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Snowball Prevention with Frog Support Pad?

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  • Snowball Prevention with Frog Support Pad?

    I have not had a horse that needed shoes in the winter before. I'm just about clueless, and I don't know much about my options in this case. Any input would be appreciated.

    My mare is wearing a natural balance shoe with a 2 degree wedge pad and a frog support pad with dental impression material on her frog to help with some caudal heel pain she developed earlier in the year. She blocked out as navicular, but radiographs were normal (angle slightly lower than ideal, but not serious, no bony changes, etc.). I would like to keep the shoes on her throughout the winter if at all possible but I am concerned about the frog support pad causing snowballs. I would like to keep her frog supported as much as possible, because this was recommended by the farrier who began working with her to help her heal. This farrier is very well regarded and works out of the UW vet hospital as well as on private clients, and I respect his advice. I do not wish to change her shoeing at this time (other than the pad, possibly). What types of pads can I choose from to help keep the snow from packing?

    We also get ice around the water trough because the horses tromp the snow down into a sheet. We try to break up everything and keep sand/lime down but it's still very slippery and we can't move the trough due to the location of the electrical outlets for the heater. Would ice nails in conjunction with the rim shoe she is wearing provide enough traction to prevent catastrophic traction failure? I would rather not do studs if at all possible because she lives out with other horses and is not shod in behind.

    She also needs to be in work at least a few days a week or she gets crabby, so I cannot allow her to be barefoot and re-injure whatever she inflamed this year to cause her to go lame.

    Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated! I also have some pictures of her shoe "package" if anyone needs them.

    Edit for correcting autocorrect.

  • #2
    I've used rim snowball pads and P13 drive in studs with good results.
    Interesting shoe set up, I wonder why he didn't go with the wedge frog support pad.

    Ice nails, I have yet to find a good use for them.

    Comment


    • #3
      I would think a very light braze of road tek would resolve the icy traction around the tank.

      I have always used a regular snow pad (kinda looks like a 1/2 ball on the pad). They never failed but the pad seems to flex with each step and I not sure that is a great idea for the shelly footed horse I have to shoe this winter. So just going with a rim snow pad this time. Hope they work as well.

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      • #4
        Since you're already working with a farrier, I would ask him ? Around here, there are different opinions regarding rim pads vs popout pads and borium vs studs or nails, so I would let your farrier tell you want he preferes and recommends for your horse.

        Comment


        • #5
          My Paint gelding is also in a Natural Balance light shoe with a 2 degree pad with frog support and packing. He still gets some snowballs, which I think is inevtiable for horses with shoes regardless of what type of pad you use (I'm in Maine). We put borium studs in for icy conditions through the winter. He is not shod behind, and has not had any problems.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by walktrot View Post
            My Paint gelding is also in a Natural Balance light shoe with a 2 degree pad with frog support and packing. He still gets some snowballs, which I think is inevtiable for horses with shoes regardless of what type of pad you use (I'm in Maine). We put borium studs in for icy conditions through the winter. He is not shod behind, and has not had any problems.
            Personally I found that snowballs formed with the frog support pads to an unacceptable degree and have never had such problems using the rim or pop pads. I prefer the rim over the pop pads.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sterling2000 View Post
              My mare is wearing a natural balance shoe with a 2 degree wedge pad and a frog support pad with dental impression material on her frog changes.......
              Swap those pads for a wedged [anti]snowball pad and IM
              Would ice nails in conjunction with the rim shoe she is wearing provide enough traction to prevent catastrophic traction failure?
              Probably.
              I would rather not do studs if at all possible because she lives out with other horses and is not shod in behind.
              So what's the problem with studs? In truth, I use a lot of both ice nails and studs but I prefer the studs whenever practical/pragmatic.
              She also needs to be in work at least a few days a week or she gets crabby, so I cannot allow her to be barefoot and re-injure whatever she inflamed this year to cause her to go lame.
              You would be best served if you could narrow down the possibilities of why she came up lame. Otherwise, there is little you can do to prevent it from happening again.
              I also have some pictures of her shoe "package" if anyone needs them.
              I'ds like to see them.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Here is the link to the photo album from her first shoeing (before and after pics included). http://s613.beta.photobucket.com/use.../Roz%20Shoeing

                There was nothing on the rads to suggest why she would be lame. Her angles were not far off, a bit uneven but not bad. She was about eight months into a new work regimen and the sand arena the stable had was deep and poorly worked. I am sure this was part of the problem. Our vet said short of an MRI, there would not be a way to tell what was sore and why. Given the fact that an MRI would cost as much as the horse did, that is not an option.

