Equine vet Ron Riegel has seen many feet being packed throughout his career. He has a few ways to make your life easier when packing a foot.
Make Sure The Foot Is Clean. “I’ve watched people at the track just slap packing on the foot without even cleaning the foot out,” says Riegel. “That’s not going to do a whole lot of good. You don’t want to damage the sole. You have to clean the sulci of the frog out, so that the packing can get down to where you want it to work. You choose a packing material, if it’s clay like this one here, you just slap it in the bottom of the foot, stand him on a piece of paper and put him back in the stall.”
Distribute It Correctly. “Another way of doing it is basically putting a ball of material on there and letting the horse stand on it to distribute it,” says Riegel. “You just want to be careful that you don’t get any of the material coming up on the heel of the foot. Maybe you’re going to put this on underneath a pad. So you put that down, place the foot down, let the horse equalize it out and adjust the amount that you have in there before you put a pad on it and then you seal the back of it. But don’t allow it to ooze out over the bulbs of the foot.”
Mind The Elements. “Even among the traditional packing, a lot of these are difficult to use in the wintertime, they get really hard so you have to keep them at a warmer temperature in order to make them easy to use,” he says.