Winter Hoof Care/Shoeing
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Health > Hoof Care

Winter Hoof Care/Shoeing

This is a discussion on Winter Hoof Care/Shoeing within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Are snow horse shoes necessary
  • Keeping horses shod in winter

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    12-24-2010, 04:05 AM
  #1
Foal
Winter Hoof Care/Shoeing

I lease a horse that's been shod (front only) all summer. He's stall boarded at night & pastured during the day. We're in Michigan w/plenty of snow, ice, and cold by now. During recent visits, I've noticed he still has the front-only shoes along with 'snow pads'. I always clean his hooves before riding & have noticed how the shod, w/pads hooves are caked with large snowballs on each hoof. Underneath, there's crud & manure. The back hooves (unshod) are quite easy to clean w/little to no build-up of anything.

I'm wondering why an owner would opt for shoes plus these pads that fit on the inside of each shoe and seem to cause this built-up of snow-ice-dirt-manure...particularly when the horse is ridden very lightly and almost exclusively in an indoor, soft dirt arena.

Thanks for any input...I'm just getting back into horses after 30+ years and there are plenty of changes to horse care.
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    12-26-2010, 10:21 PM
  #2
Yearling
Hmm that's interesting. Never heard of that before. I always yank a horses shoes for the winter, as far as I know if massive amounts of snow pack in the shoes it can lead to a tendon strain. My farrier always advises to have them pulled. But I have no idea what snow pads are, so idk .Seems strange though.
     
    12-27-2010, 06:36 PM
  #3
Foal
I think I'll take quick pic. Next time I'm out & hopefully be able to post. Being a horse owner from long ago, these 'snow pads' were nothing I'd heard of & seems all the horses did fine in the winter and even quite stable on hard, snowy surfaces. I'm now told not to ride in the snow unless it's a fresh, soft snow that won't hurt their feet. Maybe horses are just not as hardy as they were a decade or two ago?
     
    12-27-2010, 07:36 PM
  #4
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by calypso1219    
I'm wondering why an owner would opt for shoes plus these pads that fit on the inside of each shoe and seem to cause this built-up of snow-ice-dirt-manure...particularly when the horse is ridden very lightly and almost exclusively in an indoor, soft dirt arena.
Because that's what they've always done. Because someone once taught them that horses need to be shod. Because others in their group all shoe... Basically because it's tradition. It's the Done Thing. I'm not dead against shoes at all, but there should be good reason to shoe a horse - it should be the exception, not the rule that you just whack shoes on anything that moves, no matter how unhealthy the feet - or the situation may become because of shoeing. Sounds like in this case, there're only good reasons for not shoeing.

Quote:
Maybe horses are just not as hardy as they were a decade or two ago?
Yeah, the species has fallen apart since you were away! But while the big changes happened way more than 30 years ago, seriously, as horses are rarely still used for work, so generally live a cushy, overfed life with little exercise, this has actually had a negative effect on health & soundness. I think it has also negatively affected their owners - people no longer have to rely on horses for their livelihood, they are just 'hobbies', so some knowledge has been forgotten, unlearned. Also we're in such a throw away society & people have gotten used to horses being replaceable commodities too. Combine all these factors and you get people who don't learn what good, long term healthy horse management is, and just do what they do because others do it, or they perceive that others do.

Eg. Stabling horses as a matter of course, instead of keeping them in only when needed for convenience - they're right there, clean & ready for work in the morning.... Rugging horses as a matter of course, not just to protect them after hard work in cold weather, or for unseasonally cold snaps, or for old, unhealthy animals.... Feeding grain & other rich 'junk food' only because they know others do it, not because their horse requires a high energy athletes diet for it's work.... Shoeing horses because that's What You Do, not just for specific purposes... Keeping horses shod full time, rather than just for specific purposes & removing the shoes regularly for periods of time(of which it seems is also advised in farrier manuals everywhere).... Could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture.
     
    12-27-2010, 09:49 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
We rarely have to deal with snow here. I was told that the snow pads have a kind of large bump in the middle that is designed to help the pad shed any snoe that packs in there. Your's don't have this large "bump" in them?
I could not ride my horse barefoot. He has been shod his whole life. I suppose , if I gave over a half year or more for him to acclimate, he might be able to go barefoot. But his feet are very flat also, when he throws a shoe he is incredibley ouchy.
     
    12-27-2010, 11:23 PM
  #6
Foal
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.
     
