Invented by David MacDonald, an Australian farrier, Old Mac’s are a popular choice and as farriers ourselves, there’s little doubt they are a good choice for many owners and riders as an alternative to steel horseshoes. We regularly recommend these boots to our clients and to customers the length and breadth of NZ.
The Old Mac’s Original Hoof Boot is as the name suggests, the first style of boot that was designed under the Old Mac’s brand. Sometimes referred to as G1 (Generation 1) this boot incorporates the unique “hoof suspension system” and is ideal for horses with rounder shaped hooves. This is particularly suitable for many horses in NZ with traditionally thoroughbred-type feet.
The Old Mac’s G2 (Generation 2) was introduced in recent years to compliment its sibling, has a number of manufacturing improvements and fits a narrower hoof. Many people like the aesthetic improvement with the G2 and the toe protection on the front of the boot for better wear.
From a farrier perspective, we regularly recommend Old Mac’s to clients:
- who express an interest in natural methods or a reluctance to have traditional horseshoes
- with horses who are difficult to shoe (hammer shy, dislike of some of the shoeing process etc)
- who are cost conscious (Old Mac’s can work out as exceptional value in the long run when compared to shoeing)
- who only ride very occasionally
- who have horses with sole sensitivity etc
Old Mac’s come with gaiters or pastern wraps. Ensuring the correct size of boot is imperative and when achieved, it’s uncommon for Old Mac’s to rub or to come off when riding. However, the pastern wraps are handy to have if the horse is to be taken for a longer than usual ride, if they have a cut or injury to the hoof or pastern or if the horse has particularly sensitive skin.
As with our own shoes, these hoof boots need to be broken in slowly over a number of days. Ideally, the horse should wear them for 10-20 minutes on the first day, perhaps 30 mins the second day and so on until the boots are supple and suitable for extended riding.
The Old Mac’s Hoof Boots are designed for general riding and particularly suited to trekking over various terrain. The design of the boot allows water to drain freely out of the boot without having to remove them so are ideal for river crossings. Check with the official body first if you intend to use Old Mac’s in competitions such as dressage etc.
Compared to other styles of boots on the market, Old Mac’s are extremely easy to put on and off. The velcro strap system and buckle mean putting on or off can take a matter of seconds with minimal effort. No screws, tricky steel buckles or straps on these boots.
Get the right size and style of Old Mac’s and they can be a valuable addition to your horse-gear.
Click the link for more info, instructional videos or to buy Old Mac’s Hoof Boots in New Zealand