What do I need to know about poultice?


Quite a bit, actually!  Poultice is a clay or salt based paste that is spread on lower legs (typically) to draw out heat and inflammation.  The clay based poultice is usually pretty thick, and needs to stay sealed in it's container or it will dry out. A salt based poultice has epsom salt as the main ingredient, and is usually green (like a magna paste.)  



The green epsom based poultice is also great to use as a hoof goop. 


The clay based variety is usually used on legs, the salt variety is usually used on the hoof.  I have used the salt variety on the legs, but the green color is not easy to get out....  Most trainers will use poultice after a heavy work out or a swollen tendon or ligament.  You can also use it to quiet hooves and to help draw out an abscess in the hoof.  (Of course talk to your Veterinarian if you suspect a hoof issue or abscess - it may be super easy or more horrible than you think.)




Poultice is one case in which I like to apply more, just to be sure I get all of the cannon bone and tendons covered.  I will also cover the front of the cannon bone.  Oh, and use gloves.  Nothing worse than picking dry clay from under your fingernails.




Poultice is perfectly fine to use a lot of!  Add a bit of water in your hand to smoothe things out if you like. 



Damp paper, newspaper, feed bag lining, paper towel, etc. all work well!


Next step is to wrap, with some sort of paper, then a quilt and a standing wrap.  For the paper, I like wet newspaper or the paper lining of a feed bag.  Paper towels also work, but I wouldn't wet them, they just fall apart.  Quilt and wrap, and you are good to go. 


In the morning, unwrap in the stall and do most of the clay removal in the stall, just to keep the aisle clean.  (It tends to be really hard to remove from mats!)  I use grooming gloves to remove the dried poultice.