heal your horse's bedsores

Dealing with your horse’s rubs and bedsores!

Some horses get rubs, which start as patches of broken hairs, then the hair is gone, then they get small sores, then they get big sores.


  • They are totally a pain in the butt to heal, as they get broken open every time your horse lays down. Common locations for sores like these are the hocks, the fetlocks, and the hips.


horse with missing hair on hip

Pointy areas on your horse are common locations for sores.




Notice where the hairs are a bit shorter than the others.


  • Where does your horse roll and where does he sleep? Time for a bedding change? Time to add a layer or two? If your horse likes to sleep outside, but his bedding is inside, there are some great options for outdoor bedding. Cedar shreds and pine pellets are good options in all sorts of weather.


hock shield brand

This Hock Shield provides cushion and coverage, great for sores that need the medicine to stay put and not get filled with dirt.


  • Protect the skin. If your horse doesn’t have any broken skin, figure out a way to stop the rubs. Options include using a super sticky bandage, covering with goopy ointment, using a body glide designed for runners, using boots or blankets to protect your horse.


missing hair on a hock that may become a sore

The beginnings of a hock sore, just a little bit of broken hairs.


  • For hock sores, you can use fuzzy hock boots. For fetlocks, standing wraps work well, but if your horse doesn’t need them otherwise, you may want an easier option. You can also use a bell boot in an unconventional manner to protect the joint. For hips, get your sewing kit out and sew two leg quilts into a blanket to cushion the hips. Use a fly sheet in the summer to hold the quilt cushions in place.



An upside down bell boot can help with fetlock sores. Be careful with neoprene – it doesn’t breathe at all and may not be best for open wounds, or in the heat of summer.


  • If the skin is broken, work with your veterinarian to make a plan for healing and protection. It’s likely that you don’t want to cover the wound 24/7. Find out about using ointments and band-aids during overnight/rolling sessions/naps and leaving open during the day. You will also need to find out about preventing any scab from splitting, as joints are pointy and like to do that sort of thing. It’s most likely that keeping the scab moist will help here.


elastikon bandage

I love this sticky bandage for covering bare areas before a sore has opened.


  • Don’t forget about fly protection for any rubs or open sores, and be aware of using harsh cleansers for cleaning. You have a few options for cleaning any open wounds, like an iodine scrub or a chlorhexidine solution.



  • I also use a body glide product that prevents blisters (anyone out there a runner or hiker?) on frequently rubbed areas, like shoulders and hips and behind the elbows. This provides a slick surface for everything to slide against.



  • You can also outfit your horse with SOCKS. Yes, special silver horse socks. It’s fine if they get wet or muddy. They help with scratches, sores, rubs, flies, tons of stuff.


horse wearing sox for horses on mat

Yes. My horse is wearing socks. And he likes it. These are the amazing Silver Whinnys by Sox for Horses.



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If you need some protection for your horse, shop here! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which are no additional cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

Fetlock Shield Cordura material. One size fits up to a large warmblood. Protects the fetlock – and also the pastern!

Intrepid International Hock Shield Protector, Horse

Super awesome medical tape

Gold Bond Chafing Defense Anti-Friction Formula, Unscented 1.75 oz (49.6 g)(Pack of 1) – to make rubs slick and slippery