I live in Southern Indidana and we have had lots of cold weather. I keep my mare in a large pasture with 24/7 access to barned shelter. I fear the frozen ground has made her hoofs sore, for she is walking unusally slow and tiptoeing carefully. I don't understand why she doesn't stay inside on the soft straw.
I'm feeding her just to maintain her condition through the winter months. I feed her half a quart of mixed grains and a couple flakes of hay each day. She hasn't lost any weight so I've chosen to continue those rations, although she is a bit of a hog when it comes to how much she could eat. Her pasture grass is old, low and dead and I plan on rotating her to fresh ground when spring comes to allow the manure to dispense.
When I ride in the winter it is for short periods of time and only at a walk to avoid bruising her hoofs.
So what I'm getting at is that she is eatting enough to be satisfied(no lose of weight) so she isn't forced to go outside to get food. What can I do to make her feet not so sore?