Soaking a horse’s feet is no easy task. Soaking all four of a horse’s feet for 20 or more minutes is an entirely new zip code in the land of challenges. After numerous ripped bags, spilled buckets, wasted mixes, about 15lbs of ice, an entire jug of apple cider vinegar, and every ounce of patience I had (and some extra I had to pray for) I was finally able to soak his feet for the full amount of time with no interruptions or spills. Thank JESUS!
The problem with the bag thing was that any time he even twitched, the weak plastic would be torn by the sheer force of his hoof, even if he was standing on a rubber mat or in a rubber tray (as seen in the picture). The towel helped to buffer this and seemed to somehow discourage him from moving. Mind you, I could not do all four hooves at once; I had to do the front and back sets separately which takes more time.
Here’s a photo of his back hoof at the moment (as of May 14th)
Then, there’s the entirely new adventure of packing his hooves and making duct tape sheets to cover his hooves with…
CAUTION!!! Don’t use the fancy, cute craft “duck” tape with the adorable patterns as I did, or old duct tape; when this stuff gets hot, the adhesive becomes a gel that is really hard to get off the hoof. Also, the outer layer tends to be weaker on the cutesy stuff so you end up needing more in order to get better protection, which in turn costs more so you might as well just buy the real stuff from Home Depot or Lowe’s.
As you can see by his adorable pink plaid and zebra print toes, I used the chinsey stuff (had a few rolls left over in my craft box).
I have been regularly cleaning out his hooves (almost every day) soaking almost every other day with ice, and trying to pack his hooves with NO Thrush every day/every other day and keep them covered. I have been raking his stall every day, I dug the wet spot out of his stall and replaced it with new dirt/DG mixture from the pasture and have been trying to keep it clean and allow it to dry out in the sun every day. I’ve been soaking/rinsing his Bermuda grass for morning and night and he’s had 1 (relatively large) flake of Alfalfa as well as 2 (heavy) flakes of Bermuda, soaked, in a hay bag to munch on 24/7. He also gets a bucket of 1/2 (dry) shredded beet pulp (no molasses) with Equarry’s Combined Rx 4-way, 2.2oz serving once a day with 6oz of Aloe Vera.
I have seen just a tad bit less sensitivity, more willingness to stand still, and less swelling and heat in the area. I didn’t notice how swollen his legs had gotten right around the pastern until it started to go down. There was a big raised lump that seemed like a swollen vein or something that was sticking out on the side and his hooves were very warm. When cleaning, packing, and wrapping the front hooves, he would need a rest about every 5 minutes from the weight on the other sore foot. Now, after a week or more, he can stand on one foot or the other without needing to put the foot down and take the weight off of the supporting hoof.