Riding in the snow? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-28-2012, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Indiana
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Post Riding in the snow?

Should I ride on trails, western, in the snow? Ho w do you prevent your horse from slipping on ice? Should the horse wear boots? Sorry for all the questions!
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-28-2012, 09:38 AM
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I'm subbing... One of my all time favorite dreams is to be riding on a showy trail bareback :)

However, around here we generally refrain from going to the trail with snow because you have to go on the road where there are snowplows that take up the whole road :(

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-28-2012, 09:43 AM
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Riding in the snow is a great workout for a horse.

On trails.. I'd be very careful. It is feasible, yes, but if those trails are popular there is bound to be quite a bit of ice. Just take your time and make sure your horse is nice and relaxed or otherwise under control at all times.

If you aren't shod, you could probably put shoes on but I'm not sure if that would be better or worse than going barefoot. Depends on your horse..

Have fun

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post #4 of 13 Old 04-28-2012, 01:35 PM
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I used to ride in snow all winter long when I was living north. Not in MD though... Horses went barefoot and we never had issues with slipping (however we never run or even trot on ice, just the snow).

As for boots, there are boots with grippers out there that are more aggressive for slipping condition like this one Easyboot Glue-On | The High Performance Hoof Boot | EasyCare Inc.

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post #5 of 13 Old 04-28-2012, 02:29 PM
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I ride all year round. Winter is more often bareback because it's warmer :) For the most part, I stay off the roads in the winter because they are often slippery. I ride in on bush trails and in my small fields. No shoes, no problems and no amount of snow stops me. But I am getting wussy in my old age -- I tend not to go out anymore when it gets to -15 celcius. I have a circulatory problem and my hands get dangerously cold then.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-29-2012, 01:38 AM
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We ride all winter, But don't usually see hard packed or icy trails. And I never rides on the roads. I keep my horses barefoot all winter. So we are not using any boots or studs.

We frequently chase the snow up the mountain side in the spring as it is melting.

I don't ride my horses through snow deeper than their knees. Usually not much over their pasterns. And I'm carefull about crusty snow cutting or chewing up their legs.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-29-2012, 01:45 AM
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if horse has shoes on you would need to have sno pads to keep the snow from balling up in them. Around here, snow is really wet and sticky, so balls up in the shoes. But we only get snow two or three times a winter.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-29-2012, 01:54 AM
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We have snow nearly 5 months of the year, barefoot seems to work best unless it icy then it's just too risky to ride. There is shoes with removable caulks & snowpads. That is best discussed with your farrier as there is disadvantages to using those as well.
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-29-2012, 02:29 AM
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Coming from snowland i ride my horses in winter,no shoes. Only real issues is snow too deep,it being too cold outside or when we get melting temps making hard icy snow just makes thinks harder for them, then we just don't go
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-29-2012, 04:28 AM
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About the snow balling in their feet - if you keep moving at a brisk enough pace, it just flies out. If you can maintain at least a working trot for a majority of your ride, it won't cause any discomfort as the snow will fly out of their feet.

We ride all winter while it's snowy - but the minute the ice hits, I'm outta there.


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