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Winter Horse Shoes!?!?!

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  • Winter Horse Shoes!?!?!

    So this is the first full winter my horse will have been in Eastern canada.....

    I'm planning to get studs put on his shoes on monday (he's never had them before) but my farrier has also asked if I wanted "pushers" and then my friend mentioned Boron chips on the bottom to me and being from Florida this is all new stuff to me.

    Also, my horse overreached on his left front a month ago for the first time ever and so this whole studs thing scares me (as I don't know how it happened).

    He's turned out for part of the day during the winter 4-6 hours and in a stall or being riddent the rest of the time.

    Last winter we showed up in February, so he just got turned out in a round pen and we didn't have this issue, but now he's in a field with 4 other geldings that LOVE to run.


  • #2
    Are you riding him in the ring for the winter, or will you be trail riding him?

    If you're not trail riding, I would forego the studs, and just have the farrier add borium to the shoe (I think that's what you meant by "boron"...) and a snow pad to keep the snow from packing into the shoe.

    If you're trail riding, I would do borium & studs, and snow pads.

    I have never heard the term "pushers" so I can't help you there!
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


    • Original Poster

      He's in a big field with lots of rocks and a good slope, so almost like a trail itself!

      Thanks for the help!


      • #4
        FWIW - my horses are also in a lumpy, hilly field as well. I'm in Vermont so we get a good amoutn of snow.

        Both will be barefoot over the winter.

        Currently though, my mare has shoes on. She has a regular steel shoe, with borium, no studs, and snow pads to keep the snow from building up. While its not extremely icy yet, it IS slippery, and the borium has worked fine for traction.

        I don't like studs because of 1) the overreaching concern, and 2) for arena work, they are useless, so I'd prefer not to have them on.

        If the horse can establish sufficient traction with borium and no studs, I'd keep it that way. If you find that its not enough, you can add studs later.
        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


        • #5
          Borium, not Boron. I used to get Borium in little cones, almost stud shaped, but my new farrier prefers permanent drive in studs instead of welding on the borium. Snowball pads are full pads with what looks like half a tennis ball in the middle. The idea is that the horse steps down, the "tennis ball" compresses, then when the hoof is lifted, the ball expands and pops out the snow. Trouble is, this puts a lot of stress on the hoof wall. We've had good luck using rim pads (they don't cover the whole hoof, they just go under and next to the shoe with a round plastic tube along next to the shoe.) They do seem to work. The worst thing you can do in the winter is leave your horse shod with plain flat plates.
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          • #6
            I've used borium in the winter, studs in the winter, and drive-in studs in the winter. I find the studs offer more purchase, which is an advantage and a disadvantage. I find that the borium does fine for most applications. I've used both rim snowball pads and the full snowball pads with the bubble in the middle. I prefer the full ones, as they work really well for keeping the snow out, but some horses just can't seem to take the feel of them. For those horses, the rim pads are adequate.


            • #7
              4cornersfarm - yes, I prefer the rim snow pads as well. I also dont' like the fact that the full pad covers the frog. I like to see what is going on there.
              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


              • #8
                I do borium and snowball pads, have done for years, and it works well.

                I'd be a bit squicked about having a horse shod with ice studs behind turned out with a group of other horses that play hard--they can rip quite the hole, whereas borium (certainly the way we do it, which is a flattish smear on the backs of both branches) isn't so likely to cause damage.


                • #9
                  I prefer to leave shoes off for the winter. But, I don't trust my current farrier's barefoot trim, so we're going with snow pads. Borium if you need traction.


                  • #10
                    You don't need studs unless you're going to be riding him in the snow and ice. He should be fine on his own in regular shoes, you might have to pick snow balls out of his shoes but he isn't out for very long so it might not be an issue.


                    • #11
                      traction and snow rim pads.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                        You don't need studs unless you're going to be riding him in the snow and ice. He should be fine on his own in regular shoes, you might have to pick snow balls out of his shoes but he isn't out for very long so it might not be an issue.
                        I think this is very bad advice.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rick Burten View Post
                          I think this is very bad advice.
                          Having spent most of my life here in the Northeast, I agree with Rick. Allowing a shod horse out in snow alone without snow pads, ( I prefer the rim pads) is devastating to their joints as they end up jacked up and rocking on snow balls. Add ice to the equation and you have a recipe for a broken leg.
                          Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                          Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                          • #14
                            I'd go with the farrier's advice. Better to be safe than sorry.


                            • #15
                              Yeah, definitely use snow pads, at least rim pads, which will keep the snow from building up, and borium for traction.

                              I would skip the studs.
                              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                              • #16
                                My now retired mare spent two years in shoes, last winter she had shoes on all around with leather pads up front for a soundness issue and she never had a problem. That said we do live in Indiana and we do not get deep snow very often.


                                • #17
                                  If your horse can manage, going barefoot is a good (and cheaper) alternative to shoes/studs/borium.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Rick Burten View Post
                                    I think this is very bad advice.
                                    I second (third!) that! Steel shoes w/o traction can be a death sentence in the icy Northeast!
                                    Take your farrier's advice or leave him barefoot!


                                    • #19
                                      i like mine barefoot in winter but yes if shod please get corks and snow pads or rim pads. get decent sized corks or borium, put bell boots on for turnout if you're worried about overreaching


                                      • #20
                                        After seeing a horse at the barn up north I was working fall on the ice because he didnt have winter shoes I would never leave a horse without winter shoes. The worst part was I had 4 horsess with me and had to stick them in the pasture before helping him. Very scary experience.
                                        I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.