Anything else I need to know to prevent my horses ears from freezing off and my toes from getting frost bite?
I went the other way, from NE Ohio to the sun belt.
Here is what I can tell you......if you can ditch the shoes for the winter you'll be happier. The mounds of snow give way to a few months of deep sucking mud. Unless you've got an indoor your outdoor riding will consist of mainly trail rides.
I can't tell you about the hay and shavings, craigslist is your friend. I imagine hay is expensive everywhere. There is a drought here in OK and when the Okies will pay $13 for a square bale, people will ship it in and that leaves the supply low (and expensive) other places.
For yourself, get some warm barn clothes. Carhart overalls, plastic rain boots for muddy days, warm boots for the cold days. Gloves, you will go through gloves like crazy! You'll have a new appreciation for outdoor clothing since you will be wearing it for ten months out of the year!
yes to snow pads, unless you can just pull shoes altogether. Definite yes to needing heated buckets for inside and a tank heater for outside. Can't help you with hay/shavings/farrier, don't live in the area. I'd say if your horses aren't used to heavy winters and/or are clipped, make sure to have an appropriate arsenal of blankets. Good luck!
Do my horses need a heated trough and heated buckets?
used to live in northern Kentucky... if you want the horses to have water, you will need water heaters... the heated water buckets came after we left but I would think that they would encourage the horses to drink water in the winter
Every time I feel dishearten by the summers here, the winters up north were worse...and never ending it seemed... even so, mud season that followed was not looked upon with great hope of better things
What others have said: snowpads, heated tank/buckets, Carharts, thermals, rubber boots etc etc.
This area had a bad summer for hay. Growers got a first cut early in the season and then we had no rain until fall. NO second cut (or mid-season). Some baled in the fall but not enough to meet demands. My BOs regular supplier had to buy and truck hay from VA to meet his customers needs. There was some hay around in the fall for over $7.00 bale (45/50 lb bales) but I would expect to pay over $8.00 (delivered and stacked) IF you can find it now. $3.75 - $5.50 bale is the norm.
I'm on the west side of Cleveland so can't direct you to any feed stores your way. There are probably TSC and maybe a Rural King in a pinch.
I'll pm you farrier and shaving contacts.
MUD! Definitely will need snow pads if you cannot pull the shoes. MUD! Frozen solid mud then just MUD!
There is a little magazine that goes out every week called "Good News". I often see ads for shavings and hay in there.
I just moved to Cleveland from SC last Feb, the mud is apocalyptic.
"You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
The shod horse has never been able to go barefoot in the Carolinas, even as a pastured horse. He has thin walls, flat soles, and is tender on dirt without shoes. I'm hesitant to try him barefoot again. I guess we'll go for snow pads on him, and we mostly trail ride anyway. The mare is barefoot and I'm not concerned about her so much.
The mud is worse up there?!?!?!
Mare is not clipped, handles our winters well. I was going to leave her behind, but we found a nice little farm that has room for both. She has a heavy weight turnout blanket and no other clothes, she's been semi retired for years.
Runner... well, he's a hot house flower. A friend is giving me a wardrobe for him, he has a heavyweight stable blanket he's wearing on the trip up. I'm sure he'll be fine.