We prefer tall boots with zippers (see May 2000), but if you want solid boots you need boot pulls. They usually cost around $3, and until now we’ve never seen any variations on the theme of a simple hook attached to a handle. The distinctive new Sprenger/Cavallo boot pulls cost five times that much, so we lined up a variety of riders to try them and determine if they are worth the higher price.
These boot pulls are a mondo 10” long. They start with a molded plastic handle and finger grips. Halfway down, the stainless steel shaft angles an inch to the side, then flattens as it reaches the hook. The hook itself is gently curved to match the contour of the calf. You have to be sure you have the hook’s curve pointed the correct way or it will work against you rather than with you.
The length of the boot pulls benefits someone who has a sore back and can’t bend over, and they also provide extra leverage for tight boots. The angled shaft pulls the side of the boot away from the leg slightly so tight boots can’t hold onto the leg as well. The curved hook keeps the end from digging into the flesh of the leg or snagging your socks.
The benefits are obvious for someone with back problems or really tight boots, but that’s not why these pulls were developed in the first place. Michael Carter of German Equestrian Manufacturers said that Tilman Meyer zu Erpen, CEO of Cavallo, wanted boot pulls that wouldn’t dig into the leather of his boots and thus shorten their life span. Cavallo designed the pulls, and they’re produced and sold by Herm Sprenger. They retail for $17.90, which is worth it to get extra months or a year out of your expensive boots, not to mention easing the strain on your back.
Contact your local tack shop or German Equestrian Manufacturers 800/543-8021.