By Patty Wilber
Last week I mentioned that we put snow rims on Durango.
This week I am here to tell you that I like them.
I only put the rims on the front feet as the hind feet seem way less prone to ball up. This may have something to do with the weight distribution as the horse moves and is probably the same reason why some horses can do well with only front shoes on.
The snow rims have worked all week to keep Durango’s feet clear of snow while I have had to chip snow balls out of the hooves of some of the others after riding.
No snow rims on Atti (she gets new shoes next week, so maybe we will put them on then) and you can see in the first picture that the packed snow is keeping her foot from touching the ground properly. The second shot shows her snowball from the bottom.
In the past, I have tried a variety of ways to keep the snow balls from forming (silicone spray, WD-40, Pam cooking spray and wrote a snow balls blog–bet you are surprised about the blog!) and none worked.
My friend Ed said he has used vaseline successfully, but that it does not last super long.
I still have quite a bit of snow on the ground and perhaps more coming, so this year at least, it may be snow rims for all shod horses around here!
(P.S. Taking shoes off all together does work to prevent snowballs. I did pull shoes on Indy and LT as they are not being ridden more than once or twice a week, and I do have Cometa, Mr. Hooves of Steel, who is always barefoot. But for most of the horses ridden five days a week, no shoes is not an option on our rocks. Their feet literally wear down to the quick, which is not very comfortable for them!)