Monday, January 27, 2020

Easy Ways to Help Prevent Ice Balls This Winter

Winter weather doesn't have to mean you can't take your horse out and about. Looking for a safe, quiet hack in the snow but you are concerned about ice buildup in their hooves? There are a few things you can do to help prevent them from happening!

Thanks to our friends at Equus, we are sharing some tips from an article entitled "4 easy ways to ice-proof your horse's hooves" which offers some great ideas to get you started! (Click here for the full article or keep reading below for the tips!)

"One winter hazard that riders in northern climates know well is ice balls. When snow and ice get packed under a horse’s hoof, it warms up slightly against the sole, then freezes readily against the cold metal of the shoe. The ice can quickly build up until the horse is walking on a hard, solid mass of frozen material, called “ice balls” or “snowballs.” The wetter and more dense the snow, the more likely it is that snowballs will occur. “Slushier” ice will fall away from the foot more readily, and light, dry snow won’t pack well, but wet or icy snow can easily get compacted into a tight, hard block.'

'Walking on the uneven mass even for a short time can cause a number of problems from tripping and sliding to strains or sprains of the muscles, tendons and joints. Persistent snowballs can lead to bruises and hoof cracks. Horses do OK much of the
time when there is snow all around, but once on a firm surface, many will teeter as if they are on high-heeled shoes.

'Removing large masses of ice from under your horse’s feet can be difficult, and by the time you discover them, the damage may already be underway ("

1. Let your horse go barefoot.
2. Add anti-snowball pads.
3. Try a home remedy.
4. Get your horse hoof boots.

Don't feel like dealing with the ice and snow at all? Come board your horse at Southwind where  you have access to our lighted, indoor arena! Learn more at: 

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