Snow Pad vs. Barefoot - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-07-2011, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Snow Pad vs. Barefoot

My farrier was talking to me last night about snow pads. I know what they are and what their purpose is. But I can't decide if i want to put snow pads on come november or eventually pull his shoes (full set) for the winter. I do no have an indoor so it makes the decision more difficult. I live in PA and our snow falls have increased in the past 2 years. I dont ride much because i flat out can't (sheets of ice). Of course that all depends on how much snow we get.

Even if i can ride, I do not do much more then walk due to frozen ground. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-07-2011, 12:47 PM
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It is a decision that only you and your farrier (and maybe vet) can make.

If your horse will be comfortable all winter barefoot with the amount of riding you want to do then pulling shoes is a great idea. Being barefoot all winter will save your wallet and give his feet a chance to relax, etc.

If your horse will not be comfortable then add snow pads once the weather changes.
I always used the rim style snow pads, this allowed me to still have access to bottom of the hoof for proper cleaning and such.

This is the type my farrier put on:




This is the other type:




Thankfully you have a few months before you have to even think about this.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-07-2011, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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You dont think going from shoes to bareboot every year is bad for their feet? I pulled his shoes last winter (i'm glad i did because i didnt get to ride much at all), but i cant imagine switching back and forth can be good for them...
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-07-2011, 01:30 PM
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Ummm....

Why do you think it would be bad for their feet?


The general thought is that it is actually better for their feet to allow them to be barefoot some of the time. (And no, I am not saying shoes all the time is bad at all.)
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-07-2011, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking about the adjustment time from going from shoes to barefoot. Getting used to shoes and then losing that support. I will make sure to bring it up with my farrier next time I see him.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-07-2011, 03:16 PM
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You might very well be right. Depending on the horse the transition to no shoes can be very difficult or easy as you taking your sneakers off when you get home at night.

Talk with your farrier about your horse's hooves and if he thinks they can handle being barefoot all winter. Discuss the work load, etc.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-07-2011, 04:42 PM
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I agree that you should talk to your farrier because it will vary from horse to horse how well their feet handle going from barefoot to shoes. I know the horse I recently bought always had his shoes taken off in the winter and put on for show season and he is perfectly fine.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-07-2011, 04:48 PM
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do you get those pesky ice clumps in the horse's feet? If so, ask your farrier which would be the better option to get rid of them. If your horse is relatively flat-footed them barefoot would probably work out well, but horses with very deep hooves tend to get ice-balls under their feet. My mom's QH has feet that are EXTREMELY deep and the poor guy always has "high-heels" on in the winter. My Fjord mare that sadly passed away had large flat feet that never collected snow, which was very helpful. Maybe bring this up too when talking to the farrier?
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-07-2011, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, he does get snow balls if i leave shoes on him, but the pads help. I really dont ride much and if i do, i dont' do very much with him in the winter so it money wise it makes sense to pull his shoes, but i dont want to keep switching back and forth if it will cause a problem down the road.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-07-2011, 06:55 PM
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I am in PA too, and I use snow pads, I prefer the full sole coverage of the black one that AB posted, but my farrier does not - so I use the white one photographed above.

He also puts borium on the shoes, or I would not be able to ride when things turn to a sheet of ice. When I am leading him, I am more at risk of slipping and falling than he is.
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