Mud Fever Boots - Buyer's Guide

Posted on November 01 2021

Mud Fever Boots - Buyer's Guide


Mud fever boots are turnout boots designed to help protect horses prone to mud fever. 

Mud fever is characterised by thickened skin, hair loss, scabs and inflammation around the heel and pastern area. These lesions may become infected leading to painful, pussy sores. 

As the name suggests, mud fever usually occurs when horses are turned out in muddy fields. These conditions weaken the natural skin barrier and allow harmful bacteria to infect.

Susceptibility is increased if your horse already has a weak skin barrier due to injury, sensitive skin or leg mites. 

Management of mud fever is focused on keeping your horse’s legs clean and dry. Mud fever boots have been designed to provide a physical barrier during turnout so that your horse can still enjoy their time in the field. Care should be taken to ensure that your horse’s boots fit well and are dried between uses. 

The best mud fever boots should cover the lower limb with a close fit around the heel that provides a seal against mud entry. They should be water repellent whilst also allowing the skin to breathe. A secure fit is necessary to ensure your boots stay in place during field wear. 


The Best Mud Fever Turnout Boots for Horses 2024


Equilibrium Close Contact Turnout Chaps

RRP £54.99 (2024)

Size: S, M, M-Wide, L, XLEquilibrium Close Contact Chaps

An original and innovative design from Equilibrium, the Close Contact Turnout Chap provides a close fit that guards against mud irritation. The breathable neoprene has a four way flex that ensures a good fit and high degree of comfort. 

Close Contact Chaps are shaped to fit snuggly to the pastern and heel area with an extra vertical strip of Velcro to create a firm closure. 

The materials have been chosen to stand up to repeated washing. 


Premier Equine Turnout / Mud Fever Boots 

RRP £44.00 (2024)

Size: S, M, L, XL

Premier Equine Mud Fever Boots

Premier Equine Mud Fever boots are made from breathable Neoprene that provides a physical barrier against mud. 

There is almost nothing to choose between the Premier Equine Turnout Boot and the Equilibrium Turnout Chap as the fit and materials are very similar. 

Premier Equine's option has a more traditional finish and quality look, but it is marginally less fitted around the pastern. 



Woof Wear Mud Fever Boots 

RRP £59.99 (2024)

Size: S, M, M-Wide, L, XL

Woof Wear Mud Fever Boots for Horses

Designed to provide a secure seal against mud whilst allowing natural air circulation, the Woof Wear Mud Fever Boot is a little different. It features a loose-fitting, waterproof and breathable outer. The base of the boot contours to your horse’s heel to help prevent mud entry and riding-up, with a Kevlar-reinforced panel to help protect both horse and boot from overreaching. 

We like that the Woof Mud Fever Boot is fully waterproof, although the heel is neoprene so this may not make too much difference. Another advantage is that there is a little room for a small amount of feather. The downside is that the overall fit and comfort is going to be poorer as the Woof Mud Fever Boot relies on the elasticated middle strap to prevent slipping.


What else can you do to manage Mud Fever?

While mud fever boots are a great tool to help prevent mud fever, you may need to consider other aspects of your horse’s management too.


Manage Turnout 

Where possible, reduce turnout and rotate fields to minimise mud. 

Use hardcore in gateways and fence off areas that become mud-spots. 

Review drainage, it may be possible to add drainage channels or dredge ditches to improve conditions. 


Keep Bedding Clean

Dirty bedding can irritate your horse’s heel due to the high levels of ammonia and damp conditions, this will weaken the skin and make your horse more susceptible to mud fever. 


Horses with Feathers

Horses with feathers are prone to leg mite infestation. Leg mites cause itching and irritation which will then predispose your horse to mud fever, but they can be treated by your vet. 

Trimming feathers will help you to keep your horse’s legs dry and treat mud fever when necessary. 


Be aware that cuts and scrapes will increase the risk of developing mud fever. Take extra steps to avoid mud, keep the wound clean and use a topical barrier cream if necessary. 

Avoid Excessive Washing

Preventing mud fever requires keeping your horse’s legs clean and, more importantly, dry.  It is often better to allow muddy legs to dry and brush the mud away afterwards. If your horse’s legs need washing then do your best to dry them immediately afterwards with a towel.

Topical Treatments

There are a number of creams available that can offer mild anti-bacterial benefits and help provide a barrier for the skin. In persistent cases, your vet may be able to prescribe more effective, medicated formulas. 

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