Hoof Care on Ice and Snow

It’s not too early to start stocking up on the supplies you’ll need to make sure your clients’ horses have the traction and protection they need during the coming winter

As summer wanes, it’s time to think about what you’ll need to have on hand when horses you shoe start working under winter conditions.

Those of you living in a cold weather climate no doubt have clients who will be riding or performing throughout the winter. It’s not too early to start thinking about how you’ll make sure their horses have good footing and proper protection on ice and snow.

Stock Up Before The Snow Flies

Since hoof growth during the winter months can slow to almost half the rate of growth during warm weather, hooves are less able to withstand excessive wear during that time. It is important to assess the particular needs of the horses in your care and stock up on supplies in advance so you won’t get caught short once the snow flies.

To determine which of the many options and techniques will ensure adequate comfort and safety, you’ll need to get up to speed on what’s out there and what best applies to each situation. For instance, on frozen ground, rim shoes grab more than plain shoes, with aluminum shoes grabbing even more because the metal is softer.

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Toby Raymond

Toby Raymond is a horse owner and freelance writer who lives in Vermont. She is a frequent contributor to American Farriers Journal.

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