Hock sores: New ideas?

My senior TB (21, sound, still ridden 3x/week) has hock sores yet again. He’s fine all Winter, but as Spring and Summer roll around, they become an ongoing issue. Depth of shavings in his stall doesn’t really make a difference, as he has a dirt/sand paddock as well - also rolls in the arenas after done working. He LOVES to roll.

I’ve tried the hock shields - seemed to work at first, but then the straps ended up cutting him up and making everything worse. Tried the duct tape trick, can’t keep it on. Corona globbed on doesn’t seem to help. Liquid bandage either. Any other ideas? What worked for you?

*Edit to add a cool update: I actually contacted the company that makes the Hock Shields (Click) and wow - I am blown away by her responsiveness and willingness to help/answer questions. She is sending me a custom pair of fuzzy liners to use on the straps that had been cutting him up - will report back to see if this solves the problem.

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I’ve had good luck with baby powder under the hock shields every day to prevent rubbing. I also put alu-sheild on the sores and any rub prone areas under the boots (It helps that my mare is grey)

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I’ve had good results with duct tape, and I know you said it didn’t stay on, but I found if I kept up with it for awhile, it got sticky after enough applications and would stay. So I might have to apply it every day for a few days but eventually got enough residue there or perhaps the loose hair pulled off, but it would then stay on for days, maybe even a week, and the sores would heal. I’d use gorilla tape, multiple layers. My guy is just getting sores again since it is so dry here (I think his are from rolling in the gravel/screenings paddocks), so I’ll start now and I know with his winter coat it will take several days to get the tape to stick but eventually it will. I was pretty amazed how well they healed and didn’t return once I was able to get the tape to stay on.


When my gelding occasionally got them, I just smeared on some triple antibiotic ointment for a few days and they resolved.

I wonder if the gel Vetricyn would work for you? It creates a liquid bandage and you can see/feel it once it has been applied and dried.


I know it sounds counter-productive but my vet told me to clip the hair around the area very short. And it seems to help, don’t know why. Do the hairs rub on each other and irritate? Is it easier to keep dry?

He was getting them in the winter and the hock shields helped. This past winter I clipped, and he never developed them, did not need the hock shields.

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Try the duct tape again. Clean it thoroughly, let dry completely and then apply. If it’s cold, heat up the tape with a hair dryer first.


I’m game to keep trying - thanks!

One problem I had with hock shields was that sawdust bedding got into the fleece lining, which made the sore worse. I solved that problem by lining the fleece with duct tape, because like others have said, I couldn’t get the duct tape to stick to the horse. It worked like a charm, and his hock sore healed. Also I only leave the hock shields on at night when the horses are stalled. My horse’s sores were pressure sores from lying on his hock, not from the occasional roll in the pasture.

Good to know they make liners for the straps if that ever becomes a problem


What worked for me was this concoction layered on in this exact order:

  1. small glop of aloe vet (or other moisturizing antibiotic ointment)
  2. nonstick gauze pad cut to fit
  3. square of Elasticon - works WORLDS better than duct tape

this arrangement should stay on for about a week, I supplemented it with putting hock wraps on when horse was stalled and it helped a great deal.

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What’s the adhesive they use to stick tags to livestock at auctions? That’s what I always want to have when the gorilla tape won’t stick to my flaxy fattiest. That goo will stick to a horse until their coat sheds out or you clip it off, but in this scenario I think that would actually be helpful.

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Just a square will stick to a hock? I have used Elasticon as an overwrap, but not just a square.

Yep, just a square of Elasticon - maybe 3x4? I applied a dollop of Bickmore’s salve, a piece of non stick gauze over the dollop and then the Elasticon over that but enough to get some grip. Hock sores heal up.

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I used a lot of Gorilla glue to stick a piece of moleskin over the sore. i had to cut it off the hair a week later but it healed underneath.

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Another white for Elastikon. Cut the corners off your piece so they don’t lift there.

I have considered super gluing on (to the hair) a shield of some sort before - I actually think that might work.

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When I got really desparate due to habronema appearing in them on my guy I ended up doing full rear leg wrap. Ugh, it was a lot of bandaging. But it worked.

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Getting some Elastikon off Amazon - meanwhile, cleaned it, sprayed the crap out of it with some liquid bandage and covered w a diaper. So appreciate everyone’s input. So once they heal - how do you prevent them from continually coming back? What’s the preventative maintenance?

I don’t. My horse is pastured. I guess it just depends on how he lays down/gets up/rolls, and where he picks to do it. I’d say it happens twice per year. A couple days of antibiotic ointment and they heal up.

bingo. I find that it stays on even longer if you can ‘set’ it under a hock wrap for a few hours. Elasticon is a game changer.

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short of major management changes, I think some horse’s confirmation and habits make them just prone to them. I had a lanky moose of a very sensitive skinned TB gelding, he loved rolling in course quartz sand that we have here - it always tore up his hocks.

Adding a good vitamin E supplement helped a little, but hock sores were always an issue with him.

Yes, mine is a redhead, I really do think there is something to the old wives’ tales about them being more sensitive. And rolling is his most favorite activity in life. So I can bed his stall up to his knees, but he’ll still roll in the dirt paddock, the arena, the round pen etc etc etc :confused: