With the current drought a hoof bath for daily soaking will not only keep your horse’s hooves healthy and supple, but easier to trim too. Here is an inexpensive version that takes minutes to put together once you have the following materials on hand;
4 poles or ‘sleepers’ – 2 long ones approx. 2m and 2 short ones of approx. 1.5m
2 pieces of old carpet 2.5m x 2m
1 piece of plastic pool liner or heavy duty tarp 2.5 x 2m
If you set the hoof bath up in front of your water trough the horses will need to put at least their front hooves in when they drink.
First put the poles in place as shown in the photo above, followed by a piece of carpet, then the pool liner topped with another piece of carpet.
Allow the horses a day or so of walking on it dry to get used to stepping into this strange area – you may even need to lead them through it first.
Then wet it down so there is no pooled water so they get used to the wet feeling before adding more water to make a shallow pool. You may need to lead the horse’s through at each stage to ensure they can cope with stepping in to get their drink.
Alternatively, if your horse drinks from a stream or dam and their hooves are still very dry, you can set up the hoof bath for a longer soak just before trimming. By feeding them in the hoof bath, they will be happy to stand once they get used to walking through.