Should I use turnout boots for mud fever?

If your horse has mud fever, or has had it in the past, you know what a miserable experience it is.

One question we are frequently asked in store is ‘should I use turnout boots for mud fever?’.  Our answer, as is usually the case, is ‘it depends’.

Why might they be a good idea?

Specialist turnout boots are designed to help act as a barrier between the wet outside and your horse’s legs inside.  With mud fever being exacerbated by the softening of the skin caused by dampness, in principle, a boot designed to help minimise this can be a lifesaver.

LeMieux Turnout Boots from RB Equestrian

Are there potential drawbacks?

Yes of course… these are horses we’re talking about!

If your boots don’t fit very well there’s always a chance they might rub (or that something irritating might get inside them) , potentially causing more damage than they prevent.

You really only want to keep them on for a few hours at most.  They’re not ideal if your horse is out 24/7 (although 24/7 turnout is not ideal if you’ve got a horse who’s suffering from mud fever in any event)

If the weather’s wet but warm you don’t want your horse’s legs getting too hot either.  If they get sweaty behind the boots then you might be causing exactly the scenario you’re trying to prevent.

So what are the top tips to help you decide whether to use turnout boots or not?

  1. Can you get a really good fit? Do the boots fit snugly? Are they long enough to cover well below the fetlock joint? Do they stay in place when your horse is moving?
  2. Can you take them off after a few hours? Make sure your horse is coming in after turnout and has a chance to go into a warm, dry stable.
  3. Can you ensure that the boots are clean and dry before they go back on again? When it’s super cold and wet you might need more pairs if you can’t dry them properly between wears.
  4. Can you make sure your horse’s legs are dry and properly clean before you put the boots on? Dirt, sand and matted hair could all cause rubs under a pair of boots regardless of how well they fit.

Think you’re going to go for it?

Shop our extensive range of the best-selling mud fever boots.

Not sure they’re for your horse?

Have a look at some alternative mud fever solutions such as creams, ointments and powders.