It isn’t fun to brush dried poultice out of a tail. But then again, a tail is a horse’s best defense against pesky biting flies. My poultice regime starts with fashioning a less-than-attractive-but-cheap-and-effective fake tail.
Step 1: Cut 2 foot segments of baling twine
Step 2: Braid tail. Thread baling twine about halfway through the braid.
Step 3: Thread braid through middle of the tail. The baling twine should hang down from the folded and tucked tail.
Step 4: Wrap with self-adhesive bandage like Co-Flex or Vetrap. NOTE: Only wrap below the tail bone. Feel the tail from the top until the tip of the bone. Give yourself an inch for good measure. This is where you start your wrap.
Now you have a clean tail protected inside a do-it-yourself fly swatter! Time to poultice.
When we weren’t injured, my mare and I were eventers. Go to any Horse Trial and you’ll see horses with all four legs coated in clay, then brown paper, pillows, and standing wraps. While this might be effective, it is a long and tedious process. With an injured horse that requires everyday application, this is incredibly inefficient. Here’s a time-saving option:
First, cold hose all four legs. Make sure they are free of dirt and sweat.
Next, wipe off the legs so they aren’t dripping wet.
Apply poultice (I prefer Sore No-More) covering all ligaments, joints, and tendons where you want to reduce or prevent inflammation.
And that’s it! It will dry and tighten. When you groom the following day, the dried clay will crumble and brush away easily.
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This is reallly elegant and very simple. How creative! Thank you!
Thank you, cowboywannabee! It’s amazing what you can do with some vet rap and baling twine.
Do you ever worry about the twine getting stuck on something or pulled by a fellow horse? I’m worried it would pull the tail hair. 😦
Good question! I would only leave this tail wrap on for 24 hours at a time, and have not had a problem. I know owners of “baroque” breeds like andalusians and friesians will leave a tail wrapped in this manner all winter! I would not wrap the tail of a horse that tends to rub because you’re right: high likelihood of pulling. Hope this helps, and thanks for the note.
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