Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Winter Shoes

It’s that time of year again.

My horse needed to have his shoes reset, and it’s that time of year to include rim pads under those built-up shoes.

We range on the West Boulder River in the Absaroka foothills, where rocks are everywhere.  I seldom shoe my horses at any time without having first built up the toes and heels of their shoes with hard-surface welding rod for two reasons: extra traction, and extra wear.  After six weeks of wear, I usually run another hard surface bead on the shoes to replace the layer that has worn off.

In addition to the layer of hard-surface on the bottom of the shoes, this time of year I place a set of rim pads under the shoes.

These rim pads are designed to keep the snow from balling up on the bottom of the feet.  Even a barefoot horse gets snowballs when conditions are right, and horseshoes form a rim that holds those snowballs onto the foot.

That snowball makes walking awkward, and also elevates the shoe away from the ground so the cleats can’t dig in.

We’ve already had some snow, and there’ll be plenty more over the next 9 months.  I want to have as much traction as possible when my horses scramble after a critter.  

Set of snowball pads - $25
My legs - priceless

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