Putting the Marquis® Hoofboots on and taking them off is very easy!
Putting the Hoofboots on
- Open the clip and take the cable out of its fixture, lift the horse’s hoof and slip the marquis®supergrip over the hoof. Place the hoof down and check the positioning of the hoof inside the hoofboot.
- Make sure that the toe sits right to the front of the boot. If not, place the hoof with the hoofboot briefly onto its toe.
- Fasten the cable around the flap, the half-moon on the inside of the leg, and the clip on the outside of the leg, and close the clip. Do not close the clip under pressure – best fit is achieved by inflating the air chamber.
- Screw the Marquis® mini air pump squarely onto the valve and inflate the air chamber. (It can also be screwed on before you put the boot on the hoof; best to point it vertically upward then). The air chamber needs enough air for a good fit of the hoofboot but it should not be hard (it should feel more like a ripe plum). Make sure that the hoof does not move around inside the boot which may cause chafing. A good fit guarantees also that the marquis®supergrip does not come off.
- If the horse is very sensitive, take more time before you inflate the air chamber as needed. Otherwise, the horse may start shifting from one hoof to the other, or start pawing. Let some air out if the horse starts pawing or shifting, they generally settle down immediately. Walk her a bit and then try to inflate with lower pressure until next time when you can inflate the air chamber as needed.
Taking the Hoofboots off
- Deflate the air chamber by using the end of the valve cap to press against the valve.
- Open the clip and release the cable from its fixture.
- You can then take the marquis®supergrip off.
- The hoofboot can also be taken off without releasing the air first by pulling from behind and tipping it away from the hoof. But the air needs to be released before putting the marquis®supergrip back on.
First use of the Marquis®Supergrip Hoofboots
Most horses feel immediately comfortable in these hoofboots. Their gait is visibly more elastic. In particular horses who have very sensitive soles seem more confident and springy. A few may lift their feet in the beginning a bit, as some do when first wearing their travel boots. Some horses may need a bit of time to get used to them, similar to us needing a bit of time to get used to new shoes before we can embark on a longer walk in them.
- To be on the safe side, you can get your horse used to the hoofboots slowly and in small steps. Best would be to lead the horse the first few days for 10-20 minutes on firm ground, in particular if the horse is very sensitive to any change, or if the horse is particularly sensitive around the heel area (white hair and pink skin).
- Increase the time of riding with hoofboots on slowly.
- After each ride, check the horse’s hooves and the area around the heels thoroughly.
- Don’t close the clip with pressure, close it gently. The best fit is achieved first of all by having chosen the right size and by adjusting the air chamber.
- Hoofboots and hooves should be clean when putting hoofboots on.
- Using the hoofboots without adjustments assumes a healthy hoof and reasonably normal hoof conformation. It is important to keep the hooves well-maintained and trimmed.
Optimising the Fit
The marquis®supergrip is suited for all hoof shapes, for example for hooves with an oval shape as well as for round ones, for hooves that are wider than they are long, and for hooves with steep walls. We have also successfully fitted club feet.
The movable front flap and the inflatable air chamber system allow for a good and firm fit for most hoof shapes. The settings of the cable and clip to close the hoofboot around the front flap can be adjusted. Air pressure in the air chamber can be varied. Pads (insoles) can be used. Shims can be made from any suited material such as the pads, to fill in any gaps between the hoof wall and the hoofboot. The shims can be glued into the hoofboot. Silicon can also be used to fill any gaps. Even more adjustments are possible with some handy work if needed. We are happy to assist.
The images above show a front left (on the left) and a right hind foot (on the right). On the image on the left, the air chamber cradles the heel bulbs. On the image on the right, the air chamber sits against the pastern. If it works, both is fine – it looks a little different for every horse. In some cases, when the air chamber sits too low, it may happen that the hoofboot does not stay on as well. If that is the case, the air chamber can be fitted in a higher position against the shell of the hoofboot, or, a higher air chamber can be fitted.
If the air chamber is too high, mostly that means that the shell is too high as well and the hoof sits too low in the hoofboot. If that is the case, the shell can be recessed. The air chamber should be fitted to cushion against the rim of the shell. If the air chamber is still too high for a comfortable fit, it can be lowered, but that is rarely necessary.
