Science-Based Maintenance of Barefoot Horses.

Why science-based? Because the development of this form of maintenance of barefoot horses is the result of a process of reflection: observation, theorisation, experimentation.

Observation of the progressive deformation and deterioration of shod hooves and of the pathologies associated with shoeing, for example those of KC Lapierre when he was a farrier; observations of the "natural" hooves of the horses at liberty in the United States by Jackson and Ramey, both also originally farriers by trade; comparison of the internal structures of the hoof, shod and unshod - in particular the atrophying or development of the digital cushion, among others by the German vet Dr Hiltrud Strasser and by Swedish Horse Hoof... From these observations is born the desire to reproduce the "wild" horse hoof by means of what is commonly called "natural hoof care".

Theorisation of the function of the foot: what are the functions, what are the constraints of each element of the hoof, the foot, the skeleton? In this field, Pierre Enoff has contributed a great deal to the understanding of equine locomotion through his study of mechanics which have resulted in conclusions in complete opposition to the the traditional concepts (the hoof wall is not weight-bearing; the frog is the most essential organ of the hoof; caudal structures should be low).  From this comes a rationalisation of the objectives of hoof trimming: conserving the optimal functioning of the foot, at the same time cleaning the zones attacked by bacteria: this is the "hygienic trim". At the same time, the importance of a holistic approach to the horse must be realised: feet, food, lifestyle...

Experimentation : putting into practice this theory through trimming has long confirmed its validity, on every type of equine - heavy horses, ponies, donkeys - and with regard to all equine activities: excursions and trekking, naturally, but also jumping and endurance. It has also allowed the healing of splits and cracks, flares and seedy toe, and the saving of many horses with laminitis or "navicular syndrome" from euthanasia...

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    I hope this article remains coherent in the reading – I have reread it and understand it, but then I wrote it! Some – no, a lot – of what I have to say will probably offend quite a lot of barefoot trimmers out there, certainly those claiming qualifications. Those who make their living by […]

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  • Transhumance d’Automne 2013

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  • The Royal Dutch Horse Sport Federation (K.N.H.S.) has withdrawn all negative advice regarding travel and show events involving horses. In the past few days there have been no new reports of virus outbreaks and the potential of an epidemic seems to have passed. Of course there are now voices shouting about the excessive precaution that

  • Senior Horse???

    Unbelievable but just two days after I republished an article about safe starting and the life expectancy of the horse, that wonderful dispensary of all knowledge equine, The Horse, publishes an article about “Vaccines, Dewormers, and Nutrition for Senior Horses”. Although the information presented is in itself very dubious (vaccines and dewormers) or just plain wrong (nutrition),

  • “One always has a reason to love horses” proclaimed the poster campaign for the recent Salon du Cheval de Paris Loving the horse is respecting it, says colleague and friend Pierre Enoff in his latest book, “Le Silence des Chevaux” (The Silence of the Horses). Invited to present his “Plea for a new equestrian world”

 

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