Delivering Sole Support Through Hoof Packing

Understanding the foot’s internal structures and the materials you are using is crucial for properly applying hoof packing for sole support

The foot needs to be dry, but be careful not to over-dry. Dugan says to focus on the surface moisture. The foot may self-regulate its moisture level if you over-dry the foot, such as when using a heat gun, which can prove to be a useful tool in winter if you need to warm a foot for application. He also suggests keeping your hand in front of the heat stream. If it is too hot, back off. And keep the gun in motion, not stationary.

Regardless of the reason for using hoof packing, the options have certainly broadened since pine tar and oakum were the preferred ingredients for many applications. This is especially true when using packing to provide sole support.

Whether it is through old trusted methods, impression materials and liquids/gels, there are a variety of solutions for addressing sole support. Likewise, there are plenty of opinions on the subject, covering differences in what’s accomplished structurally and the effectiveness of the delivered application.

What’s Going On?

Mike Savoldi, who heads the Equine Research Center in Shannon, Calif., is in favor of competent farriers supplying sole support in cases that need it. He says to be successful in treating these cases, one must understand what is going on with the internal structures.

The former resident farrier at California State Polytechnic University does say he is reluctant to use the word support because many farriers will say you can’t support a sole on a foot. Savoldi argues that a horse’s…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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