In case of chafing
- Before you inflate the chamber, please make sure that there is some space between the heel and the hoofboot so that the air chamber can function as a cushion. If this is not the case, this could cause chafing. Please try and use larger size hoofboots.
- If, after you have inflated the air chamber, the hoof sits too loosely in the hoofboot, this can also cause chafing. Please try and use a smaller size.
- Please check whether the air chamber sits well around the heel. The air chamber should cradle the heel. If the heel sits lower, we recommend using pads so they lift the hoof up. If this is not sufficient, it is possible to lower the air chamber.
- Increase the use of the hoofboots slowly. If it is worn for too long during the initial period, chafing may occur in particular with grey and white hair and pink skin around the heel area.
- If the horse is very sensitive, or if you are riding for longer periods of time, we recommend the use of socks or cuffs to protect the area around the heel and pastern.
- If chafing persists, it is also possible to try and use our extra soft grey, or the even softer white air chambers.
In case of a hoofboot turning
- Double-check the fit, and double-check that there is enough air in the air chamber.
- When the hoofboot has been fitted such that the toe is pointing toward 12 o’clock, has it turned after exercising? A small turn (between 11-13 o’clock) is acceptable. If the hoofboot turns any further than that, that could cause problems. Our pads usually help, often in combination with the socks or cuffs. But maybe you need a smaller size hoofboot.
- Whether a hoofboot turns or not can also depend on the environmental conditions. When it is very dry, it is more likely that a hoofboot can turn because the hoof itself offers less grip. A couple of strips of Mueller’s Athletic tape across the front of the hoof can already suffice to provide sufficient grip for the boot not to turn any more. (You can also try good masking tape as an interim.) If it is rather humid or wet in the outdoors, the hooves offer good grip and if the fit is right, the hoofboots are not likely to turn.
In case the horse is losing a hoofboot
- A hoofboot that is prone to turning is also more likely to come off. So if a hoofboot comes off, please double check whether it is perhaps turning. If that is the case, check the points above.
- Please check whether the hoofboot is possibly a size too large. How much space is there between the hoof and the boot? Please get back to us to discuss what can be done.
- Please check whether the hoofboot is opened up or closed after it has been lost. If the hoofboot is closed, it may be a size too big, or the air chamber does not sit in the optimal position. It is also possible that the horse steps under too far and pulls off the hoofboot with the hind feet. This can be prevented by wearing bell boots.
- If the hoofboot is open when it has been lost, and if the cable has come out of its fixture, we suggest to try and fasten the cable with a screw and a washer between the two half moons pf the shell. The hoofboot can then still be opened up by moving the flap sideways and glide it along the cable. You can also try and use a longer cable and fasten it around the second half-moon further to the rear of the boot.
- It is also possible that the size required for the hoof changes. This can happen when the horse is within 6 months, or even up to a year of transitioning from wearing metal shoes to going barefoot, or, when some of the hoof wall has broken off, the hoof has been trimmed accordingly, and grown back. Please consider this and check whether you may need a different size hoofboot.
Repairable and customizable
The marquis®supergrip is repairable and parts that experience most wear such as the sole can be replaced, so this hoofboot gives you many years of use. Some have been using theirs for 15 years and still going! Most repairs can be made at home. Replaceable parts include, apart from the sole, the air chamber, cable, cable clip, valve, screws, rivets… – there is a range of 20+ different individual items.
You can also fit the studs yourself. Studs provide better grip and traction, on very dry as well as wet grass for example. There are also road nails (Widia pins) which can be used instead of studs. They are shorter and generally used to even out uneven wear, or for use on roads.
The marquis®supergrip can also be adjusted to fit some special needs hooves, for example, club feet. Here, it is recommended to move the air chamber higher up in the shell (which requires new holes to be drilled into the shell), and secure the cable with a washer at the half moon.
Regular maintenance of the Marquis®Supergrip
- Regular cleaning and drying contributes to the longevity of the marquis®supergrip. After conditioning, it looks like new for a long time. A cleaning set and special spray for conditioning is available.
- Please check regularly that the screws that hold the soles are firmly screwed in.
- Check also that the screw nut which is holding the valve, sits firmly. If the valve is loose, air can come out. Undo the counter-screw nut with a spanner, tighten the screw nut near the valve, then tighten the counter-screw nut against it.
We wish you and your horse many happy years with marquis®supergrip hoofboots!