So you have a Vet Kit! Great! Do you have hoof care supplies in there, too?
You might want to supplement your horse’s Vet Kit with a Hoof Kit - being prepared for supportive measures until your Vet and Farrier can arrive. Mainly because the hoof is so critical for your horse’s health, and has a way of seeming just fine, until it’s not. So here are some things I keep for emergency hoof care:
A working sharpie pen, in a color that will show up on your horse’s hoof sole and wall. In the rare instance that he steps on a nail or screw, your Vet will need to tell you to leave it or pull it. If you pull it per your Vet’s instructions, you need to mark the spot on his sole where it went in, and also mark the spike to the depth it went in. You can also use the sharpie to mark cracks on the hoof wall to determine if they are getting bigger or growing out. Sharpies are also good to mark your horse’s hooves with your phone number in case of an emergency evacuation. Try silver to show up on most hooves.
Not just permanent - SUPER permanent.
A pair of laminitis boots for ice therapy. Now, these aren’t just for laminitis. A horse with a fever, diarrhea, or tender feet after a farrier visit or schooling on hard ground needs some ice therapy. Also the horse that ran around like a fool on rock hard ground, or the horse with metabolic issues, or the horse that busted into the hay or feed room. Or some way to get and keep ice on the hooves without your horse spending hours in tubs. Boots are easier for everyone.
Horse shoe pulling tools! Have your farrier show you how to pull a shoe, and invest in a few tools for a few buck so you can save your horse in a pinch. This article can give you the steps to go through to pull the shoe yourself!
Hoof packing. Depending on where you live, your horse, and his affinity for various hoof issues, you may choose to have some epsom salt packing or ichthammol dressing on hand. Diapers and disposable gloves (from the Vet Kit) are handy, too. I can vouch that ichthammol is not an easy smell to erase from your skin. More on hoof goops here!
Reminds me of roofing tar or asphalt.
A hoof wrap and pad. Lost shoes, abscesses, and other hoof ailments that need to stay dry can benefit from a hoof wrap. These replace the need for a diaper, tape, vet wrap, and the like. The pad supports the naked sole, and will even out his legs so he’s not moving unevenly. Most hoof wraps can also wrap around a diaper if needed to hold in some goopy stuff if you need it.
A way to soak your horse’s hoof. A simple feed tub is clumsy, spills, and large to store, so grab a specially designed soaking boot to have. Many shapes and sizes and budget points out there. I prefer a model that has a sturdy bottom, and a way to snug up the top.
Migs is NOT okay with buckets. Buckets are for food, not hooves.
This hoof kit will keep your horse comfortable and safe until help arrives! And now you are prepared for anything!
No hoof, no horse! It's true!