Hoof ailments such as abscesses are pretty common, and often these conditions require soaking your horse's hoof in a bucket or hoof boot filled with some kind of solution. Horses often knock the buckets over or object to having a hoof placed in the solution. This makes using a hoof boot a better method, especially if your horse's hoof has to be soaked for 20 minutes or more. However, if you don't want to buy a hoof boot, or if your horse's hooves are so small or large that you can't get one to fit, you can try making your own.
Inner-Tube Hoof Boot
Find an inner tube and look it over carefully to be sure no metal or other objects are embedded in the rubber. You want to make sure nothing is in the rubber that your horse can step on and damage his hoof. Cut the tube into two halves so that it has a cylinder shape, and discard the half with the air valve in it.
Take the other half and cut multiple small holes into each end, about an inch away from the opening. Use baling twine to thread into the holes so that you can pull the end closed. Lift up your horse's foot; then slide the inner tube over his hoof and up his leg until it reaches about halfway to his knee. There should be some tube still on the ground, which you will pull up against the back of your horse's leg and draw closed.
Use the baling twine to tie this section around your horse's fetlock, which is the lowest leg joint. Be careful you don't pull it too tight so you don't cut off circulation. Before you close off the top of the tube that's around your horse's leg, pour in the soaking solution you're using. As with any time you're soaking a hoof, don't let your horse move around too much.
- "Practical Horseman" magazine; "Rider to Rider;" Dorothy Hull; July 2008.