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Old 11-28-2006, 10:49 AM  
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Ice/Snow Packed Hooves

Help... I was wondering if anyone knew if it could cause damage to a horse if their hooves were packed with ice/snow and I mean REALLY packed to the point where the horse isn’t able to walk on their hooves but are walking on a ball of ice? My poor horses have snow packed hooves and I couldn’t get the ice out last night. I brought a hair dryer with me today, so when I go straight to the barn after work, I am going to try and melt the ice. It is pretty hard to keep their hooves free of packed snow, as the temperatures are ranging between -22 to -40 C right now and the cold snap isn’t suppose to break until the weekend.
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:58 AM  
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Yikes! Snow packed hooves already?

I wouldn't be too concerned right now since you are doing something about it right away. If you were to leave it there for days, then there is the potential for damage.

I wonder what other methods folks have used? I can't imagine my horses standing still long enough on three legs to "melt" their feet. And then I'd not be too swift managing the cord either.

Good luck with the hair dryer.
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:58 AM  
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they can get bruises on their soles if it is that bad. Do your horses have shoes? If they do you can have the farrier put "bubble pads" on to keep the snow from packing in there like that. Or you can use a spray cooking oil. The harness trainers at my barn use used engine oil on their horses feet year round. Really helps keep the snow from sticking during winter jogs on the gate.

I use the spray cooking oil myself with success. I just really work on getting it out when I bring them in every afternoon.
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:59 AM  
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Oh, Mamacita! I feel bad for you guys, but from what I hear, your cold weather is coming our way.

Yes, ice and snow pack can really damage hooves, moreso if your horses are shod. Just think what snow and ice does to concrete, let alone something like a hoof. But at least you are on it right away.

A friend of mine's had a horse whose right front hoof cracked vertically and the farrier said it was ice packed in there. My friend was unaware of the problem, so I think it was exacerbated by her lack of care. Your idea of a blow dryer sounds really good--do you think your horse will stand for it?

Please post how it goes tonight because I'd be interested in using the blow dryer on my horses if you find this works well!
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Old 11-28-2006, 11:08 AM  
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Spray cooking oil woerks well, so does plain ole' Vasoline. Smear it on thick and it should help keep out the snow.
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:34 PM  
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Yup, cooking oil, vaseline, or baby oil will help prevent the packing. I have been known to get a small chisel to help break up the packed ice - worked a little better than a hoof pick if it was that bad.
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:43 PM  
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Just like others said, Spray Pam on the bottom of the hooves to keep the snow from sticking. Thats what my Farrier said they used.
Glad we dont have any snow, today its about 65 degrees, in November and I love it. Good luck.
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:18 PM  
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SHH don't tell anyone but to get out the really bad ice balls I very carefully, and I mean very carefully use the back side of a farriers hammer to chip away at it until I get down to where I can actually use a hoof pick to get it out. Then I usually smear the vaseline or cooking spray on depending on if the vaseline is frozen because I forgot to bring it in the night before.
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:27 PM  
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Boy, do I know about the iceballs! Thankfully Jazzy got her shoes off today! But prior I would go out a dozen times a day and pick her hoofs in her pasture and also take a pick when we went out riding! I love everyones points on the topic!
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:59 PM  
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I almost started this topic, too. We were going to have Max's (my husbands horse) shoes pulled last week but the farrier couldn't make it and then we had this big dump of snow. I've been cleaning them out several times a day. I'd heard about the cooking oil. I didn't have any spray so I just poured Canola in his hooves. Within a couple hours they were balled up again. I'll give the Vaseline a try. Hopefully we can get those shoes pulled pretty soon.
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:03 PM  
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Ball pads don't work well for our climate; they get too hard in the cold and will bruise your horses foot. Crazy carpet is cheaper and works more safetly for shod horses.

The best thing to keep the snow out of hooves is ski wax for what ever temperature the weather is. To get the snow out at our place we just stand them in the barn...with a heated floor it doesn't take long for the ice to melt on its own.

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Old 11-28-2006, 02:21 PM  
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If your horse has shoes on use a hammer and tap the shoe with the side of the hammer to jar it loose. I use cooking spray or the crisco block.
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Old 11-28-2006, 04:03 PM  
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So, for those of you who use cooking spray or crisco or vaseline: does this not make it a bit slippery for you horse when s/he walks? I've never heard of using this, but if it's safe, I'll give it a try when we get the icy weather that's supposed to blow in here within the next few days.
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Old 11-28-2006, 04:22 PM  
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Vaseline!
Snow packed already? Holy I am in Northern Ontario & we don't even have snow yet .. althought I cannot wait .. I'm sick of this MUD!

Goodluck!
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:06 AM  
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YAAAA, it worked! Well first off, I tried to use the hair dryer to melt the ice in Gypsy's hooves, she was awesome, she just stood there and didn't mind the noise, but it was taking FOREVER! So I boiled water and poured it in a smaller bucket, added some cold water so it wasn't TOO hot and stuck her hooves in the bucket and it melted ALL of the snow/ice. Then I cleaned her hoove all up and I smeared vaseline all over the bottom of her hoof and then I sprayed Pam, left her in the barn for about another hour so her hoofs could kind of dry and then outside she went.

Thank you everyone for the wonderful suggestions!! It was - 45 C last night and by Sunday it is suppose to 11 C!!!!
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:16 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EquineAlberta
The best thing to keep the snow out of hooves is ski wax for what ever temperature the weather is.
Karen2
I never thought of that! WOW! Learned somethin new!
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