Dashing through the snow isn’t fun for your horse if he has snow packed in his hooves. Winter hoof care is essential during the next few months when snowy, icy, and cold conditions will likely be present. It’s your job to make sure your horse is well protected from the elements from his ears to his hooves. Follow these tips for some great advice!
Schedule a Farrier Appointment
If your horse wears shoes and you live in a snowy location, it might be best to pull them off for the winter or try snow pads. Snow horseshoe pads are usually black or clear and made from rubber. They are fitted to go under the horseshoe. Sometimes, they cover the entire frog and sole. Snow is unable to form inside the hoof, thus eliminating snowballs.
A barefoot hoof is less likely to get a buildup of snow, but not all horses are able to go without shoes.
Careful on Frozen Surfaces
Your horse’s hooves might bruise easier in the winter when the ground is frozen. Furthermore, riding on frozen ground can hurt them. The constant pounding against solid ground is not comfortable. You risk having an unsound horse. Always walk the arena on foot ahead of time to check the conditions.
Get Ready for Picking
You should have your hoof pick ready to go. It’s necessary to pick your horse’s hooves at least once a day when the ground is snowy. A buildup of snow can be very dangerous. Your horse will take uneven steps and have less traction.
Plan ahead and get your horse ready before the first big snowfall. You’ll definitely want to talk to your farrier before weather conditions get rough. Stay on top of your horse’s care this winter!