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How to keep snow from balling up in hooves

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  • How to keep snow from balling up in hooves

    What are your secrets to keeping snow from balling up in the hooves of horses with shoes on?

  • #2
    My mare had pads put in when she was shod. The farrier would pack under the pad and we never had the problem of snow balling on her feet.


    • #3
      There is a specially designed rim pad just for that. Full pads have the problem of occasionally packing ice and snow under them, then Owww!
      There are flexible domed pads but occasionally they will pop "in' rather than "out" and again you have an "Owww!".
      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.


      • #4
        I get a can of PAM or generic spray on butter and butter up the bottom of their hooves. It totally prevents the snow from sticking


        • #5
          I've always used the full pads with the popper in the middle, but this year we went with the rim pads. I have to say they're working very well--maybe it's the Michigan snow; I used to not like them when I lived further south. They're doing the job very well for me this year, though! I've tried Pam/cooking spray and that never seemed to work for me for more than 10-15 minutes. I wonder if something more "sturdy" like Crisco would work better?
          Click here before you buy.


          • #6
            Originally posted by deltawave View Post
            I wonder if something more "sturdy" like Crisco would work better?
            Nope. It freezes and falls out.


            • #7
              Have your farrier apply rim pads. Best invention ever.


              • Original Poster

                I am in the South. It snowed today (rare) and the horses are out. I am looking for a temporary fix. I'll try to the PAM.

                Can they hurt themselves walking around with the snow balled up like that?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BastiantheWonderDragon View Post
                  I get a can of PAM or generic spray on butter and butter up the bottom of their hooves. It totally prevents the snow from sticking



                  • #10
                    In years gone by I've never had any luck with Pam or other oily stuff.

                    This is our first winter with front shoes on my little guy and farrier put on the pads with the popper things in the middle.
                    Horse started forging when being worked in the indoor. This guy has a HUGE overtrack, but has never forged before.
                    Farrier said it's because he cannot get enough 'purchase' or 'grip' in the footing..the popper allows the foot to 'slip' in the sand.

                    So, we had these pads removed and, voila... no more forging.
                    But now he has snowballs. Only sometimes, and they pop out easily. I am very careful when I bring him onto the concrete aisle.

                    We're going to try the rim pads next trim.
                    And meanwhile, hope we don't get too much balling-up snow!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KatherineC View Post
                      I am in the South. It snowed today (rare) and the horses are out. I am looking for a temporary fix. I'll try to the PAM.

                      Can they hurt themselves walking around with the snow balled up like that?
                      Pam won't work for all day turnout, unfortunately. But it can't hurt -- might give them a few hours in the morning snowball free. I don't know of anything that will keep them snow free all day (other than pads). I'm sure it hurts them to have all that snow built up, and they can get hurt sliding around. But all my old guys (the youngest of our five is 14) seem to be smart enough to take good care of themselves when they have snowballs built up and know to stop the minute they hit the barn aisle to have the snow removed for them. If your horses aren't used to it, they might be less willing to move around during the day and you may want to go out every few hours to pick out feet.
                      "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                      <>< I.I.


                      • #12
                        Pam works for me, but I don't usually leave my horse out more than 2 hours if there is "snowballing" snow on the ground
                        West of nowhere


                        • #13
                          Mushers Secret (www.kvvetsupply.com) is used on sled dogs to keep the snow from balling up between their toes. Works well on horses. When I had horses that were shod, they wore snow popper pads. I was very happy with the results.
                          "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mallard View Post
                            We're going to try the rim pads next trim.
                            And meanwhile, hope we don't get too much balling-up snow!
                            Have your farrier add borium beads or borium tipped nails the next time too. Around these parts, most farriers won't even shoe a riding horse without a full "winter package". Too dangerous for both horse and rider. Many opt to go bare from November to March for this reason.


                            • #15
                              Try WD-40 - it's just fish oil but it does work.
                              Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                              "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


                              • #16
                                I have one with full pads filled with Sil-Pak under egg bar shoes. He does get snowballs in his feet. Fortunately, he's pretty wise about not moving too much or too quickly till the balls pop out. I'm having to muck my barn twice--once for poo, once for snowballs! I was hoping the softer filler under the pads would help pop them out, and I suppose it does, but it doesn't seem to keep them from forming in the first place. He does get ouchy when he has a big snowpack in his feet, which is why he has the pads with softer packing in the first place.
                                "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                Spay and neuter. Please.


                                • #17
                                  WD 40 is not fish oil, that's an urban legend. It's a petrochemical like most other lubricants. Apropos of nothing, maybe, although it's nice not to be spraying those around willy nilly. I'd guess PAM is probably more environmentally friendly.
                                  Click here before you buy.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by rcloisonne View Post
                                    Have your farrier add borium beads or borium tipped nails the next time too. Around these parts, most farriers won't even shoe a riding horse without a full "winter package". Too dangerous for both horse and rider. Many opt to go bare from November to March for this reason.
                                    He does have ice studs in his shoes.
                                    They keep him from slipping on the ice, but they certainly won't help the snow-ball issue.
                                    Barefoot is not an option.


                                    • #19
                                      We are using the full popper pads for the first time - it's been almost 6 weeks and I am very happy with them. We'll do another cycle for sure as I am hearing rumor of more snow next weekend and he gets shoes/trim this week.

                                      I know snowballs are a part of horses and winter, but I couldn't stand to see my guy walking on huge ones like high heels. He has arthritic hocks and it both concerned and pained me to see him doing that!


                                      • #20
                                        My horses are out 24/7 and the Pam absolutely did not work for them for more than about 15 minutes.

                                        Most are barefoot, with no snowballs; the one with problems came shod without pads. Once pads were added the snowballs disappeared.
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