Being able to apply a hoof poultice is a key part of good horse husbandry, so we caught up with Dr Stuart Thorne MRCVS to get some expert tips
When you’re trying to work out how to poultice a horse’s hoof, quite often the most difficult thing is that you’re doing it on your own. The horse is tied up and you haven’t got enough hands to get everything together and you’re desperately trying to keep the foot clean too.
I’ve watched a client struggling to get a poultice on — they’d got the poultice in place and the cohesive bandage (eg: vet wrap) on top. They were struggling to get the hard-wearing 10cm-wide outer cloth tape (eg: Duck tape) on to protect the dressing. The horse was on a shavings bed and every time they dropped the tape it picked up all the bedding making it impossible to use.
Top tip number 1: before you begin, create a criss-cross square of cloth tape and tack it on to your stable door or wall so it’s within easy reach. Then once you have the poultice and bandage on, all you need to do is apply the whole square to the base of the hoof rather than struggling with a roll of tape.
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