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GoPro – part six: Tips & tricks on hoof abscesses from the world’s best grooms

Thursday, 03 September 2020
Tips & tricks


How can you best care for your horse? World of Showjumping asked several highly experienced grooms to share their tips & tricks. In the sixth part of this series we focus on to medical care and how to handle hoof abscesses.  


Fran Callan, former long-time groom for Jur Vrieling, now working for Jos Verlooy:


“Luckily, I haven’t had so many horses with hoof abscesses. However, when it has happened, Epsom salt in warm water to draw the abscess out, followed by a hot Animalintex, cotton, vet wrap and the EquiFit Pak-N-Stick work like a dream. If I have a bigger problem, FarmVet’s Epsom Salt Poultice has to be one of the most necessary things in my trunk. It draws infection and bruising out quick and effectively. It is also good to use after jumping on hard ground, if we are unlucky to have this.” 

Kay Neatham, former long-time groom for Marcus Ehning:



“Epsom salt bath – if the horse is willing to stand in it – is excellent at drawing the abscess out and healing the area fast afterwards. Animalintex was made for this, so I would use this after the Epson salt bath. Note when using Animalintex, always soak it in boiling water and allow to cool before use.”

Marlen Schannwell, long-time groom for Bertram Allen:



“Good old German sauerkraut and Pampers-diapers is all you need. Hoof pack it overnight, and the vinegar in the kraut pulls out the abscess. When not at the show I like to put a bit aspirin or Epsom salt mixed in the kraut – it does give a good pain relief.“

Aurelie Marchiando, long-time groom for Leopold van Asten:




“For the hoofs, I use a lot of Animalintex or linseed for any abscess or inflammation.”

Malin Henlöv, former long-time groom for Peder Fredricson, now working for Evelina Tovek:



“If we suspect a hoof abscess I first of all want the farrier to look at it so that we are sure and to see if it is possible to cut it open. Then I will do a wet-warm wrapping either with Animalintex or linseed.”  

Morgane Tresch, long-time groom for Jeroen Dubbeldam:


“You can’t control when a hoof abscess is going to occur... If your horse is lame, you can feel if the hoof is hot and check the pulse. If this is the case, call your farrier to come and look at the hoof. If it is an abscess, the farrier can help to make it open. Until then, you can put the hoof in cold water with baking soda. After that, you can wrap the foot with wet cotton and Betadine. Repeat this last point when the abscess is open so all the puss can come out.” 

Lena Laub, long-time groom:


“I like to put the hoof in soda to make it soft and hopefully get the abscess out. I always put hoof soda in a bucket and leave the horse standing with the hoof in the bucket. Then I try to keep it as soft as I can with Animalintex and a hoof pack around. However, I have to say that my last hoof abscess was about 3,5 years ago. Luckily I haven’t had so many problems with this.”  

Sean Lynch, long-time groom for Daniel Deusser:



“I’m very lucky that I never really had many abscess problems in my life. However, when we do, we take the shoe off and use Animalintex with a little soak of warm Epsom salt to try to get the abscess to draw itself out.”

Jenny Ducoffre, long-time groom for Jos Verlooy:



“With hoof abscesses I first let my blacksmith have a look. Then we put the hoof in ice water with some soda or Epsom salt in it. I like to keep it simple so that any person can do it, with supplies you always can have in your stable.”

Nickki O’Donovan, long-time groom for Darragh Kenny:




“You can’t beat a warm Animalintex. Another good one is to mix Epsom salt with Iodine and make a paste and pack with that. Or a warm foot bath with Epsom salt.” 

Heidi Mulari, long-time groom for Steve Guerdat:




“If I suspect an abscess, I immediately take the shoe off and pack it with warm, wet Animalintex. The rest I have to leave for the blacksmith or the vet.”

Denise Moriarty, long-time groom for Kent Farrington:




“Hoof abscesses unfortunately take time. Soak the hoof in warm Epsom salt bath and poultice with Animalintex to draw out the infection.”


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