Not an Invention of modern Times

SWISS GALOPPERS might be a new product but there have been horse hoof boots long before our time!

The first reports of horses walking sensitively came from the ancient world. It was Aristotle who first reported about army horses falling out due to excessive sole wear. The first finds of hoof protection date back to around 1000 BC. At that time the hoof was being wrapped in a leather cloth, which was kept together by a cord at the fetlock bone. This leather shoe was superseded by a braided bast fibre sandal which was used by the Greeks and Romans up to about 600 AD. Unfortunately, due to the high abrasion of the braided sole and the occurrence of chafing caused by the cords at the laces those sandals had a short lifespan. 

The problem with the abrasions could be solved by using a sandal with an iron plate as a sole. These seemed to have appeared at about the same time as the Roman hippo sandals. Interestingly, hoof protection was never an issue among the equestrian people of the Russian steppe. This leads to the assumption that the horses might have handled the dry and sandy soil very well. 

There are reports that horsemen were able to ride across frozen lakes and rivers without slipping. This can only be explained by the fact that the horses wore a slip/slide protection. Apparently, these horsemen must have known that the hoof wall was made of dead horn and therefore came up with the idea of ​​equipping the horse hoof with nails protruding from it like studs. The invention of the nailed iron can be explained by the active trading of the Greeks and Scythians (horse people from north of the Black Sea). For example, the iron sandals were combined with nails being hammered into the hoof wall. Nevertheless, this horse shoe was not much used in the years after its invention, the danger of injuries due to nailing was too high.

The horse shoe and its mounting has continued to develop to this day and yet we are now increasingly coming back to horses going barefoot to hoof boots. The concerns about hoof protection have remained the same for both boots and shoes. Still, no one can claim that hoof boots are an unnecessary new invention.