Helping Horses With Hoof Packing

Manufacturer representatives and farriers share suggestions for success when using various products and educating owners

Oakum and pine tar have been packing material longer than anyone can remember and other ingredients like Venice turpentine, Epsom salt and iodine have been included in hoof packing for a long time, as well. Through the years, companies have introduced compounds that are effective in various needs for packing by providing some protection, support and treatment of the area. 

Here are a few issues to consider when using packing:

What are you trying to accomplish? You have to analyze your reasons for packing the foot and have a goal you want to accomplish. Especially if using a manufactured product, it can be costly. Depending on the process, and material, it can be time consuming as well. Consider how it will benefit the horse. Here are a few reasons packing may be used: 

  • To moisturize the foot so that it will be more pliable and make the horse more comfortable.
  • To take excess moisture out of the hoof.
  • Therapeutic goals, including controlling microbes, fungus or reducing pain or inflammation.
  • Providing support.
  • When he receives phone calls regarding a product, Frank Dugan, Vettec’s director of sales, will ask three questions:
  • What kind of horse is it?
  • What’s it used for?
  • What environment is the horse in?

Address other factors first. Don’t view the packing as a magic bullet that can be applied and immediately fix a problem. If there are other issues that are going on you must address those. For example, a problem can arise when farriers put hoof packing…

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