What is the worst part of keeping horses in snowy weather?

snow trouble

Ice balls formed on horses leg from snow

Snow, snow, go away and come back…next year!

In our travels this year we have managed to avoid snow for most of this winter but we are headed to The Michigan Horse Expo  March 13th-15th and I’m hoping for NO SNOW.

I like the snow…at least some snow…but there are a few drawbacks that come with it. Frozen water buckets, wind chill and slippery footing can be an issue (check out my blog: What you would recommend for de-icing walk ways for horses?

I have even seen a crust form on the top of snow that was sharp enough to cause horses legs to be rubbed raw from simply walking. What do you consider to be the worst part of keeping horses in snowy weather?

Lets get that last big rant against winter over with! Horses are shedding which means that spring is just around the corner…







  1. horsecompanion on March 28, 2015 at 11:28 am

    I live in Sweden and as you can imagine we get a lot of snow. Sometimes even the snow locks don’t stop the snow and ice from compacting in their hooves. I was given two tips : Cut Ice cream tub lids down into a triangle shape and fit them inside the hooves with the points under the shoes. The other tip was about the water buckets freezing in the paddocks. Fill large plastic bottle with hot water and drop them inside your water buckets… works a treat ;0)

  2. Carrie Hill-Crowe on March 6, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I don’t own horses, but i help a friend out with his 3-4 days a wk. We still turn the horses out, but he has a lean to for the horses to get under that is attached to the barn. The worst thing about the winter is the wind chill. I can deal with the freezing buckets (he has a heated trough and i just put the buckets of ice in the trough for about 5 minutes, tip them upside down and the ice falls right out in one big clump). I usually thaw the buckets while i’m swapping everyone around or haying and graining everyone… Then I dip water out of the trough to refill the buckets and hang them accordingly… back to the point. I know often in the month of February, temps have been -20 to -35*. On bitter cold nights the owner brings the horses in and during the day we let them out so they can have the sunshine. The horses don’t seem to mind it nearly as much as us humans do. Next week it is suppose to be a heat wave of mid 30’s up to even almost 60 by the end of the wk… I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOO READY to have the warm weather (then we can all complain about the mud that comes with warm weather LOL)

  3. Lynda Lafontaine on March 5, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Here in eastern Canada we have the coldest Feb. in 115 yes 115 years, and several recordings of the coldest capital city in the world. Many windy nights of 25 and 40 below 0. Early Jan. We had freezing rain and had such a heavy crust that even horses running outside, could not move around enough, and some incidents of colic occurred. For sure enough already.winter go away. Tonight it is 20 below 0 again. Here’s hoping for an early spring and long and pleasant summer and lots of great horse days for us and our equine friends.

  4. Loretta Fern King on March 5, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    I can’t get my horses out either because of ice surrounding the barn )-: you’re maybe glad you’re not in Harrisburg at the PA horse expo ’cause down here in southern Lancaster county, we have 8+ inches of snow now I don’t know how much they have in Harrisburg,

  5. Kendra Langmaack on March 5, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Please Please Please bring some sunshine and warm weather with you to Michigan! 🙂

  6. Rebecca G on March 4, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    It hasn’t started melting in Edmonton, Alberta yet. Shedding season is a month away

  7. pat and john grochowina on March 4, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    I think you covered most of it. This year, I can’t even bring the horses out of the barn because there is so much ice surrounding most of the barn. I would love to know what is good for keeping the ice off the walkways. The temperature has been so low that it was too cold to be out anyway. The buckets have been frozen solid every day and about that crusty top on the snow, we have it everywhere right now as we had freezing rain yesterday afternoon on top of fresh snow. So, there, I am done ranting and roll on spring. I can’t wait and I am sure my horses feel the same way. They are predicting some warmer temperatures for the next few days so I will really will enjoy it when it comes.

  8. Wayside Artist on March 4, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    My Zeus wears bar shoes and pads up front. Even using cooking spray the snow balls up under is feet until he’s walking on snow stilts. So, unless I can ride him on macadam, we’re grounded until the snow melts. Hate it because we both could use the exercise!

  9. Alli Farkas on March 4, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Bringing a snow-covered horse into the barn, where the snow melts on him and now you have a wet AND cold horse.

  10. heidibillmayer on March 4, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    We don’t get a huge amount of snow, or maybe we do, and it just all blows away. My least favorite part of snowy weather is chipping ice balls out of my horses feet and negative number temperatures and wind chills! I’m so ready for spring, sunshine and warm air on my face!

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