With wintertime approaching, horse owners may be wondering if their horses should wear their shoes throughout the winter months or should they go barefoot.
If you live in a part of the country that is covered in snow during the winter months, in most cases, the horse’s shoes should be removed. Pulling your horse’s shoes in the fall gives you a good chance to have his feet examined and trimmed before winter.
The typical metal shoe that increases traction during the spring, summer and fall can actually become quite slippery on ice and frozen ground. Slippery shoes can result in a disastrous injury to your horse. In addition, snow and ice can build up on the sole of a shoed foot and make standing and walking difficult and painful.
If you plan on riding in the winter or your horses are used for pulling a sleigh or if your horse requires a special set of shoes for his feet and they need to stay on during the winter, then I would suggest consulting your farrier regarding the proper modifications the shoes’ will need for the winter. These “winter” shoes may have studs or cleats on them to increase their traction.
It’s easy to forget about your horse’s feet during the winter months when the cold weather forces us inside. But remember that during the winter your horse’s hooves continue to grow. So make sure, whether your horse is shod or barefoot, that you inspect and pick his feet daily. Have his feet trimmed as needed.
Healthy hooves mean a healthy horse.
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