Hi, my TB gelding got front shoes put on last week (instructor suggested as we are going to start jumping). It was a daytime appointment so I was not there, and only front shoes were put on. My gelding has had shoes in the past (but not under my ownership), and I have never owned a shod horse before (completely new). My gelding is outside 24/7 pasture board and we ride in an indoor rubber crumb arena. I saw him last night and he had snow packed in his front hooves (one was worse than the other). I've now read online that a lot of people put on snow pads to prevent this build up, but being new to shoes I didn't even think of it.
Is it okay to have no snow pads? I remember growing up with my other horse (not shod) that the ice buildup would melt and "fall out" of the hoof. The farrier I used is very experienced and the barn manager was holding my gelding during the appointment (both very experienced and caring horse people) so I sort of assume that if shoes without snow pads is a huge no-no then they would have done/said something different. Like I said, I don't know though since I'm brand new to shoes. To make matters worse, I'm leaving on a 3 week vacation in 3 days so need to know if its safe to leave him in the pasture with just front shoes.
Please let me know if shoes without pads is okay in pasture (if any of you do that), or what my options are. I don't really know how pads work (if a farrier needs to put them on or not).
Thanks in advance!