    12-28-2010, 02:40 AM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I could not ride my horse barefoot. He has been shod his whole life. I suppose , if I gave over a half year or more for him to acclimate, he might be able to go barefoot. But his feet are very flat also, when he throws a shoe he is incredibley ouchy.
I'm all for people making up their own minds on subjects such as this, but it's one of those subjects I think it's vital for horse owners to educate themselves well on, so they can make informed decisions, rather than just following someone else's opinion on, be they 'expert' or otherwise.

Whether a horse can become a 'high performance barefoot rock cruncher' depends on many factors - resolving underlying hoof health, good management & diet, environment they live in, trimming and exercise, etc. Many domestic horses, due to their management can't cope well bare on harsh footing. BUT that is not to say they should be shod - which when talking conventional metal shoes doesn't protect or support feet anyway. These days there are much healthier alternatives to metal rims to allow people to ride horses wherever they like. There are hoof boots, wraps, pads, casts.... etc, etc.

Given the right management(to shoe or not is but one small factor), in time, as you say, your horse may well be able to comfortably go bare. From what you've told, it sounds like there are some potentially serious hoof issues that would likely take longer to rehabilitate than half a year or so, before you could start getting him used to(conditioned) going bare. BUT that is not to say I think shoes are helpful(except to the person wanting to ride) for a lame horse. I would personally keep the horse unshod, at least until such time as it may develop healthy hooves.
     
    12-28-2010, 04:29 AM
  #8
Banned
Loosie, I have not been on this board for long enough to know everyone well, but I think you are the barefoot expert, and I have respect for this. If this worked for my horse, I would be all about it, I totally bought into the idea. However, I had a barefoot trimmer come out to my horse who made him dead lame, not just once but for about 4 months or so, she recommended $100 per pair + $$ boots, which he promptly lost one of them.
Can you tell me if this is the norm on rough rides, and why use boots which can be lost when they are so expensive? I hear the whole hoof being restricted argument but his hooves seem to grow and need a trim every 6 weeks with shoes on.

I might seem like I am anti you, and barefoot, I am not, I would like to understand more about it. But in my experience barefoot does not work for every horse, and while it would be nice for the sturdy types there are the none sturdy, like mine who are not happy.



Sorry to steal your thread and to bring it back on topic, there are different types of snow pads, some stop everything from getting in there. Such as these at the end of the first page, if you scroll down

Snow pads - The Farrier & Hoofcare Resource Center Forums
     
    12-28-2010, 07:00 AM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexS    
However, I had a barefoot trimmer come out to my horse who made him dead lame, not just once but for about 4 months or so, she recommended $100 per pair + $$ boots, which he promptly lost one of them.
Can you tell me if this is the norm on rough rides, and why use boots which can be lost when they are so expensive? I hear the whole hoof being restricted argument but his hooves seem to grow and need a trim every 6 weeks with shoes on.
Sorry to continue this tangent...

I am not a professional, but I have trimmed our mares myself for many years and they are never sore/lame...even our lead mare who has thinner soles. I hear of horses being sore/lame after a trim all the time, and I tell people that they should never accept this and they should have a serious talk with their farrier/trimmer and/or find a new one.

As for boots, it's all in the fit...and how well it fits is very dependent on the shape of the hoof. A well fitting boot can be used on very rough rides without coming off. There are a number of good brands on the market, but all the brand/models fit better with some hoof shapes than others, e.g. In general, it is easier to find a good fit on more oval hooves than on rounder ones. Sadly, for some horses it often comes down to trying many different types before finding the right one.

To the OP,
Quote:
...particularly when the horse is ridden very lightly and almost exclusively in an indoor, soft dirt arena...
I agree with loosie ("Because that's what they've always done...."). I would cetainly pull the shoes and at least try barefoot...you can always put the shoes back.
     
    12-28-2010, 10:55 AM
  #10
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares    
I hear of horses being sore/lame after a trim all the time, and I tell people that they should never accept this and they should have a serious talk with their farrier/trimmer and/or find a new one.
You will find these horses tend to be those who's owners go too long in between trims and the farrier trims to where the horse should be vs where the horse needs to be.

Our farrier is wonderful. If the boarder has let the horse go too long, he will flat out say the horse will need to be looked at again in 2-4 weeks. He will not trim a horse to be foot sore or soft tissue sore. He also will not rasp an edge and charge full price if the horse can wait another two weeks for a proper trim. (he comes every other week).

Skipping trims does not save money. In the end it costs money.
     

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
winter tail care! Wallaby Horse Grooming 9 10-31-2010 12:46 AM
Hoof Care Five Furlongs Hoof Care 10 07-13-2010 01:10 AM
hoof care nldiaz66 Hoof Care 27 10-07-2008 10:04 PM
Shoeing/Hoof/Leg Problems Katy_1355 Hoof Care 5 04-30-2008 05:22 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0