Podcast Episode 20: What do “support boots” support?

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Want to join me in my rant about “support boots?” lol

Cuz what do they “support” anyway?

Renee Tucker, DVM

Links mentioned:


Renee (00:01)
Hello, my friends. Dr. Renee Tucker here. Today you get to hear my little rant about support boots. Okay?

Renee (00:10)
Let me be frank. Support boots for horses do not support anything. You can stop listening now. That is the summary. Alright?

Renee (00:20)
Okay, what happened was I went to this lady to see her horse and lovely little horse, and she said, well, she felt that his hindle leg fetlocks came down too far to the ground when he walked, which is possible if you have DSLD, which is degenerative ligament suspensory desmitis. This little podcast is not about DSL. Although, by the way, sometimes that can be helped by selenium and other times it’s a little bit more complicated than that. But the point is, she was putting support boots on the horse’s back legs right around the fetlock area. And I wanted to understand this, so I was saying you’re saying you’re putting these, what are they, like six, eight inch long support boots on the fetlock and that’s going to keep the fetlock from dropping to the ground?

Renee (01:20)
And she’s like, yes, because they’re support boots. And I’m like, well, what are they supporting exactly? She’s like the fetlocks. Okay, so again, support boots do not support anything. They don’t I don’t mean to be so stuck up, okay?

Renee (01:41)
It could be because I have a bioengineering degree as my undergraduate degree background. The horse has this amazing mechanical structure where the whole top line of the horse is like a suspensory bridge. And then both the front end and the hind end have what’s called a stay apparatus, which is this complex apparatus of tendons, ligaments, muscles that keep this 1000 pound animal supported on these four little legs. The stay apparatus is what supports the legs and the whole horse. Okay?

Renee (02:23)
The little boots are not going to do anything support wise. Yes, they are going to keep horses from interfering with themselves, like rubbing their legs together accidentally or stepping on themselves, that kind of thing. So that’s great. If you want to use boots for protection, that’s totally different. But I promise you, they’re not supporting anything.

Renee (02:53)
What the support boots are is fantastic marketing. Look, I love marketing, okay? I really enjoy good marketing. So the fact that they call them support boots, who doesn’t want to support their horse? I know I do.

Renee (03:13)
We love our horses and we want to support them. You know what I’m saying? So right there, there’s this emotional marketing technique that makes us want to buy a support boot because we’re supporting them. But literally, they do not support anything on the horse. It’s not going to happen.

Renee (03:32)
Okay? Promise you, if you want to use them, fine. They’re not hurting anything. I just don’t want you to be fooled into thinking they’re actually supporting the horse. So along with everything else I’m talking about, if the horse’s fetlocks are dropping too low, the real question is why?

Renee (03:53)
And once you find that why, you want to fix that. So you’re actually fixing the problem in this case with this lady and the horses? Fatlocks dropping too low. Even if the support routes worked, it’s just putting a Band Aid on the problem, right? And not even fixing anything.

Renee (04:15)
So I end up talking to her about why they’re too low with the stay apparatus. And we did some nutritional changes, which really helped out with this problem. It was not DSLD in this case. So that’s all for today. I just wanted to share with you.

Renee (04:31)
Don’t buy into support, but save your money. Unless you’re just want to use them for protection. Unless they’re also really cute because they have some cute colors. Now, now, if you want fashion, I’m all for fashion. All right.

Renee (04:44)
Who doesn’t want a little bling? All right, you guys, I’ve gotten a little crazy today, but I hope you appreciate it, and I’ll talk to you later, okay? Bye.

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We are looking for submissions for Dr. Tucker's "Featured Cases." If you have a puzzling case you want solved, we would love to post it to help others. Pictures needed, videos welcome. Email to support@wheredoesmyhorsehurt.com. Thank you.

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