Are horseshoes necessary in the winter? What if you ride only once in a while? Do horseshoes matter in the winter for the horse himself? Shouldn’t the hooves get a rest from shoeing? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! However, there are variables to all these questions.
- Shoes Are Not Necessary In The Winter, But They Sure Can Help In Slippery Conditions Which Can Crop Up Unexpectedly. It Boils Down To “Better Safe Than Sorry”.
If you ride only once in a while then you have to weigh whether or not the cost of shoeing is justified for your safety. Years ago there was a rider and his trusty mare ambling down the main street of a small town, when suddenly they found themselves sliding down an embankment into the middle of the main street. Fortunately, the traffic was able to stop in time. The look of the embarrassment of the rider and the bewilderment of the motorists left an indelible impression on all those witnessing this spectacle.
Naturally, winter shoes will help a horse for its own stability, but this is not practical for all situations. There have been a relatively small number of horses that have spread-eagled on icy surfaces and been permanently injured. While that is a very small number of the thousands of horses in the country, the risk is still there and the owner should be aware of it.
- The Hooves WILL Benefit From A Small Rest From Nailing And Winter Is Usually The Most Convenient Time To Give Your Horse This Rest.
As for winter shoeing, there really is only a couple of ways to properly shoe your horse for it. The most common method is four shoes with caulks at the heels for riding horses and additional caulks for driving horses. There should be snow pads on the front feet to prevent “balling up”. These pads should be packed with a black hoof packing that prevents manure from getting under the pads and rotting the frogs. The hind hooves have a twisting action that dislodges the snowballs and therefore pads aren’t really necessary for them. Do some farriers use silicone under the pads which makes one wonder if they haven’t heard of the effects of silicone on humans? There hasn’t been a comprehensive study done on the effects on horses, so why use it?
Instead of a complete pad, there is a rim pad with a tubular section that prevents “balling” and allows the hoof to breathe. This would be better to use for those that have a silicone-use addiction.
For those that have heard that painting vaseline or grease on the soles of the hooves before going for a ride is good advice – this lasts for about twenty strides, which is a pretty short ride!
Other good gadgets for your horse for the winter:
Snow Pads For Horseshoes
✅ Best U Shaped Felt Callus Horseshoe Pads
PREMIUM U SHAPED FELT PADS – These foot pads are made from medical grade felt, so you can easily rest assured that you only using the highest quality product. Felt pads are highly recommended over using foam or any other material pad.
Vaseline For Horses Hooves
✅ Best Petroleum Jelly Vaseline For Horses Hooves
SOOTHING JELLY – Vaseline’s white petroleum skin protectant heals cracked hands and dry skin and protects minor cuts, even on the most sensitive skin.
Snow Boots For Horses
✅ Best Kavallerie Horse Tendon Boots
LIGHTWEIGHT AND BREATHABLE – Give your horse the full support it needs without restricting airflow. These boots are made with a comfortable cloth flexible enough to handle even high-speed activities!
Horse Winter Neck Over
✅ Best Horse Turnout Neck Cover Hood
Extra Warmth – This neck attachment ensures your horse stays warm and comfortable during cold or harsh weather.
Horse Winter Blanket
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Check This Out Before Winter Comes
✅ Best Soft Fleece Blanket For Horse
Old horse loves the fleece blanket! – This fleece under a winter blanket makes it possible for horses to withstand the -50 temperatures during this brutal Wisconsin winter. With this fleece with winter blanket, within an hour horses are relaxed in warmth.
How to keep snow from packing in horses’ hooves?
As mentioned in the earlier paragraph, some people recommend painting vaseline or grease to the bottom of your horse’s feet to prevent a build-up of ice and snow, but these give only short-term relief. A much better solution for horses with shoes is to use snow pads. Snow pads come in two main styles, a bubble type and a rim type.
Types of winter horse shoes:
The horse hoof wall does adapt to cold by slowing its metabolism so the horse can go barefoot throughout the winter. However, if you prefer Winter horseshoes then-popular options include ice calks, snow rim pads, drive-in calks, borium, bubble pads.