Just located on-line about the best description of what I'm talking about. I'll paste to the end of post. The description of this pads certainly appear to do just the opposite of the description, especially since this horse has shoes only in front, so has the snow rim pads only in front. His back hooves look good and are usually clean in the cold weather. The fronts w/shoes & snow rims pads seem to cause snow & ice to build up considerably causing a snow-ball effect that's hard to remove.
Descriptions below: Snowball Option #1: Snow Rim Pad
What it is: A snow rim pad is a perimeter pad that sits under your horse's shoe; a tube of plastic or rubber lies inside the shoe's inner edge. Pros:
Snow Rim pads effectively keep snow from collecting inside your horse's feet. They also may provide some stability on ice and are often used in combination with traction.
You can use rim pads with bar shoes and most therapeutic shoes. Most of the foot bottom is still visible and cleanable. You might not notice any change in your horse's way of going; some horses wear snow rim pads all year. They require very little maintenance. Cons:
The tube may wear out if you ride your horse on abrasive surfaces; watch for wear around the rivets. A shriveled frog and flat foot may not provide enough push to remove snow. Expert tips:
Snow rim pads must fit the shoe; some farriers are inexperienced in how to trim them. Try snow rim pads first; move up to a full bubble pad (below) only if necessary. Snowball Option #2: Bubble Pad
What it is:
A bubble pad is a full plastic pad that covers your horse's entire foot to prevent snow from building up. As your horse walks, the pad's domed center pops snow away from his hooves. When riding indoors or on a dry trail, you'll hear a popping sound with each stride. Pros:
Bubble pads are generally preferred for deep-snow conditions and are often used in combination with traction. They're effective in snow and may also provide stability on ice. They're helpful to horses with flat feet and shriveled frogs. They're economical. Some boarding barns require such pads if you turn your horse out with other horses. Cons:
A bubble pad will cover your horse's entire foot and may trap debris underneath. Lack of air circulation can lead to thrush. You may have a "blowout" if a pad pops. Riding over abrasive surfaces causes premature wear. Pads may cause nail-hole fatigue. Quality varies between manufacturers. Pads can't be used with heart bar shoes and some wide-web aluminum shoes, depending on foot size. Expert tips:
Pad application requires an experienced farrier to properly fit your horse's foot and shoe. A too-large dome will be ineffective. Insist on quality pads. Your farrier should avoid placing packing (such as oakum) under the pads, which would freeze and bruise your horse's foot. Note that Castle Plastics (www.castleplastics.com
) now offers wedge models for horses that need wedges for proper balance.