Overreach boots, also known as bell boots, are worn over the pastern and the hoof, and help to protect the horse’s front heels when struck by the hind legs. Overreach boots also help to prevent a horse from taking off his front shoes with his hind legs. These are usually made from synthetic material or rubber, and are fastened either with a Velcro strap or with a buckle. The most traditional form of overreach boots is simply stretched over the horse’s hoof and usually left on until the boots need to be replaced. These days you also get no-turn overreach boots, which force the boots to stay in place and not rotate around the foot.
Overreach boots should only be worn when needed, such as in the paddock or during work. If your horse wears overreach boots that can’t be removed daily (those without straps), then make sure that they are turned up at night and during grooming, so that the foot and pastern can breathe. Make sure you clean the area under the boot every day and that the leg is not wet or injured underneath.