Between 2010 and 2016 I had done about 2000 miles on my thoroughbred mare, including a few 50 mile endurance rides. During that time we mostly used Renegade boots although I had her shod sometimes due to thin soles that were wearing down in the pasture. In fact, I have used a comical array of combinations of hoofwear. Shoes on front, bare in back. Shoes on front, boots in back. Boots on all four. Shoes on all four. Or, one brand of boots in front and another in back! Like the title says "whatever works".
When we bought our two Arabian geldings we had lots of Renegade boots around so the natural thing was to use them. Here's a photo of Renegades (size 1) on the left and Scoot Boots on the right (size 3).
Even though I currently sell Scoot Boots only, I will be the first to say there is no one product that will work for absolutely every horse. Scoot Boots included. So why did I become a Scoot Boot user and dealer? My new horse is very short backed and he is also what I'd call a tight-rope walker. His front feet almost brush each other when he's walking. He was tripping in Renegades, and I mean tripping all the way to his knees. This was not an issue I had with my thoroughbred. Also, this horse being still a little green I was concerned that if the boot came off the pastern strap would get hung up around his ankles and cause a rodeo. I don't know what would happen with Scoot Boots in this case as I haven't ever had them come off, but I have a feeling they'd be less likely to get hung up.
I'm not sure if the tripping in Renegades was caused by the brushing or the knocking, but it wasn't something I wanted to keep happening. Enter Scoot Boots.
Below is a photo in profile of size 1 Renegades next to size 3 Scoot Boots (close in size to 2W Renegades). In a future post I'll line up the same sizes, but here you can see the profiles of the larger Scoot Boot is about the same as the smaller Renegade. And these are "cutback" Renegades where the back part of the bottom surface is cut back shorter, so normally they'd be longer. The Scoot Boots are simply less bulky and have a lower profile.
As soon as I switched to Scoot Boots I no longer heard back feet hitting front feet, or front feet brushing. Dakota has not tripped since we've been using them. For me that was reason enough to stick with the switch. Scoots are the lowest profile boots out there. But there are a few other things I love about the Scoot Boots in comparison:
- No cables to adjust.
- No velcro to collect mud, burrs, etc.
- The lower profile in addition to not causing tripping helps the horse move really well. See one of my previous blog posts for slow motion video.
- If a strap breaks on trail on the Scoot Boots it's easy to replace. With Renegades I would carry extra boots on long rides because if a boot came apart it was not an easy fix dealing with cables and tiny set screws and "buttons".
- The cables on Renegades can cause big big problems if the boot twists and you don't notice it at first. This happened to my TB and the cable cut her at the coronary band and this later developed into a big hole in her hoof that required a year of stitching and gluing the hoof.
It was kind of a nightmare. I have not heard of this happening to anyone else and I did continue using them successfully after that, but it's just a problem I'd rather not have to think about. On Scoots, everything is soft, no cables, so this type of thing won't happen even if they twist.
- Jury is out on which boots last longer. Some say Renegades, some say Scoots, probably depends on how the horse moves. My TB was a shuffler and got 300+ miles on a pair of Renegades. I'm still counting the miles my Arab is getting on his Scoot Boots.
- They have similar tread thickness.
- Renegades are thicker over the sole so more protection for a thin-soled horse. Scoot Boots are thinner over the sole so are more flexible, which allows for more natural movement.
- Renegades come in a bunch of cool colors but with Scoots you can really go wild. The boots are black but the pastern strap and front straps are available in a variety of colors and you can mix and match.
- Scoots are the winner at not collecting pebbles and things in the boot itself. The open design allows things to get flung out the front. On dry land I get only a light coating of dust in Scoots. With Renegades I'll collect some small pebbles.
- They both collect a similar amount of mud, just a light coating on the inside of the sole. And Scoots stay on better in clay mud. So far my Scoots have not even twisted let alone come off!
- The one thing I would give Renegades a bit of an edge on is they are probably the least likely boots to rub without doing any "tricks". Scoots recommend you build your horse up in miles at first and use gaiters at first. That being said, I broke all the rules and did 30 miles my first week in Scoots and no rubbing. I flip the gaiters around backwards on my scoots for more protection. You can also wrap a piece of duct tape around the gaiter, or wrap thin strips of vet wrap around the heel straps and then wrap with duct tape.
We are using our leftover Renegades and a pair of Easyboot Gloves on my husband's horse and on my horse's back feet.. His horse does knock the Renegades and Gloves but hasn't tripped. So yeah, for a while at least, I'll be the Scoot Boot rep also wearing Renegades :) They are all good products and it's great to have the choices we have today. Whatever works!