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Compacted snow on underside of hooves
Hi gang! I'm wintering my gelding with a herd of 15-20 head and he's doing great. He seems way more relaxed now that he can be in his proper environment and run, as comparted to being in a long run by himself. Now that we are beginning to get snow and figid weather up here near the Canadian border, and I notice all of the herd horses have snow "balls" on the underside of their hooves - a compaction of snow and ice that is extremely difficult to chip away! They look as though they are walking on marbles because all hooves have this half-round snow ball compaction on them. It can't be good for their legs and back, and is certainly dangerous, but it is one of those things that comes with the territory where they are stabled. Do any of you have any suggestions as to how I can make this situation better? Can I put something on the underside of his hooves so snow diesn't stick but wn't harm his foot health? I ride in all weather, but this definately means I can't go at all. Even a hammer and screwdrivier - tow of us were working furiously to dislodge this iceball - didn't do good and a hoofpick was totally useless. No one else rides in the winter where I stable, so they don't seem to mind this inconvenience. But I am raring to go! Do any of you have ideas and suggestions?
Glad he is doing great. You are a hardier soul than I am. It is COLD and snowy, and always windy here, everything is frozen, and all I can think about is a nice warm fire with me parked in front of it. [Big Grin]

To fix the snow ball problem clean the foot out good, and spray it really well with Pam - the cooking spray. You need to keep the can of Pam warm so it will work.

Have fun riding, I have had some really good rides in the middle of the winter, especially bareback, at night with a full moon and no wind. Hearing the snow creaking beneath the horses feet, feeling their warm body and seeing the clouds of steam from their breath. Ahhh, memories! [^]

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