When I was a kid, we had shod horses. It seemed like pulling our horses' shoes for the winter was just a routine thing that we always did. Of course, that was way back when winter was considered more of a rest time than it is today.
Most people that I know that have shod horses still pull shoes in the winter. However, now with hoof boots and studs, more and more people are enjoying a lot of riding time during the winter months.
Usually, the reasons that horse owners pull shoes during the winter months are safety concerns; snowballing under the sole; or they aren't riding as much so they save some money not having their horse shod every four to six weeks.
Letting your horse spend some time barefoot definitely improves the overall health of his feet. You'll notice, amongst many other things, that the walls get thicker and stop cracking, sole depth improves and heels will expand. All of this is due to increased circulation and the ability of the hoof to expand with movement.
It's always best to pull the shoes when the ground is still soft. Tender soles can get bruised if the ground is still hard or frozen.
With riders enjoying winter riding, this is the time that they need and should be purchasing protective hoof boots such as the Old Mac's G2, the Easyboot Transition and Easyboot Trails, for their horses. Of course, they need Quick Studs for better traction. Check out this month's US Retail Dealer special.
EasyCare hopes you and your customers have some great rides this winter.
Retail Account Rep
I am the Retail and New Dealer Account Rep for EasyCare. I will be happy to help you with ordering, selecting the most popular styles and sizes of EasyCare hoof boots to stock. Let me help you with suggestions on merchandising and provide training for you and your staff, at your convenience.