Easy ways for hoof packing
There are many reasons you may need to pack your horse’s hoof.
- You could have a missing shoe, which is always fun if you need to go find it. In the big pasture. You could also have an abscess, stone bruise, or your horse worked quite hard or bad footing or just has sore feet for whatever reason.
- Be sure that you involve your Veterinarian asap with any hoof injuries, you want to rule out the really bad stuff like laminitis. And, involving your Veterinarian early helps your horse and your bank account.
- For more on what laminitis looks like, read this gem.
Inexpensive hoof wraps like these are great on a temporary basis.
Gather your hoof packing tools
- Hoof pick with brush
- Diaper or gauze or rolled cotton. If you use a diaper, do NOT use one with a baby in it. I like size 5, fits most hooves, hocks, knees, you name it.
- Duct tape. Sometimes…if you have a handy boot, you may be able to skip the duct tape and use the boot instead. Hoof boots make hoof packing go a bit faster, too.
Diapers are great to keep in your first aid supplies.
- Your packing material – be it ichthammol, magna paste, sugar-dine, or hoof cushion, etc.
- Disposable gloves
- Perhaps a temporary “boot”
Goop, diaper, boot.
First, clean and brush out the hoof and grooves.
- Start with a thorough picking out of the hoof and brushing away of all debris.
- Finish by hosing the hoof if possible. The jet setting on your hose’s nozzle is excellent for this.
- Dry off a bit with a towel or rag and then let things dry for a few minutes.
It’s ichthammol. It’s gross, but effective, and you can just scoop it out with your diaper.
Hoof packing in three easy steps
Use the diaper as a scoop
- This is the easiest way, and doesn’t require a glove, and keeps frustrations low. When your horse steps on the pile of hoof goop in the diaper, his weight will smear things around for full coverage.
Pick your goop.
Apply your goop and secure the hoof
- Now grab your duct tape and wrap the hoof around the edge of the hoof.
- It’s very important to leave the coronary band alone, no duct tape applying pressure there. You will likely wrap the front of the hoof diagonally back to the heels and then wide up front again.
- If you only have duct tape as a protective layer, more is better.
- Now you should be OK till morning with this packing. It may take you a few tries to figure this out. No worries.
You can also put the diapered hoof into a roomy temporary boot.
- Boots or hoof bandages protect the bottom of the diaper from destruction, and most are reusable.
- Some hoof boots are designed to also be used while riding, bonus there.
- You don’t need a barefoot hoof to pack the hoof, although it’s likely if you are fighting an abscess the shoe is removed. Good luck!
These fantastic links will take you to some hoof packing products. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which are not a penny more for you. I couldn’t be more grateful for your support!
Hoof soaking bag for drawing out an abscess.
Another style of soaking boot.
A very affordable and simple hoof wrap. You may not be able to fit a diaper in, but you can certainly pack it with goop.
The best hard shell boot for horses – also great for protection when someone has sprung a shoe.
Steri-Hoof spray for anti-microbial hoof care