Shoe sucking mud

The mud is so deep in parts of the paddock that I have to wear my tall Muck Boots. The short ones would disappear completely. It is so unpleasant to have your shoe sucked off your foot. Then you have to stand there and balance and hope to get it back before you have to put your foot down. And even when you get the shoe back, it’s full of cold, slimy mud!

We’ve had rain, snow, and more rain. It has left our paddocks full of shoe sucking mud. Luckily, I’ve pulled the horses’ shoes for the winter so the only shoes getting sucked off are mine!

Every year after hunt season, I pull shoes. I hate dealing with winter shoes. Borium is great until there’s no snow, then there’s too much torque. Bare hooves have good traction, rarely pack with snow, and the cost of a trim is a real winner compared to the cost of winter shoes.

My farrier tells me that only about 20% of her clients whose horses wear shoes pull them for the winter. I’m surprised that number isn’t higher. I guess I can understand the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. I think many people worry that their horse’s feet won’t stand up to being barefoot, that they will create new/different problems.

So far, it’s worked well for me. Of course to help them transition, it’s better to pull shoes when the ground is soft, but my two have looked comfortable and the one day when we had freezing after rain, I put front boots on Freedom to help him with the ridges of frozen mud.

When I was growing up, it was routine to pull your horses shoes. Of course, winter was more of a “down time” than it is today. But I still see merit to it.

How about you? Do you shoe all year round (if you get snow)? Or do you pull shoes for a few months?

3 thoughts on “Shoe sucking mud

  1. Depends on the horse. Yes, if the horse can tolerate being barefoot. Current horse is front-shod year round. Will get back shoes when work gets more difficult. (If …)

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