Classic Equine Connection

Winter Hoof Care For Your Horse

Posted by Classic Equine Equipment Blog on Dec 6, 2023 2:00:00 PM

A horse’s hooves grow slower in the winter. Slower hoof growth is good news for some people – this can mean fewer visits from the farrier. But for others who are waiting for a crack or other hoof problem to grow out, this reduction in hoof growth can mean a long wait. With less riding and turnout typically in the winter, there’s less circulation to the hooves to facilitate growth. 

If you’re thinking of removing your horse’s shoes for the winter, be sureClassic Equine Equipment to check with your farrier or veterinarian first. Some horses need the support and structure that shoes provide. Ground that is frozen is unyielding and can cause hoof soreness or bruising.

Riding slowly on frozen ground is one way to prevent this. Adding pads to your horse’s shoes is another way. However, even without shoes, don’t forget to get your horse’s hooves trimmed on a regular basis. Be on the lookout for hoof abscesses. Abscesses seem to spring up any time of the year, but winter seems to be an especially popular time. Often this is caused by the change in temperature – warm and muddy one day, cold and frozen the next. The hoof wall expands and contracts to meet these conditions and can allow bacteria in, causing the abscess. Notify your veterinarian who can help with the problem.

A final concern during the winter months is ice. Snow turningClassic Equine Equipment Blog into balls of ice and putting pressure on the center of the sole can cause soreness or lead to tripping. Beware of walking your horse on icy surfaces - one slip on an icy surface and your horse will feel unsafe and not want to risk slipping again. Both situations can be avoided by riding and walking your horse on safe ground.

With a little extra attention to your horse’s hooves, you can enjoy winter riding.

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