Yes, I know, It’s still only September! However, you can never be too prepared when it comes to the weather.
So, the question is What will you do with your horses feet this year?
You have luckily a number of choices to suit your personal situation. Many remove their horses shoes for the winter. An excellent choice if you will not be riding much when the weather is bad. A few months without shoes can be beneficial for your horses feet. There is also less chance that the feet will fill up with snow causing discomfort and possibly a dangerous situation.
If you will be riding a lot during the winter or your horse just doesn’t quite like the feeling of going barefoot, what are the options?
Standard Shoes or Concaves
Of course you can stick to the same setup as for the summer. Greasing in the soles before riding is believed to help against snowballing to a certain extent. I would however recommend the use of a concave or self-cleaning shoe. The inside of the shoe is tapered to a point against the foot, this vastly reduces the chance of mud or snow sticking in the foot.
Standard Shoe Concave Shoe
Pins, Studs & Pads
Another option available when Shoeing in the winter is to use Tungsten anti-slip pins or nails, for use on ice and hard ground. Studs with tungsten tips are a little more extreme for use in hard snow and ice. Application of a full pad also helps reduce the snowballing effect within the sole.
Personally, I use and recommend Snow pads. The shape of the pads help to stop snowballing, but dosen’t cover the whole sole. This allows cleaning of the frog and sole. I use these pads in combination with Pins or Studs, depending on the weather conditions and riding schedule.
Your farrier will be able to advise you on which combination best is for your personally situation.
Also feel free to email me any questions to email@example.com
With the right shoeing you will be able to continue riding right throughout the winter.
Just don’t forget to wear warm socks!!!