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Hoof Packing: Answer “Why” Before Using Hoof Packing

With the variety of types and uses, think about how you plan on using hoof packing and what you hope to accomplish

Hoof packing isn’t a new product for farriers. Home remedies and combinations like pine tar and oakum have been around for generations. And while the hoof packings used years ago are still effective and hold their own, manufacturers continue to introduce new ideas in this product line, trying to better address the specific problems. It is your responsibility to understand these before you use them.

Various Uses

There are many reasons farriers use hoof packing, including:

  • Providing support.
  • Removing excess moisture from hooves and feet that are too wet.
  • Moisturizing soles that are too dry.
  • Alleviating and treating soreness.
  • Attacking microbes and fungus. 

And there are plenty of other reasons beyond these. Ron Riegel, DVM, of Premier Equine says it isn’t good enough just to use hoof packing, but understand the reason for why you are using it and have a goal to accomplish through the use. There are many problems presented and several items on the market, each with their own function. And some applications of each often won’t be done the same way.

“You need to know how to use the hoof packing correctly,” says Riegel. “There are factors to consider, such as environment, that play a role in determining the use of hoof packing. Some will need a pad, while others don’t. It can be costly and messy if you don’t know what you are doing, depending on the application.”

In his work at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Travis Burns most commonly uses hoof…

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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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