Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hoof product: I'm 150 years too late!

This photo came up in an image search I was doing -- I thought, "Hey, I can always use another hoof boot!" Clicking away, I arrived at this Queen's Scullery blog post. The boots, it turns out, are over 150 years old and in the 1860s they were used in mowing lawns (horse-drawn lawn mowers)! Quoting SJ Alexander's wonderful blog on Victorian history and culture...

"By the 1860′s the vast expanses of turf at Flemington [Ed: a racetrack in Melbourne, Australia] would have been mown using horse drawn mowers. Horse drawn mowers were developed in the 1830′s. Previously lawns were managed using scythes (think Grim Reaper). To protect the turf from damage from the horses’ hooves the horses were fitted with leather booties. These boots are made for mowing... Mrs Beeton’s Book of Garden Management has an extensive section on the newly developed Mowing Machines. All are a hand pushed version of the mowers that horses pulled along."
 It looks breathable, comfortable, and protective (of the horse as well as the lawn). It's just that I'm on the wrong continent and over 150 years too late...


  1. I wonder if it chafed the pastern.....

  2. They are so well preserved! I'm sure you could have a set made if you found the right saddler or harness maker.


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