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Hoof-Packing Tips and Advice

Expert panelists share suggestions for using a wide range of products.

The first thing to do when you pack a hoof isn’t to decide what you’re going to pack it with — it’s to give some thought about why you’re planning on packing it at all.

That was the consensus of a panel of four hoof-care experts who discussed hoof packing during the 2009 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati.

The lunchtime panel discussion, which features a group of selected hoof-care experts who discuss various aspects of using a particular tool or product, has become a popular Summit tradition. This year’s topic was “Dealing With Critical Hoof-Packing Concerns.” Panelists included:

  • Ron Riegel, DVM, Premier Equine Health Products.
  • Frank Dugan, product specialist, with Vettec.
  • Jerry Trapani, farrier from East Islip, N.Y.
  • Don Hobson, farrier, Hawthorne Products.

Have A Game Plan

While offering a variety of thoughts and tips on using hoof packing, the panelists agreed that having a goal in mind was the single most important factor.

“You have to think about what your goal is for packing that foot,” said Riegel, who markets Magic Cushion through his Maryville, Ohio, firm. “You have to have a reason. First, because it’s more costly. It can be time consuming. It’s not the most pleasant process in the world.”

Riegel said there are several reasons that a farrier might want to pack a hoof. They include:

  • To moisturize the foot so that it will be more pliable and make the horse more comfortable.
  • To take excessive moisture out of the hoof.
  • Therapeutic goals, including controlling microbes…
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Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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