Tips and tricks for field board?

My horse is going back on field board for the first time in six years. What are your tips and tricks, especially for managing legs/skin funk when it comes to the rainier times?

Anything fungal I mix desitin and athletes foot powder and you have a cost effective antifungal that actually stays on!

I’ve been using the Nu-Stock paste for a year or two now, it nips any cannon crud instantly, but it’s very infrequent that I need to use any.
Some people in Florida hose their legs several times a day. IME, that sure can do a number on their feet.

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I added copper and zinc to my horses feed (he only gets “grain” when I’m out, which is 6 days/wk), to balance the high iron at the barn.
Although last fall he started experiencing some respiratory issues, so I’m taking him for allergy testing in May. He only seems to get scratches and rain rot in the fall, so I’m wondering if the allergies/immune response are enough to let things take hold.

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Nailing down the copper and zinc has totally resolved any funk that pops up in my horses. It’s taken some time to figure out that two of them need more–they get a full scoop of both cu and zn rather than a half scoop–and truly, looking at the spreadsheet, I don’t know WHY they need more, things really looked fine with lower levels of supplementation. But I’m totally willing to let the results speak for themselves, and listen to the horses!

I’ve never, ever had results using zinc paste for anything funky. Using something emollient–udder balm, or corona, works far better for me.

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Being on field board won’t necessarily result in fungal issues; my horses are out 24/7 with access to stalls, and most of the time none of them have issues. It’s good to have an anti-fungal on hand but I wouldn’t assume you need to proactively manage skin funk unless your horse is known to have it.


Good fences.

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There is no reason why horses living out 24/7 with shelter have to live in mud. My horses have always lived out since being at home ( 3 decades now) and I have never dealt with skin issues, rain rot , scratches etc.

Their dry lot is mud free as well as their shelter and the pasture does get some mud by the dry lot gate area, but it is minimal and we will be adding gravel screenings after fencing is done.

Your best bet is to try and keep the mud under control where they spend a lot of time.

An extra fly mask is always helpful. I feel like I’ve spent more in masks than I did on my horse!


Completely agree, however I just want to point out that mud isn’t the only thing that causes rain rot, scratches, etc.
My farm is sand.
Skin issues can still occur even without mud.

This! Certain facilities I show at, I always have at least one horse that gets one or two scratches no matter how diligent I am on keeping their legs clean and dry.
Ironically, the facility that’s outside and frequently muddy, no one gets scratches…it’s the indoor facilities.

My horse lives outside 24/7. He has access to a very roomy hut that he shares with a buddy. That is very important. But I live in an area with lots of rain and humidity.

He has an option to be out of mud, which generally occurs where he eats. He has almost 1 acre of very well drained pasture but I can’t control where he likes to hang out. He LOOOOOVES to roll in mud. If there is mud, he will find it and roll in it. Leg funk, I wash with chlorhexidine or betadine. I wait 10 minutes before washing off. There are veterinary shampoos you can also buy with the same ingredients.

With wounds or funk, I agree with placing an antifungal or antibiotic on FIRST and then layering with Desitin which is water resistant. I’ve had great results with this. I’ve even mixed drugs with desitin. It sooo works!

My horse has a balanced diet, it isn’t always about copper and zinc. Sometimes, maybe. Always? No.

I think lots of rain, high humidity and overall damp air conditions cause a lot of skin issues for our animals ( even for people). Really not much we can do about that though.

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Ah! Nu-Stock is sulfur in mineral oil! I have been looking for a source and didn’t know there was actually a brand name! Everyone I know makes their own, and I just did not want to go sourcing/dealing with stinky sulfur! Definitely nabbing a tube.

Tall chestnut, white legs. Yup, known to have it. :rofl:

This facility appears much drier/better managed than most, so I’ve got environment on my side but I treated three episodes of edema secondary to lower leg infections last year. It was fun.

Thanks! A good reminder! I’m down to one decent fly mask and need to buy another back-up. Anybody know good ones with nose covers that aren’t HUGE?! around the eyes?

I think its adorable how folks on COTH act like boarders have any control over things like fences or mud control. :sweat_smile: Also how folks somehow think there’s a way to totally prevent mud… Do your horses not wallow in the same spot every darn day until they’ve created a hole in which grass will never grow again? How else are they supposed to grind in as much mud as possible on the one day of the week you thought you had time to ride?

I’ve got plenty of good anti-fungals/topical treatments, etc. Any other tips and tools you guys have used? Someone recently recommended Shoofly boots to me as not only good fly protection but good UV protection for white legs. Thinking this is the year to try them out…


I have a thin skinned chestnut that is prone to scratches in the hot and humid months. I have found Equiderma zinc paste to be the most effective at treating scratches.

I found out by accident that when I started using Shoo Fly Leggins for fly control my sensitive horse also quit getting scratches. I’m not sure if it’s the lack of fly bites on the back of his pasterns or the fact that the boots keep the wet grass off of his legs, but something about the boots makes a huge difference for him.


hiiighly recommend shoo fly boots. Even through gelding herd antics, they stay on. The few times we lost them, I also greatly appreciated the neon pink. Made such a big difference in keeping shoes on for us.

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Someone else told me the same thing. Shoo Flys kept their horses scratches at bay. :slight_smile: I’m shopping for the fluorescent orange ones for the purpose of hunting them down if/when they got pulled off.

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