Soaking hooves is often part of the treatment for a variety of hoof ailments, namely abscesses. A nice soak in a custom concoction sounds like a great idea (on paper) but in reality may horses despise standing in a feed tub. Feed tubs are for FOOD, and your horse knows it!
Make sure your horse really needs a soak. Any hoof issues should be tended to by your Veterinarian to determine a diagnosis and treatment plan. Some conditions need an ice bath, others need a hot water soak.
Ground rules for everyone’s safety:
Some tips for making the soaking time pass easily:
How Do Epsom Salts Work?
Epsom salts, available at most tack shops, feed stores, and pharmacies, is magnesium sulfate. It’s chunkier than regular salt, and dissolves easily in water. In the horse world, epsom salts are commonly used for helping to treat a hoof abscess. When epsom salts get wet, the absorb moisture, which is the “drawing out” part of treating an abscess.
Ichthammol is a dark and sticky black salve that draws out infections. It’s made of a base ingredient, like beeswax or paraffin, mixed with sulfur rich shale. The shale starts as sedimentary rock, and through a series of steps becomes an oil of which ichthammol is made.
Horse Hoof Anatomy - The Frog
When you look at the horse’s hoof in great detail, there’s a lot more going on than just the sole, wall, and what’s inside. The frog has some critical functions in the hoof as well as the rest of the horse.
The frog is the spongy triangular shaped tissue on the hoof bottom. The apex, or pointy part, points to the front of the hoof. The base is wider and extends out the back of the hoof. The hoof’s center of gravity is at the approximate apex of the frog.