While most horse enthusiasts may be reluctant to admit it, being around horses is not always apples and sugar cubes. There are other, much more unsavoury aspects to the activity, and most of the time, caring for and enjoying the horses brings the horse owner right into the thick of things. Which can really be a messy place to be, enjoyable or not.
The best tactic for facing such situations is to show up wearing the proper attire . In general, because we are talking about mud puddles and other disagreeable findings on the ground in or around the horse's stable, the best protection from such muck is a good boot. Mucker boots, to be specific, are designed to provide a barrier that keeps the wearer clean, dry, and warm regardless of the conditions of the ground they are worn to walk over.
Mucker boots describe a number of different boot styles, but all of them are made from materials designed to offer the best protection for the situation. When choosing a pair of mucker boots, keep in mind how the different styles, design elements, and materials used in construction affect whether they are appropriate for the conditions that they may be worn in most often.
The Purpose for Wearing Mucker Boots
While they are an excellent choice in footwear for many types of messy jobs on and off the farm, the main time that the mucker boot is worn, and the purpose they are mainly designed for, is cleaning in and around the horse stables. These areas can get very deep with mud and horse faeces. Other areas of the farm may get even messier, if different types of animals are kept there.
It is important for the health of the horse that its stable is cleaned on a regular basis, at least daily. This chore may fall to a stable hand, or it may be the responsibility of the rider or owner of the horse. If the stable is not cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis, harmful bacteria, fungi, and moulds can form and grow. These can cause illness for the horse and anyone entering the stall. Extreme unsanitary conditions can lead to sores on the horse and serious illnesses.
Like it or not, this job, referred to as mucking the stalls, must be done regularly. For many equestrians, the task is a labour of love, provided that all parts of the body are adequately protected from coming in contact with all that undesirable mess. This is where the mucker boot comes in. A good quality pair of this kind of boots provides the necessary barrier against moisture as well as including one or more of the other features that increases the boots comfort, provides extra warmth, or makes it easier for the wearer to take the boots off and on.
Features Found on Some Mucker Boots
A basic pair of mucker boots are snug fitting, long, rubber boots that cover the foot, ankle, and calf, often constructed from a seamless rubber form. This type is efficient, and generally works great. However, there may not be many features included on such a boot to provide comfort, warmth, protection, and allow for easy slip-on and removal, as well as those that provide protection from the hazards of working around horses.
Lining in Mucker Boots
The lining of the boot not only helps the wearer to remain warm, it also provides a measure of comfort, padding the foot against the rigid rubber construction of the boot. The lining can be made of a large number of materials, including cotton, wool, microfibre, or Thinsulate. It may be incorporated into the construction of the boot, it may be removable, or both. A removable liner generally has the benefit of being washable. It also allows the wearer to adjust the warmth of the boot depending on the temperature outside.
Mucker Boot Closures
In order to allow the wearer to get the boot on and off easily, the simplest mucker boot designs are loose fitting. This is effective for some situations, and it certainly makes it easy to pull them on without much fuss. However, a loose fitting boot does not provide much comfort over extended periods of time, and it can allow muck and debris to enter through the top of the boot. In order to provide the comfort of a snug fitting boot, which also provides a secure barrier for the skin, many boots incorporate a number of different closures. The following chart describes them:
A zip along the side or back of the boot provides a quick way to close the boot around the calf, but does not allow for adjustment. Waterproof zips are available, providing more protection than other closures.
For prolonged work sessions, laces allow for a snug, adjustable fit, ensuring comfort. Unless they include a panel inside the laces, this feature can allow muck and moisture into the boot.
Velcro closures quickly allow the wearer to adjust the fit of the boot. They are a secure closure, and do not get as dirty as laces can.
Some mucker boots incorporate a mixture of these different closures. For instance, the boot may include a zip for easy access and laces to adjust the fit.
This type of boot is intended for rugged use. The situation the wearer may find themselves in can even be dangerous. Many boots feature reinforced construction in key areas to help avoid excessive wear on the boot and injury to the foot, ankle, and leg. This reinforcement takes the form of extra layers of material, or even steel components, such as a steel toe. Working around horses puts the toes at risk, and steel toe boots may be necessary.
Mucker Boot Varieties
In general, a mucker boot is simply a type of boot that can be worn on almost any ground conditions with little concern for damaging the boot. They are well constructed, durable, and waterproof. Typically, no matter how messy these boots get, they can readily be quickly cleaned-up again using a simple garden hose.
That is great for a number of work and pleasure situations, not just around horses. Indeed, mucker boots may have started out as boots specifically designed for taking care of messy jobs around the farm and horse stalls, but they have been adopted for many other uses over the years. This has led to the name being applied to a number of different boot styles, many of which may be suitable for wearing around the stables, but they are not necessarily optimal.
The fact is, the purpose of this kind of boot is mainly to provide a quality reliable barrier against messy conditions, so, for the most part, any number of the boots referred to or labelled as mucker boots do an acceptable job of keeping the wearer clean and dry. This is fine for many situations, but just because these boots can be interchangeable in many ways does not mean that there are not ones that are better for some situations.
Some mucker boots bear little resemblance to the type of boot usually worn by horse riders. These boots may be shorter than the typical riding boot. They may be thick, have closures to provide a snug fit, or incorporate several layers, each providing insulation or a weatherproof barrier. Other mucker boots, however, closely resemble traditional riding boots and only differ in the materials used in construction.
Dressier Mucker Boots
From a distance, some mucker boots are virtually indistinguishable from a pair of dress riding boots . These boots may even be constructed from highly weatherproof leather, but are more commonly rubber. They extend up the leg as far as a long boot would, and even incorporate a riding heel, although one with added traction. These boots have an aesthetic appeal that other mucker boots may not. These are great to wear in situations where function and appearance are equally important.
Buying Mucker Boots on eBay
Buyers can shop for mucker boots at boots stores, shoe stores, and where other equestrian gear is sold. However, everyone loves a bargain, and many are found on eBay. eBay sellers, in fact, list a large number of mucker boots, including those that represent all the different lengths, styles, and incorporating all the different features that enhance the boots comfort, protection, and ease of use.
To find all the listings on eBay of the ones you are interested in, simply search for "mucker boots " on any eBay page. You can also include keywords for the features that interest you in the search field. For instance, to find mucker boots that incorporate Velcro closures, simply type "mucker boots Velcro " into the search box. A large list of different to choose from should appear.
A number of different sellers list these and other types of boots, and each seller determines the price and shipping arrangements. Before seriously considering the boot you would like to purchase, pay close attention to how the listings vary on these things, as well as the ratings and the reviews that the seller has received from other buyers. Doing so can help you feel much more confident and eager about the purchase.
Owning or working with a horse generally means spending time standing and working in messy situations. Mucking the horse stalls is a necessary task and one that often requires standing ankle deep in mud and muck. As with all horse related activities, wearing and using the proper gear ensures the safety, comfort, and effectiveness of the individual. For cleaning the horse stables and other messy situations around the farm, a good pair of mucker boots can be considered a necessity.
Mucker boots may incorporate a very simple, basic design or they could include several different features intended to increase the comfort, warmth, weatherproof, and protection they provide the wearer. These include the boots lining, closures, and reinforced construction. Mucker boots are available in several different lengths and styles. To determine the best pair to purchase, carefully consider the features that most benefit the wearer and the best style for the situation they are going to be worn in most.