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Snowshoes help keep horses on top of snow

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Published on Jan. 25, 2020

These interesting items called “Norwegian Snowshoes for Horses” were used in the late 1800s and early 1900s on ranches, in logging camps, mining towns and by mail carriers and freighters to help the beasts of burden trek through the deep snow of the Wyoming mountains.

 The snowshoes were made of heavy rope woven together to form a pad. They were then tied to the hooves of the horses to provide support for the winter trip over the snow and drifts.

A 1900 newspaper article noted, “The roads, though packed, continue on a level with the surface of the surrounding snow, and when softened by the warm sunshine of spring, they became impassable for teams without the Norwegian snowshoes for horses.”

Another article stated, “Over the mountains piled with snow, the carrier and horses stride on their cumbersome shoes; bringing to those in the snowbound camps, tiding of home and the latest news.” 

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