Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hoof Wrappin'!

I'm notoriously terrible at wrapping gifts. I don't know how to make the ribbon go all curlycue (my mom tried to show me a trick with scissors but I just shredded the ribbon). I can't judge how much paper I actually need and always end up with too much or too little. I get angry, and all "what's the point, they're just going to rip the paper off anyway." When I was a kid, my dad would often wrap gifts in aluminum foil, until the other members of my family shamed him into stopping. I thought - and still think - that that was GENIUS. I always have foil in the house, but I rarely have wrapping paper, let alone other prettifying things.

Wrapping hooves, though? I am a freaking professional at wrapping hooves.

First, gather your supplies.

Treats, Epsom salts, duct tape, and diapers - size two for my girl.
One of those supplies is clearly the most important and Lex would be happy to tell you which it is.

Next, get equine.

If the equine looks like this, apply the first ingredient!

There we go!
If you're removing an old hoof wrap, I like to pick up the hoof and take bandage scissors and just cut right down the middle of the sole. But USE BANDAGE SCISSORS AND NOT REGULAR SCISSORS! Or your horse will have bigger problems than whatever you're packing the hoof for.

Then take the duct tape and make a quasi basket-weave mat out of it. 

Starts like this. 
Ends up like this!
Don't make an actual basket weave, though, because it will take forever and the tape will get stuck to all the wrong parts of other pieces of tape. I just do one vertical strip, then one horizontal strip, etc.

Then you take the diaper and put Epsom salts in the butt end and add a little water. I tried taking pictures of this but they didn't really turn out, but I trust you can figure that out. Next, I take the woven duct tape and stick it on the side of my thigh for easy grabbin. Then pick up the hoof and get to wrapping. This is where it REALLY HELPS if you can hold your horse's hoof with your legs like the farrier does. If you can't do this already, practice it. Get your farrier to show you how so you do it safely and correctly. You're going to need both hands to handle the diaper and the duct tape. Put the diaper on the hoof, with the Epsom salts concentrated wherever the bruise or abscess or whatever is, if you can. Then take the woven duct tape and put it over the hoof, like so:

Then shape it to the hoof:

Next, put several layers of duct tape over the toe, because if she's gonna walk through the boot, it's going to be through the toe. I don't like to wrap all the way around the hoof too much, partly because it uses a lot of tape and also because I worry about squeezing the heel. So when you do take a couple of passes all the way around the hoof for security, try to keep that in mind. I also do another layer or two over the sole as reinforcement. I use about 1/4 of a roll of duct tape each time I do this - I don't want to be skimpy and risk her losing it and making the whole process pointless.

Like that!
 I put the hoof down and make sure that it all looks secure, et voila, a wrapped hoof.
 If you did it all well, when you go back to check on it later that day or the next morning, it should look about like this:
Yay! Still on! No holes!

Lex seemed a LOT better today. Either the bruise was feeling better or the abscess ruptured, but her digital pulses were still elevated, so I wrapped it again just to be sure. I didn't see anywhere the abscess busted out. I'm gonna just keep doing what I'm doing for now, to be sure that whatever's going on is better. Even if she doesn't need the Epsom salt solution in the diaper, I'm going dry-wrap it until Saturday morning, when she moves to the new barn. Her hoof is so soft now from all the soaking that I bet she'd get an abscess immediately if I turned her out barefoot. So, she's gonna stay booted until she gets in a stall for awhile.

And that reminds me: Yes, we're definitely moving. I told the barn owner, and I was all afraid of hurting her feelings. I told her that the other place offered me a good deal and has a jumper ring, and she was like, "Awesome! Just don't stop working here, please!" I set her mind at ease on that score, as I certainly need the money. So Regina is going to come get her on Saturday morning. I'm looking forward to getting settled into the new digs!

What medical procedure have you mastered?


  1. You are so so so so so much better at that than me!

    1. I have, unfortunately, had A LOT of practice. I have my own hoof testers and farrier apron now, heh.

  2. I am notoriously bad at wrapping hooves, you can come wrap for me anytime! and I'll Rap while you're doing it (also bad at that but I'm a creative person)