Now that I’ve had a few months to test the Premier Equine Air-Cooled Boots, I have to say, I really like them. I spent quite awhile looking for my next pair of cross-country boots for Oh So. He inherited Sam’s Eskadron’s, which were great, but quite a few years old, plus they were starting to slip down a bit when wet. Since I bought those, there have been a bunch of new boots on the market with new technologies, and the idea of a strike guard appealed to me now that we’re jumping higher and galloping faster.
I did some research and saw that boots have strike guards with generally two different kinds of materials; polycarbonate and carbon fiber. Carbon fiber tends to splinter when impacted, and there have been cases where the material has severed the tendon of the horse wearing it, so I crossed off any boots with carbon fiber. Polycarbonate breaks cleanly when impacted.
I really liked the fit of the Premier’s on Oh So. A few of the brands of boots I tried were too short or didn’t close around his leg, creating a pressure point. The boots have air vents which supposedly cool the tendons. That wasn’t a feature that sold me on them though. It’s not really important to me that his tendons stay cool for the 10 minutes he’s wearing the boots at each competition. I couldn’t really tell a difference in the temperature of his legs after cross-country.
The Premiers didn’t slip or retain water either, which was another important feature for me. There’s nothing worse than a boot slipping down on cross-country. I also liked the three Velcro straps and the fact that they were not too long. They’re extremely lightweight too.
I haven’t bought the hind boots yet, so I can’t comment on them, but if they fit like the front boots, I’m happy to put them on my Christmas list! Right now, we’re using Kentucky boots on the back, so we look kind of funny and mismatched on cross-country.
Another plus is the price. They retail for about $90 per pair.
*Updated* to say that I did buy a pair of hinds and they perform just the same, plus they go up high enough to protect the whole cannon bone, but not high enough to go up by the hock and make him uncomfortable walking.