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Keep Your Horse Performance Ready With These Do’s and Don’ts of Winter Hoof Care

Last updated on February 28, 2024

Keep Your Horse Performance Ready With These Do’s and Don’ts of Winter Hoof Care

Winter hoof care for your horses may seem a bit easier than during the other seasons, but it’s still vital to your horse’s health. Even though the hooves grow slower, and your horse (probably) isn’t as active, their hooves still need some TLC to make sure they are ready for the arena, trail, or racetrack. And while Spring might be just around the corner, there are probably several more weeks before the threat of winter weather is finally over. So we’ve compiled a few do’s and don’ts of caring for horses’ feet in the winter so that they stay healthy and safe and are ready for competition season and long rides through the lovely spring air…when the time finally comes!


The Do’s of Winter Hoof Care:

DO Feed Foundation Daily Detox & NuTrack Digestive Support

  • Detoxing your horse from toxin buildup is one of the best ways to get their hooves healthy and looking great! Using FDD with NuTrack gives your horse’s digestive system a 1-2 punch that gets all systems working properly, allowing them to absorb all the possible nutrients from their food. Thus not only are their bellies happy, but so are their hooves, coat, and hair! Winter can be rough on horse hooves, so make sure to give your equine pal a leg up and get them on FDD & NuTrack.

(To read more about how these two supplements can benefit your horse’s hooves, read this blog.)

DO Let Their Feet Dry Out

  • Standing in mud and muck for endless hours a day can wreak havoc on your horse’s feet! Make sure there is a dry place to stand like mats, straw on the ground, or a gravel pad if they’re out in the pasture. At the very least, bring them to a dry place for a few hours a day to allow their feet to dry out. 
  • Chronically wet hooves can get thrush, fungus, or abscesses, causing sore feet and potentially laminitis.
  • If your property gets super wet during the winter, consider using a barrier cream on your horse’s hooves to help keep excess moisture out.

The Don’ts of Winter Hoof Care:

DON’T Skip Out On Farrier Visits

  • Because keratin production is focused on growing the winter coat, less goes towards growing the hooves. That, along with the reduced blood flow to the hooves (to help maintain core body temperature) causes the hooves to grow slower than in the warmer months.
  • So while it’s true that hooves grow slower in the winter, it’s still important to keep them trimmed regularly…even if the time between trims is extended. Trimmed, even hooves improve footing on icy, snowy ground, and help prevent cracks and chips in the hoof (that could be detrimental if left unattended).
  • If your horses tolerate it, consider letting them go barefoot during the winter months. If you are already taking a break from competition, it may be a good time to let your farrier pull the shoes off.
  • Having shoes removed helps the horses have better traction on slippery ground, and prevents snow and ice from becoming packed into the shoe. Consult with your farrier to determine if your horse is a good candidate for going barefoot in the winter.

DON’T Forget to Clean & Assess Regularly

  • Snow, mud, and ice can get trapped in your horse’s hoof, creating “snowballs” that can cause bruising and impede balance and normal range of motion. Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule will prevent this, and give you a good gauge of how the overall health of the hoof is doing.
  • Look for bruises and abscesses from walking on frozen, uneven surfaces. Left untreated, these can cause serious injuries and make being re-shod in the spring difficult.
  • Pro Tip: In some weather, when the snow and ice are dry and tend to pack into the hoof easily, spraying Pam cooking spray on the bottom of the hoof helps snow stick less.

Good Hoof Care in Winter Gets You Competition Ready in the Spring


The better your horse’s hoof health is during the harsh winter months, the easier it will be to get them ready for competition season! You won’t have to worry about cracks, bruises, or abscesses if you keep up on your horse’s hoof care in the winter. Schedule regular farrier visits, keep the hooves clean, dry, and trimmed, and don’t forget to feed Foundation Daily Detox and NuTrack Digestive Support year-round! 

Once the snow and ice melt, and the sun stays out longer, it will be easier to get your horse competition ready if their feet are healthy and maintained. We currently have a great deal on FDD & NuTrack bundles so head to our website to order now! If you are interested in being a dealer, please contact Mark Kaylor at 509-301-1798.

Content is intended for informational purposes only. Please consult with your veterinarian and farrier. Proudly written for Animal Element by the team at


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Fabus, Taylor, “Winter Hoof Care,” Oct. 31, 2012. Michigan State University Extension Office. Accessed on Feb. 1, 2024:

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“Winter Hoof Care,” Jan. 20, 2018. Equinews, Kentucky Equine Research. Accessed on Feb. 1, 2024: