Tip Shoes Provide Traction, Make It Easier For Hooves To Shed Snow

Modification can even work with used shoes

Snow and ice often build up in a horse’s feet during winter — more easily in a shod than an unshod hoof.

The shoe traps the packed snow and hinders the self-cleaning action of the hoof. But while unshod feet may shed snow better, many horsemen prefer to have their horses shod for winter riding so they’ll have more traction on ice or frozen ground.

One option is to use snow pads. Another is to shoe just the front half of the foot with a “tip” shoe.

Old-time horseman often used these shoes for horses who were going to be ridden in winter, or those out in a winter pasture who would be pawing through crusted snow for grass. Tip shoes, in addition to providing traction for riding, kept the shoes from wearing away too much from all the pawing.

Half-Shoe Better Than None

A tip shoe consists of the front half of a shoe and can be augmented for even more traction with spots of Borium welded onto each side of the toe. If you add Borium, however, be careful not to build it up much. That will put the foot out of balance, since there is no corresponding heel calk to keep it level.

Shoeing only the toe area of the foot leaves the back half bare. This eliminates the trapping effect of the full shoe and allows snow to fall out of the feet more cleanly.

Almost any shoe can be modified into a tip shoe, but…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives online.

Heather smith thomas 419

Heather Smith Thomas

Heather Smith Thomas is a freelance writer based in Salmon, Idaho. She has been writing books and articles for nearly 50 years.

Top Articles

Current Issue

View More

Current Issue

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings