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Prevent snowballs in shod horses

This is a discussion on Prevent snowballs in shod horses within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How to keep horses from getting snow balls
  • What to do snow packed in shod horse

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    11-04-2008, 08:31 AM
I keep my horses barefoot year round, however, I do have boarding horses that are shod. I have to keep a hammer and chisel in the stables to get not only the snow balls out but we get these huge ice balls too. There's no other way to get them out than to chip away at them. It is really hard work!
Very dangerous to the horses when they get packed up with snow or ice.

I will try the vaseline and Pam ideas.
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    11-04-2008, 09:24 AM
I have a suggestion for all of you Pam users...Invest in a fill-able aerosol can. The kind you pump full of air that sprays oil (can usually be found in a specialty kitchen store but Wal-Mart carried them at one time) Then fill it with a cheap oil instead of buying Pam all the time. In the long run it will cut down on the cost per ounce of the spray.
    11-04-2008, 09:31 AM
My horse is barefoot from early December through late March, and shod all around the rest of the year. I do ride all winter, but they are shorter rides and often involve snow and mud! I hate them getting those snow balls in the pasture, too, so it's barefoot for Arrow.
    11-04-2008, 02:53 PM
Green Broke
I'd always heard of using crisco on the bottom of their feet - thicker and lasts longer than Pam
    11-04-2008, 10:03 PM
My horse goes barefoot all year hopefully this wont be a problem

I've never ridden him in snow though..i hope he handles it well. He tends to slip easy in the mud =/
    11-08-2008, 03:07 AM
The horse the I just got came shod with borium studs. He is better traction on the snow than my barefoot horses, and he has rubber under the shoes that keep out the snow.

Depending on the humidity outside and consistency of snow, my barefoot horses even get really bad snowballs sometimes. I just use a snowball hammer/pick that my farrier made for me, and tap them out...though they often form right away again. The Pam or vaseline sound like a good idea.

If you are going to have shoes on in the winter, you might consider having rubber pads put in to lower your day to day maintenance. TJ (the new guy) is really easy because of the rubber pads.
    11-13-2008, 08:05 PM
I never put shoes on any of my horses anymore, because in a herd the shoes can kill. Last year I introduced my Canadian mare with worn summer shoes and she kicked my Hanoverian gelding in the chest, cutting an artery. The big guy almost bled out and would have had I not been there to staunch the blood till the vet got there to stitch him.

I also have to watch for snowballing even though my four have no shoes on. The snow seems to ice up around the frog and hold the snow in place, layering until a ball forms. This can happen over night or even over an afternoon of fresh fallen snow. I keep my beasties outside as much as is possible because as a herd they are more agreeable.
    11-13-2008, 08:10 PM
Well Gem only has shoes in the front and his defenses are biting or kicking with his hind feet. (he's low man out there so he's the one getting kicked/bit)

But I talked to my farrier and in 2-3 weeks he's going to come out and put snowball pads on him.

We are also most likely going to get pam or vaseline or crisco and put it on all of my guys hooves.

Thank you so much for all the suggestions!
    11-26-2008, 08:47 PM
I had my first snowball experience tonight. We were simple walking in the outdoor arena, which had a thing layer of snow over mud, and I hopped off about 10 minutes in to check his feet and the mud and snow was packed in there pretty well.

I would have stopped on the way home for something but figured I'd check the forum tonight. He's barefoot on all 4 feet, so I can't decide between Crisco or Vaseline for our winter time rides.
    11-26-2008, 10:38 PM
Hmm, maybe see if you can get a small container of both and put it on his hooves. (like vaseline on his right side, crisco on his left) and see which side holds up better.

If we had snow, I'd do that, but we don't. Only mud at the moment.

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