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Splint Boots

Splint boots are protective boots designed to help prevent a horse from injuring itself if it should interfere during hard or active riding, or during turnout time. Splint boots are placed on a horse's legs to protect the small bones called "splint bones." Below are splint boots for sale on eBay and Amazon. Please scroll down underneath the boots for sale for more information about splint bones, the purpose of splint boots, and for good things to know before buying a pair of splint boots.

Below: Splint boots on the front legs of a horse.

White splint boots on a horse

From Amazon

See more splint boots on Amazon

From eBay

See more splint boots on eBay


The Purpose Of Splint Boots

Splint boots are protective boots designed to help prevent a horse from injuring itself if it should interfere (accidentally strikes itself with one of its own legs) during hard or active riding. Some owners will also put splint boots on a horse during turnout-time if they feel the horse is likely to buck or play.

Splint boots are placed on the cannon bone to protect another, smaller bone called the splint bone. Splint bones are found on the inside and outside of a horse's cannon bone on all four legs. Compared to the cannon bone the splint bone is smaller and thinner. It is bigger at the top and tapers down to be thinner at the bottom (see the images below).

Splint boots are designed to protect the splint bone on the inside of the horse's cannon since there is little chance of interfering on the outside. Since it is more common for a horse to interfere on the front legs than the back legs, splint boots are usually put on the front legs only.

In the drawing below the blue arrow is pointing to a splint bone on the back leg of a horse. The yellow arrow is pointing to a cannon bone.

Below: The blue arrow is pointing to a splint bone while the yellow arrow is pointing to the cannon bone. There are two splint bones attached to each cannon bone; only one splint bone is visible in the drawing.

Drawing showing the splint bone and canon bone on a horse

Public domain image.

In the photo below the splint bones are clearly visible: They are the smaller bones on each side of the cannon bone. As you can see the splint bones taper down and get smaller towards the bottom. They actually taper down more than what can be seen in this photo because in this case the very bottom of each splint bone was broken off, or chewed off by scavengers, port-mortem.

Below: The cannon bone of a horse with splint bones on either side.

The back of a horse's canon bone, showing the spling bones

Below: The same image as above, this time with the splint bones highlighted in yellow.

Horse splint bones highlighted in yellow

Below: A close-up look at the splint bones.

A close-up look at splint bones


Splint bones are thought by many researchers and scientists to be remnants of toes from prehistoric horses and have no function in horses today. If a splint bone should break or "pop" (become slightly separated from the cannon bone) most horses experience pain, but once the splint bone has "set" or healed it is typically pain free. A popped splint that has healed may leave a slight, visible bulge but this is usually only a blemish and is seldom a health or soundness concern.

Below: Splint boots being used with bell boots.

Splint boots and bell boots on a horse


About Splint Boots: Good Things To Know Before You Buy

Below: Cheetah print splint boots being used with matching bell boots.

Cheetah print splint boots


Below: Bell boots and splint boots attached to a stirrup. You see this a lot at horse shows, rodeos, and other horse-related events. It's an easy way to keep them handy.

Bell boots and splint boots attached to a stirrup


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