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Snowballing in the Winter

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  • Snowballing in the Winter

    Has anyone used boots, such as the Cavallo Simple Boots to prevent snowballing in the winter? The snow pads on my horse aren't working at all, so I'm curious if this is a good option.

  • #2
    Unfortunately they don't work in the snow -- no traction. I use Cavallo boots but in the winter barefoot works better.

    I suppose you could put studs in them.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
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    • #3
      What kind of snow pads? I prefer the rim kind, but if the snow is soft and "packy" they can fail. The bubble pads work no matter what kind of snow but IMO leave the hoof in worse shape come spring so I try to avoid those.

      Lucky us--it's been so damned cold this winter that the snow has been light and fluffy and non-packy until just today, when for the first time in ages I had to pick a little snow out of hooves. Another foot is on the way with more brutal cold so--yippee for us--the snowballs should be gone again.
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      • #4
        I have found the rim type pads pretty effective in general. The pop up pads have a reputation for inverting that can create real problems. At worst, if they come in with snowballs with rim pads the snow balls do pop out easily.
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

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        • #5
          I agree with the others what kind of snow pads are you using? My boy uses rim pads that have a lip around the inside edge of my horses shoes and it works wonderfully. Another option to do is to rub the entire sole and shoe with Vaseline. It prevents the snow from sticking to anything period.
          Calm & Collected, 13, OTTB
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          • #6
            rim pads work great for me.

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            • #7
              As a full time professional farrier I done extensive research on this topic. My conclusion is the best way to deal with snow balls is to move to Florida.

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              • #8
                I had read that cross country ski wax sprayed on is good for snow balls- maybe a shot onto the pads/ sole might just help keep it down.

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                • #9
                  The pop up pads have a reputation for inverting
                  Huh, never seen that, nor heard of it--you mean the "bubble" goes inside out? They are pretty thick and rugged.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tom Bloomer
                    As a full time professional farrier I done extensive research on this topic. My conclusion is the best way to deal with snow balls is to move to Florida.
                    love it, agreed.


                    IME rim pads work fairly well, especially the rubbery ones like Mustad, they will compress regardless of temperature and keep snow out. I have run into trouble with the Castle plastic rim pads in very low temps like 10F, the plastic gets so hard, it doesn't compress anymore with each step of the foot and horse ends up with snowballs.

                    The pop-out pads work great if they are the right size for the shoe. Seems logical right, but when I used the regular size on size 3 shoe, the pad still fit the shoe (only just), but the ball was too small for the larger shoe surface and horse had snowballs again, so then we used the large snowball pad, with the ball just about filling in the entirety of the shoe and things were fine again.

                    My farrier would say, "but he has snowpads, it's impossible, he cannot be snowballing", well sorry, for reasons mentioned above he was snowballing.

                    So you may want to play around with trying different snowpads.
                    This does of course not help you out right now.

                    What I ended up doing when the Castle rimpads wouldn't compress, I cleaned the foot and stuffed 2 Sole Pack patties in there, they lasted for 5 days and I had no snowballing for 5 days.

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                    • #11
                      I like the squishier, more flexible rim pads, for sure. The ones I'm using this year are white/clear and have a hole in the channel up front. "No Snow", maybe? They're more rubber-y than plastic-y.
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                      • #12
                        We're probably talking about the same ones :
                        http://www.northeastfarrier.com/inde...dnosnow-1.html
                        These seem to work best. Only downside, you can't often get a re-set out of them, because they may tear up more easily then the rigid Castle plastic ones, but then we're back to snowballing risk, lol.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lieslot View Post
                          We're probably talking about the same ones :
                          http://www.northeastfarrier.com/inde...dnosnow-1.html
                          These seem to work best. Only downside, you can't often get a re-set out of them, because they may tear up more easily then the rigid Castle plastic ones, but then we're back to snowballing risk, lol.
                          I am pretty sure those are the ones that my farrier uses for our horses. They seem to work just fine.
                          Kanoe Godby
                          www.dyrkgodby.com
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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by cswoodlandfairy View Post
                            I agree with the others what kind of snow pads are you using? My boy uses rim pads that have a lip around the inside edge of my horses shoes and it works wonderfully. Another option to do is to rub the entire sole and shoe with Vaseline. It prevents the snow from sticking to anything period.
                            I appreciate all of the input. I've put Vaseline on his feet and it lasts for a few hours, then there is snowballing again. It's pretty severe, it's gotten to 4 inches tall of snow - and it is very hard to pick out! I am not sure my farrier has much experience with snow pads since most of his clients have show horses. But to be fair, I have another horse that is barefoot and even he is snowballing. It's very nerve-wracking! My horses are out minimum 8 hours a day in the winter so after a while, the Vaseline doesn't have much of an effect.

