Friday, February 04, 2011

Ice Grippers

The 2011 Necessity

I have some ice grippers I've used now for years on my boots in icy conditions. They have a rubber strap that stretches to fit my shoes, and metal studs to dig into the ice. The old ones I have only have studs in the front, but they slip on easily and work very well.

I found some on EBay and bought two pair right before Christmas.  I used mine in one of the storms and they were fine--for a while. But then the little spikes broke off.  I thought it was because I was walking on the paved driveway too much with them.  I gave Stacie a pair last week, and sure enough, the little spikes broke on hers too after a day or so. Bummer!!  The older ones I have are still fine after more than a couple years of use. Those studs are entirely different than the new ones.  I did order some replacement studs, but I'm not sure they are going to last any longer, but we'll see. I sent them to Stacie.

In the meantime, I have my old grippers--still in good shape--and I also had a pair of Yaktrax.
I'd gotten them some time ago. I put them on my boots at the start of the ice storm and I can say, so far, they work really well.  I've been walking in a combination of icy packed snow, snow, and ice and I haven't slipped at all.  I lucked out and found another pair at the sporting good store today in a size that fits my boots even better than the pair I had, so I got them. Now I can use the original, slightly smaller pair on my regular shoes when I go out.  

Years ago, I had some studs to screw into my horse's shoes for better traction on the slippery grass--mostly when I was eventing, or forced to do a dressage test on the grass. PJ had a very flat foot and a wide shoe that had no traction on slippery surfaces, so I used the studs on him when I needed them. I guess they make removable ice studs for horse shoes too--an option that's kind of a nuisance to keep up, but a solution for temporary icy conditions. 

I also had a set of studs to insert in Easyboots, but I never used them. I guess they are in my "lost tack" collection somewhere.  I have miscellaneous horse equipment stored in all kinds of places around here so it's an adventure whenever I decide to look for something I'm sure I have.  Sometimes I find it, and sometimes I don't.  Several months ago, a friend was looking for a Kimberwicke. I used to used one on Russell all the time when I rode cross country.  As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I must have two bits.  However, one of my more diligent searches of the "lost tack" hideaways, I didn't find either one.  Somewhere, there is another secret storage spot with that bit.  

My very first riding instructor had an entire, rather large room, in her old farmhouse simply full of tack and equipment. Now she did have a stable of quite a few horses and gave group lessons on them, so some of the collection was necessary. But the rest?  

It was all like the missing Kimberwicke. I don't need it. I don't use it. But I have it....somewhere. 


  1. Anonymous8:17 PM

    I've got all sorts of stuff in all sorts of places - trailer tack room, tack room at barn, attic, garage, you name it. I keep vowing to go through it all and sell/donate what I don't need, but the task is daunting.

    I have some friends who very much like their Yaktrax - I should look into them before the ice arrives.

  2. we are going to get some yaktrax for next year.

    as for tack collections - these days we all use eBay to sell stuff on and wish we hadn't - I do know i have a bit collection somewhere that i haven't sold!

  3. Wow, ice studs and yaktrax, I didn't even know there were such things. Guess I should get out more. I can see where they'd be helpful this winter.

    I am a tack collector and I love bits. I must have at least a couple dozen or more different ones but I pretty much only use two. My bits are nicely organized and most of my bridles but from there, I am just like you. I'm pretty sure I had a system at one time for how things were organized but when I'd outgrow a storage container the problems began. I hate when I can't find that "thing" I know I have somewhere. LOL

  4. We've got the ice grippers on our boots too. Without them I'd be on my butt in no time.

    We've also got many "storage" places tucked all around here. Same as you we know we've got it but just don't know where to look first. Someday it might be nice to organize this place but that's a warmer weather chore.