my mare is back in regular steel shoes for the first time in a looong time. farrier says my two options for the winter are regular pads or pour in pads with the latter being significantly more costly.
i'm leaning towards the pour in pads for a couple of reasons (one being that she just simply does better on rocky or uneven terrain when her soles are protected and the other being that i think the pour in pads reduce the risk of some funky stuff growing in the hoof) and just wanted to hear from folks who use them how they work in the event of snow conditions. and i guess relatedly, what has your experience with them been? is it worth the extra cost? am i being unnecessarily concerned over thrush developing under regular pads?
The pour-ins won't reduce the funk. Even with plastic or leather pads your farrier should be adding some packing material under the pad to seal it. Which actually seals the funk in... as do pour in pads. Open air is the best thing for reducing thrush.
Why do you need pads for snow? I've hunted for several years in nasty weather and have yet to talk to a fellow hunter that puts snow pads on. We did a couple of them for trail riders and carriage horses when I apprenticed for a farrier. This type was used a bit more often: http://piercefarriersupply.com/snowball-rim-pad-front/
A standard pad or pour in wouldn't do much for snow. It's the motion of the snow ball pad that lets the ball come out. The rim pads have a flexible tube around the inside of the shoe and the bubble pads will flex when packed to pop out the show ball.
Actually, a pour-in pad done the right way works really well as snow pad. I do my own pads with a product called hoof-it. It doesn't have to be applied at shoeing time but it certainly is easier to apply immediately after the horse is shod and is still standing in a paved barn aisle as the hoof sole is CLEAN from the trimming just done.
Hoof-it is a great DIY product. It is a powder and liquid combo that is mixed together
in a plastic cup with a tongue depressor. I use about 1 part liquid to 2.5 parts powder, stir it well to combine and as it begins to thicken I apply it to the sole, using rubber gloved hand to press it under the edge of the shoe and firmly into the grooves, over the frog and shape it so the surface is concave with the hoof-it coming up the inner sides of the shoe just to the ground contacting surface. The idea is to make a smoothly concave surface so there is no place for snow to pack into and wedge tightly.
I've been using hoof-it for years for my endurance horses and as winter snow pads. I have never had a foot get wet or stinky under the pads. It bond well to the soles and will typically last thru an entire shoeing cycle. I have added a link to the product I buy. I buy the powder and liquid in larger containers which brings the price down more. I have to tell you that this product allows you to do more shaping to get the desired concave shape.
The Vettec product (what most farriers use) is typically put under a flat pad or mesh product and will have a flat surface and leaves an 90 degree angle edge around the inner edge of the shoe. This would probably hold snow to the hoof bottom a bit more. It is a very liquid product that is not as condusive to hand shaping as the Hoof-it.
I really like the Hoof-it as I can apply it at any time during a shoeing cycle by simply cleaning the soles really well, including under the area between the shoe and the sole. I have a dental type pick that lets me pick the debris out.
I had a mare in pour-in pads that were filled to almost ground level, and she was a disaster in the snow; sliding everywhere! She was kept in until my farrier could come and pull them out. I also don't think their CS product does much for funk.
If you are worried about funk and need help with snowballs, I'd go with the tubular rim pads. I use the bubble pads and like them very much, although they do cover the whole sole.
As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.
I hate pads unless its absolutely necessary. I had one gelding in the premedicated pour in pads and honestly, his feet were so moist underneath that they did the exact opposite that they were supposed to.
If your mare needs protection from snowballs, I also would suggest rim pads over full pads. I have used rim pads for years, and the nice thing is that one set will often last you the whole winter. Our farrier charges thirty for the set, so its easy on the wallet.
thanks for the suggestion on rim pads. i didn't realize they work on snow balls as well. i've never heard of that hoof-it product. i'm going to check it out. sounds interesting. i have lots of epona impression material on hand, however, that will not stay in the hoof by itself with just a regular rim shoe.
My mare has the Vettec pour in gel pads. She loves them. I call them her Dr. Schols Gellin pads. Since I am in snowy and icy New England, we need snowball prevention all around. I think this year, we are going to try on the fronts the snowball bubble pads with the dental impression packing inside and on the hinds the regular rim pads.
My farrier says the vettec pour in pads doesn't work well as a snowball pad.
I think this year, we are going to try on the fronts the snowball bubble pads with the dental impression packing inside and on the hinds the regular rim pads.
my farrier told me he's not a fan of bubble pads any longer. he said that every year one of the horses with bubble pads develops an abscess. that may actually be related to what merrygoaround mentioned about the bubble becoming inverted.
I've had very good luck with both the bubble pads and the Vettec's Equipak (note there are several types of pour in pads made by Vettec) filled to the ground. No place for snow to get packed if done correctly. My farriers also treat the frog area with Thrushbuster at my request and let it dry before adding either the bubble pads (with whatever sole packing the farrier uses) or Equipak. Equipac is considerably more expensive. I've never used the rims pads with flaps but have heard good things about them.
No matter what pads you decide upon, metal shoes also need to be "winterized" or the horse will slip and slide in snow and ice. Ice and snow melt and refreeze forming a slick layer which turns them into ice skates. Several borium beads are typically applied to the bottom of the shoes (or to the nails) for traction.
Most competent farriers around here practically require the full winterized package (pads and either borium beads, studs or nails) if your horse needs shoes. They strongly suggest, if this isn't an option, to let the horse go barefoot. They hear of needless slip and fall accidents due to "un-enhanced" metal shoes and/or snow ball build-up every year.
thanks for the suggestion on rim pads. i didn't realize they work on snow balls as well.
My BO used to use leather rim pads on one of her horses. Those are different from snow rim pads. Regular rim pads won't help with the snow.
Here is a link for snow rim pads that clearly shows the "straw". The flat parts goes under the shoe and is cut to fit the straw contours around the inner edge of the shoe. When the horse steps down the straw flattens and pops out the snow before it can build to a snowball. http://www.northeastfarrier.com/inde...grip-mini.html
That is the style I use for the winter for hunting. Finn has borium front and back too. Even if I didn't hunt I think I would use the snow rim pads since I get paranoid that from walking around in the field teetering on snowballs he will pull something. They are pretty inexpensive.
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)
The pour-ins won't reduce the funk. Even with plastic or leather pads your farrier should be adding some packing material under the pad to seal it. Which actually seals the funk in... as do pour in pads.
If the foot is properly prepared, and you use something with some added copper sulfate, or something similar, then you are not starting with any funk to seal in, and you are helping prevent any funk from developing. You can't just clean out the manure, slap the shoe and pad on, pour in whatever, and think that will be ok I'm sure some farriers do that though
Open air is the best thing for reducing thrush.
You shouldn't be using any pour in on top of thrush to begin with. There are ways to avoid putting a pour in product in the thrushy areas, while getting it on the rest of the foot
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