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The *best* hoofpick for ice?+hacks

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  • The *best* hoofpick for ice?+hacks

    Winter has arrived! Along with packed hoofs, broken picks and frozen fingers.
    What's the best hoof pick that you have found works on ice packed hoofs? And hacks for getting the ice off? I have heard of using antifreeze, lard or pam. But never have tried it for myself. I have barefoot horses and have no access to an indoor arena, and I am determined to keep riding all winter.

  • #2
    Best hoof ick IMO is https://www.doversaddlery.com/the-ul...ck/p/X1-10145/ The Ultimate Hoof Pick. It's expensive compared to other hoof picks, but it doesn't bend when you work on prying out ice.

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    • #3
      ^^ 100% Agree, wholeheartedly. You can actually use it like an ice pick, if need be.

      The whole Pam spray, gasoline, WD-40 thing does didley squat. Sure, it'll work for about 10 minutes.. If you want to deter ice, I've found the only thing to really do it is either 'pop' snow pads, or snow rim pads. On shoes of course. Barefoot horses, just pick their feet.

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      • #4
        Ditto on the Ultimate Hoof Pick. As a part-time trimmer, I can attest to their strength and longevity.
        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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        • #5
          Tap the side of the shoe with a hammer and the ice will fall out. A farrier told me that. Works well. Give it a good whack.

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          • #6
            I second the hammer, always use one during the winter, bought a short handled one, works great.
            "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

            "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

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            • #7
              Originally posted by LookmaNohands View Post
              Tap the side of the shoe with a hammer and the ice will fall out. A farrier told me that. Works well. Give it a good whack.
              Um.... ouch?? You can see how they flinch when someone's driving a nail in super cold weather.

              Sorry, I'd rather pick away with a flimsy hoof pick than 'give a good whack' to the side the hoof of an animal that's known by the saying "No hoof, no horse".

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              • #8
                I've always been fine with the 69-cent metal hoofpicks with a vinyl coating.

                For really gnarly snowballs, use the claw end of a hammer. Stick the hammer in a bucket of hot water to warm it up, and press the claws into the bottom of the snowball, aiming above the frog. Since it's warm it should go into the snowball more readily and it works as a lever to pull it out.

                But, honestly, my favorite way to solve this problem is with a snow rim pad.
                "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

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                • #9
                  I keep an electric tea kettle in the barn for putting warm water on cold grain when it's really cold out --but found that pouring a thin stream on to the ice in the shoe immediately melts it. Since the water can be quite hot (it's an electric tea kettle), be careful not to get it on you or the part of the horse's leg. Bottom of hoof seems ok. Works better than anything else I've found. $20 at Wal-mart and you can have a cup of tea while you wait for the horses to eat --or hot water to soak a hoof, wash a tail, etc.

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                  • #10
                    My farrier made me a hoof pick out of a horse shoe a million years ago. It is the BEST thing ever for packed ice. If I didn't have that I would buy the hoof pick shown above..

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LookmaNohands View Post
                      Tap the side of the shoe with a hammer and the ice will fall out. A farrier told me that. Works well. Give it a good whack.
                      Me too. As soon as we get into the barn, we stop and they pick their feet up for me.

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                      • #12
                        Mine are barefoot & what works for me is a flat screwdriver.
                        Long shaft & handle give me leverage & a good grip, flat blade gets put the "frozenest"hunks of ice.
                        Phillips head would work too, but I worry about poking into the sole.
                        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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                        • #13
                          I second, third and fourth the use of the hammer. I use the claw end of the hammer for big icy tightly packed snow balls.
                          Tap gently, toward the toe and usually the snow and ice pops right out. You aren't going to hurt your horse by doing this - unless you wale away at it like you're driving a railroad spike. Which of course, you wouldn't do.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
                            Mine are barefoot & what works for me is a flat screwdriver.
                            Long shaft & handle give me leverage & a good grip, flat blade gets put the "frozenest"hunks of ice.
                            Phillips head would work too, but I worry about poking into the sole.
                            I have a special slot head screw driver that I use just for this- nice and long, for leverage, and it doesn't hurt them.
                            When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
                            www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
                            http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/

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                            • #15
                              I keep an electric tea kettle in the barn for putting warm water on cold grain when it's really cold out --but found that pouring a thin stream on to the ice in the shoe immediately melts it. Since the water can be quite hot (it's an electric tea kettle), be careful not to get it on you or the part of the horse's leg. Bottom of hoof seems ok. Works better than anything else I've found. $20 at Wal-mart and you can have a cup of tea while you wait for the horses to eat --or hot water to soak a hoof, wash a tail, etc.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                All of the things that will tend to repel water and "grease" the hoof will wear off, some sooner than others. For riding, I think Elemental Equine's Hoof Armour (painted on the sole) helps some. Also great to use before bathing to keep water out of the hoof. The Ultimate Hoofpick is the only commercial hoof pick worth getting.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by islgrl View Post
                                  My farrier made me a hoof pick out of a horse shoe a million years ago. It is the BEST thing ever for packed ice. If I didn't have that I would buy the hoof pick shown above..
                                  I have one of these, too, and it's fabulous. The tip is very similar to the flat head screwdriver that's also getting mentioned. Highly recommend for all if you can talk your farrier into making one, or there might be sellers of similar on Etsy?

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                                  • #18
                                    The Ultimate Hoof Pick and a hammer. My horse has front shoes with a frog pad so I have to pound on the ice and use the claw of the hammer to clean it out. I keep a hoof pick in my jacket so it is handy if he has ice balls when I bring him in.
                                    "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019

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                                    • #19
                                      I’ve never had issues with a barefoot horse, which the OP stated she has. Shoes are another matter.....

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                                      • #20
                                        You might search antique sellers for "ice hammer." Or google it to get a look at the design. Sorry can't do links on this device.

                                        This ice hammer is what horse drivers carried in "the olden days" to keep hooves cleaned out during travel. It is not too big, has a single long claw at the back of the head to use on packed ice or snow in the hoof. I have one in each barn to clean hooves on barefoot horses coming into be stalled. Claw is pointed, longer, so it does a good job in breaking out the packed material. I use it like a regular hammer, claw point aimed at hoof sole, hitting with controlled force. I suggest wearing eye protection, to stay safe from flying ice. We have the horse shoe hoof picks and the can work ok. However it is easiest, best, to use the tool made specifically for this job, Ice hammer works wonderfully!

                                        I agree that no products applied to hooves, work longer than a few minutes. Snow rim pads have been the best for prevention of ice or snow build-up in hooves for us. The constant flexing of the tube of the rim pad prevents snow accumulation in the sole. We have ice studs in the shoes for traction.

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