                            I'll absolutely look into the rim pads and will ask him about them. He doesn't even carry the snow pads that have the bubbles though. I asked him about them and he said he hasn't used them for years because none of his customers use them. I've used those in the past and am not wild about them. They work, but it doesn't sit well with me that the bubble hits the ground before the hoof does. Just not a natural gait. And I do ride in the winter, which is why my horse is shod in the first place.

                            I read on the Easyboot web site that the Easyboot Epic does prevent snowballing. I'm going to give it a try. I'd rather not have a pad on his feet because of the moisture that can build up underneath.

                            Again I really appreciate your input, thanks so much!

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                            • #15
                              I used Cavallo boots in the past to help with snowballs on a percheron/pony cross with very concave feet. It really depends on the snow and terrain. I would not like to use them on hard-packed snow or ice, but on soft/deep snow they were fine.

                              My TB mare is in full "bubble" snow pads and they were great for her - give her soles extra protection when the ground is frozen (but not snowy) and also prevents snowballs. I've never had the bubble invert or any issues in the spring.

                              My two little ponies have the hardest time with snowballs - their feet just seem more concave than the bigger horses so I have to work to keep up with the snowballs. I might give the vaseline a try; I guess I'd have to keep it in the house and bring it back and forth to the barn? How long would an application last? (can't honestly see me using it more than once a day)...

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                              • #16
                                I read on the Easyboot web site that the Easyboot Epic does prevent snowballing. I'm going to give it a try. I'd rather not have a pad on his feet because of the moisture that can build up underneath.
                                No worries about moisture build-up if you use a combo of Magic Cushion and oakum underneath, ime never any no dirt, sweating, holding moisture nor thrush.

                                I've used those in the past and am not wild about them. They work, but it doesn't sit well with me that the bubble hits the ground before the hoof does.
                                What type of shoes is the horse wearing? I would have thought that most steel shoes have enough thickness for the bubble not to hit the ground first, never noticed any such thing personally. I could see this being the case with some thinner racing shoes or aluminium shoes however.

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                                • #17
                                  I've heard of people using Pam spray (the oil spray you can buy for your frying pan) with success. I alas have not tried it so cannot personally speak for its effectiveness. Considering it costs about $3 and is easier to apply than vaseline maybe you should give it a shot?

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                                  • #18
                                    I'll add another vote for the bubble type pads. They have never failed for me, but the rim "tube" type ones have. YMMV.
                                    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Lieslot View Post
                                      What type of shoes is the horse wearing? I would have thought that most steel shoes have enough thickness for the bubble not to hit the ground first, never noticed any such thing personally. I could see this being the case with some thinner racing shoes or aluminium shoes however.
                                      Agreed - my mare's "bubble" does not hit the ground first; you can tell for sure by looking at her footprints - on hard ground (e.g. stonedust paddock) you can only see the shoeprint. The only time it is "engaged" is if her foot sinks into snow (or mud) and only then will you see a clear imprint of the bubble.

                                      Also agree about the packing under the pad - oakum and something black and sticky. Maybe magic cushion or pinetar?

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                                      • #20
                                        Never seen a "bubble" pad where the bubble stuck out down below where the shoe would strike.
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