabians with nearly ideal Renegade, specifically Viper, hooves, Kenny really is just the ticket to mix things up a bit around here! He’s big boned and a very fun ride with strong and healthy hooves–he also toes out in the front and his right foreleg and hoof particularly are on crooked. Ideal endurance horse conformation he has not, but he wouldn’t be the first unlikely horse to get ‘er done on the trail.

Bring it on, Says Kenny. Here he is not long after arrival, you can see he has quite a bit of hoof to address, but conformationally he will always have upright, Morgan-type hooves that don’t ideally match barefoot booting angles


Previously I discussed the difference in the Renegade models  and used Kenny as a prime example for needing the more oval Classic model versus the broad quartered Viper.



Kenny front, Classics needed

Kenny is a size 0 Classic all the way around and his hind hooves have more normal angles than his upright fronts. Below, you can see the hinds are seated evenly and nicely in the 0 Classics, while the visible left front’s upright conformation forces it to sit less deeply and evenly in the boot shell as well as needing a cable loosening to accommodate the  captivator reaching to a higher heel bulb (the tell in that respect is the cable buckle end of the toe strap on that left front being flush back against the cable channel, with no cable visible there the captivator cannot flex properly. The left hind best shows an appropriate amount of cable visible by toe strap).


yes, technically your velcro straps should close outward as on the hinds 😉

Even after cable adjustments and some corrective trimming over the first few months, Kenny’s front boots continued to want to twist.

Note the uneven amount of hoof showing on the right front below, demonstrating the inward or left hand twist that boot did repeatedly.



Kenny hooves, early 2016

Kenny’s  hoof angles are now better than ever but up front he will always be conformationally upright, toed out, and slightly crooked in the hoof. Which took me some time, as in up until last week,  to *truly* grasp. Why was an even, straight, well fitted and adjusted boot twisting? Why? Why?  Read that first sentence of the paragraph again.

Putting Straight on Crooked = Twist

So what if…I adjusted *one* cable, thereby making a crooked captivator that might match his crooked leg/hoof.

Crooked on Crooked= Straight, to him!


Adjusted to match Kenny, cutback size 0 Classic

I’ve done a couple of test rides now with his fronts adjusted “crooked” to match him and we’ve had total success! Success often looks like not many photos because the ride is going too well, but there should be some more soon if the rain ever stops again.

Kenny has been a great reminder to look at and take into account the entire big picture of what you’re actually dealing with instead of getting stuck on ideals. With an extremely boot challenging hill-and-water endurance ride recently announcing itself as a 2 day early this season, the next adventure in booting for us will be getting proficient with Glue ons! Stay tuned 🙂



6 thoughts on “Adventures in Booting Non Ideal Conformation

  1. great read! Have a bunch of MOrgans that I do on a 4-5 week sched…and one stallion had a similar confo. Come to find out, deep upright bar had him weighting the outside wall more, causing him to toe in and “twist”. Once that deep bar was addressed, he now loads the hoof evenly and no more twisting in the boot (renegade). Just a thought, check it out. Deep bar can be like an ingrown toenail beneath the heel cartilages….and over time, can cause some damage. The horse compensates, even to the point of changing the range of the scapula on that side. Address the bar a bit more frequently and see. You know you have “the spot” when there are yawns and neck shakes 🙂

    • Right on, I’m always open to suggestions 🙂 Kenny is actually crooked legged, toed out..offset from the knee and hoof to heel bulb on the Rf by structure. Definitely have had to get him loading things correctly and heel and bar have kept on coming off. It’s going to be so interesting to continue the booting journey with him!

  2. oh my goodness.

    you have no idea how much sense this suddenly makes for me 😀 OF COURSE crooked on crooked = straight, why did I not think of this before?! the boot keeps trying to make itself straight (on crooked), work with it, not against it, lol.

    thanks, great post! thought-provoking and hopefully very helpful!

  3. Just had farrier trim and measure 2 of my horses. Here are the measurements.
    Cetori left front width 5 1/8, length 5 5\8
    Right front width 5 1/8, length 5 3/4
    Scotch. Left front width 5 1/8, length 5 1/2
    Right front width 5 1/8, length 5 1/4
    What size Renegade boots would I order thank you for your help! Please email me the answer thanks Katrina

  4. Pingback: A Week! | Redheaded Endurance

Thoughts? Questions? Go!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s