                I would really prefer to use studs only as a last ditch effort. She is turned out 24/7 with other horses, including a clingy three-year-old. The pasture is very hilly and I do not want her to step on herself or someone else with studs. I also have a sort of semi-self-care setup and cannot always remove things like blankets, boots, etc. on a daily basis.

                Would those tube pads work in conjunction with the frog support pads? Would the bulk under the shoe be prohibitive? It is good to hear that some folks don't have problems with this type of pad. My (new) farrier is a bit concerned however, and I would like to come up with some options to discuss with him in case the snow comes early this year. I changed farriers shortly after the mare developed these problems after some communication problems with my then-current farrier.

                Rick, if you want I can give you the entire story of her lameness from the time I got her last december until she started developing soundness problems (one thing after another, all unrelated and confirmed unrelated by the vet). The short version is she began having "issues" on hard ground during the drought, which got worse as time went on. She was sound on sand. Shoes did not help so I had a workup done by the vet. She blocked out as "navicular" (back third of the hoof) but showed no reaction to hoof testers. This led to the referral to the first farrier and her current shoeing setup.

                ETA: She was a trail horse and was shod all around with what I am assuming were plain keg shoes, which were pulled each winter. She had just had her shoes pulled when I got her and was trimmed very short. It took almost 18 weeks to get enough hoof to trim off after I got her. She was a bit ouchie on gravel, but improved and was barefoot all winter and spring without incident.
                Last edited by sterling2000; Nov. 2, 2012, 11:59 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sterling2000 View Post
                  I would really prefer to use studs only as a last ditch effort. She is turned out 24/7 with other horses, including a clingy three-year-old. The pasture is very hilly and I do not want her to step on herself or someone else with studs. I also have a sort of semi-self-care setup and cannot always remove things like blankets, boots, etc. on a daily basis.
                  Just use small studs or just pins and you should nave zero problems.
                  Would those tube pads work in conjunction with the frog support pads?
                  IMO/IME, no.
                  Would the bulk under the shoe be prohibitive?
                  With the NB frog support pad, I don't think a tube style rim pad would fit.
                  Rick, if you want I can give you the entire story of her lameness from the time I got her last december until she started developing soundness problems (one thing after another, all unrelated and confirmed unrelated by the vet).
                  OK

                  She blocked out as "navicular" (back third of the hoof) but showed no reaction to hoof testers.
                  It has been said by some that a diagnosis of "navicular" is made by those who are diagnostically impaired..... More accurate would be a diagnosis of CHPS(Caudal Hoof Pain Syndrome).
                  ETA: She was a trail horse and was shod all around with what I am assuming were plain keg shoes, which were pulled each winter. She had just had her shoes pulled when I got her and was trimmed very short. It took almost 18 weeks to get enough hoof to trim off after I got her. She was a bit ouchie on gravel, but improved and was barefoot all winter and spring without incident.
                  She may have residual sub-clinical bruising/pain/damage that rises to a clinical level as the work load increases.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    The vet said she probably aggravated some soft tissues and the shoeing would help reduce the stress and allow them to heal. The vet-recommended farrier also said the same thing. Our vet clinic also uses navicular as a blanket term for any unidentifiable heel pain for their less-educated clients. A more accurate quote of what the vet said would be: "She's blocking out as if she had navicular." While she was taking the rads she explained the caudal heel pain to me, but in this neck of the woods just about any long-term heel pain is navicular.

                    It's good to hear that small studs will most likely cause no issues. I've had enough vet bills for the year! I'll have a talk with my new farrier and see what his skill set allows as far as studs go, if it comes to that. I feel a bit better about that option now, as I certainly did not want to pull her shoes and aggravate whatever she's trying to heal.

                    Over this past winter, she had a strained hind tendon (swollen, hot) which went down with bute and a week off. She then had some hock problem on the same leg in the spring (April-ish) which did not seem to get better. Turns out she had an enormous abscess in her frog, which the vet discovered after some interesting tricks with hoof testers. She got over that, and all was well. Then the drought hit in June and everything in her front feet seemed to come to a head. At first I thought she was just footsore, because she only acted ouchie on the concrete-like ground. But the further into her trimming cycle, the worse she was, and I got a little suspicious. I had my farrier put sone rim shoes (fullered all the way around) because she also acted a bit like she was scrambling for footing, and given that she was shod in the past I felt I should see if she was more comfortable shod. She was better for about a week, and she then turned up lame. That led to the vet check and the rads and the new shoes. I've many hypotheses as to why she developed heel pain, but I can't really prove any of them.

                    The new farrier really likes how her frog has grown In comparison to the before pictures I had in the barn, and feels she may be able to ditch the frog support pad soon. I'm not holding my breath, but it would simplify things quite a bit.

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