"Horses Dream Of Being Trained The Way A Donkey Demands To Be Trained" Melody Johnson

Summer Hoof Abscess – August 2010

Update – No more abscesses READ custom shoes for Rio.  

Rio seems to get an abscess every August or early September.   Living in the wet climate in the Pacific North West and then hot sunshine (August & September) causes moisture and sand particles to get into the white line causing the abscess. We have our equine on a six-week trimming schedule with our farrier. Rio digs really deep holes around two feet deep and three feet wide in his paddock when not able to get out in his wooded paddock. Scott kept him in the dry paddock more this spring as we were at the hospital, doctor appointments in Seattle and people helping that have no experience with equine. It is our belief that when Rio digs in the ground and it has rained and it rained a lot this spring moisture gets into his right hoof from digging then some nice weather the hoof dries up. Problem is the hoof is now closed and the moisture and they call it gravel is now trapped in the hoof like a pimple on the humans face. We place poultice on the baby diaper, wrap equine vet tape and duc tape. Some of you are saying hey don’t you know about boots for abscesses? Yes, I have tried boots for my mare Lily and she got a rub that cost $900.00 in vet bills and kept her lame for over a week. She did not have an abscess she had a trimmer (natural certified nice web site) that lamed her and she could not walk thus came the boots. I will stick with what works and is cheap.

Did you know?

All equine can get an abscess; shod, natural trim just seems to occur I would guess it happens in the wild too. Again, something I do not recall in the 70’s with my horse ever!

The equine with an abscess or stone bruise can not walk on the hoof that is damaged, looks like they broke their leg. I always call the vet as soon as I think my equine has an abscess as draining the abscess in the hoof stops the massive pain and removes the puss and infection. A small hole by my vet heals in a week normally with wrapping and iodine. This year we wrapped his foot with poultice Epsom salt http://www.equinenow.com/store-item-8728 and the abscess came out in 24 hours his coronary band. We kept the foot clean and re-wrapped for five days and continue to keep the coronary band clean. Much controversy is over whether or not to let the vet cut out a shallow hole or wrap soak. I believe relieving the pressure immediately is better as I do not want them to suffer more than necessary. Waiting for the abscess to blow out the hoof causes more pain than necessary. In my opinion only a DVM should be cutting holes in an equine as I have experienced the worst of a farrier cutting holes, truly a mutilation.


Equine Emergency Kit For Abscess Hoof:

 Farrier cut this abscess out

Our DVM cut this abscess out – much smaller hole and easier to heal

It is my hope that by sharing these photos and information the donkey, horse and mule who has abcess can have less pain and the owner can learn what to do to help them.  Abscesses hurt the equine tremendously but with an experienced DVM at your side and learning how to wrap the foot and keep it clean your equine is taken out of pain and back to running and playing in at least a week.

Rio turned four this year and Rocket Man is now 16! We have owned Rio since he was nine months old and we are patiently waiting for him to grow up physically and mentally as we will not jeopardize his health for our personal gratification to ride him. Our goal is to ride in the Olympics for three and four hours or more at a time when Rio is six years old full-grown. We do not want any sway back and knee problems for Mr. Rio as he is being brought along in training slowly and given time for his body and mind to mature. If you want to ride an equine now make sure you purchase an equine at least five for a horse and six for a Mammoth donkey. The larger the equine the longer you must wait!

What can I do with my equine to young to ride?

1. Trust and clear leadership not abuse – Does your equine try to catch you or vice a versa?

2. Staying calm and removing all your emotions just you and your equine

3. Picking up all four feet

4. Teaching how to receive a carrot or apple

5. Pointing and directing for gates, forward, backward, sideways

6. Voice commands, whoa, walk, trot, canter

7. Sit on a fence above the youngster and let him/her get use to you above him/her

8. Taking lot’s of walks and having a bite of grass here and their where you want to go, practicing your verbal and physical tasks

9. Trailer load point and let the horse walk in, back out very calm, eat in the trailer don’t go anywhere for the first few times

10. Encourage the equine to smell your equipment before placing on them, saddle, pads, bridle, approach retreat

What is the safe age to start riding my equine?


The best on-line learning center for the equine in my opinion is Parelli!


I have successfully trained my horse and donkeys utilizing this method.  Please note; I am not a Parelli instructor just a home student sharing what has worked with my equine.

Information from a DVM regarding Hoof Abscess:


God bless you and your family, two & four legs!


6 Responses to “Summer Hoof Abscess – August 2010”

  1. Farmgirl_dk

    I can’t believe I haven’t happened upon your blog until now. I am in a panic because my sweet donkey, Beau, came limping back to the barn last night, barely able to put any weight on his right front foot. I lifted his hoof, picked it out, felt all the joints up to his shoulder and was unable to see anything or have him react with pain. I gave him a dose of banamine and stalled him for the night. This morning, he is putting weight on it again, however, the hoof feels much warmer to the touch than the other three do – which I believe is a good sign of an abscess. I have a call in to my vet – I guess I wait and see now.
    Could you please list what you have as items in the photo of your “Equine Emergency Kit for Abscessed Hoof”? The photo is a bit too blurry for me to identify all of the items you are showing.
    Thank you so much in advance!


    • Donkey Whisperer Farm

      Please call your Vet when your donkey, horse or mule can not walk NEVER LET THE FARRIER CUT ABSCESS OUT as they are not trained in hoof podiatry.

      When trying to draw the abscess out I always put poultice on the gauze pad closest to their hoof, wrap with vet wrap and then make the duc tape boot. After the Vet cuts the hole out or if the abscess comes out on its own then I move to iodione on the gauze pad to dry out the hole. Most important to keep the equines hoof clean and dry for at least 5 to 7 days.

      Additionally I clean their feet out daily and spray diluted iodine (place in a spray bottle) on the donkeys hooves when we hit rainy season at least 2 times per week to stop thrush and keep their desert feet dry as I live in the Pacific Northwest, Washington lot’s of rain.

      Hoof Abscess Kit
      Gamgee cushion padding or you can get a baby diaper cut to size
      Vet wrap
      Gorilla duc tape
      Poultice Mag 60 paste – draw abscess out
      Iodine – dillute when applying directly to the hole

      All information written on the Donkey Whisperer Farm Blog and web site will not be held liable per the terms of use
      I am not a Vet and I am not responsible for any harm that occurs to an equine by using the above method



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