Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Responsibilities of owners and hoof care providers (a little rant...be warned!)

I am delighted that more and more people are taking up hoof trimming as careers,  There are more and more facebook pages, forums, blogs and websites cropping up and giving well intended advice to horse owners and other trimmers; professional or hobby.

However, there is a serious lack of knowledge and understanding about very basic and fundamentally important  aspects regarding hoof care, but still there are trimmers and owners picking up rasps and knives and even hoof nippers and working on hooves with signs of equine digital elastosis and deformed hoof capsule for instance and these horses are are at risk of developing acute laminitis if improper environmental stimulus is provided.

In fact I seen evidence of improper environmental stimulus being given to horse WHICH ARE UNDER VETERINARY AND FARRIERY CARE; despite owners very best intentions.

So if you are a horse owner, please learn as much about the hoof as you can, and from the right sources,  so you can ensure your horse is receiving the best care; which means that YOU are giving the horse what it needs.  You are responsible for choosing a foot carer provider so choose wisely.

Foot care providers; whether you are a hobby trimmer trimming your own horses, a farrier, a professional barefoot trimmer or equine podiatrist; you owe it to yourself and to the horses in your care to learn everything you can about the horses foot. On the whole; natural trimmers, conventional farriery trades and veterinary sciences tend to IGNORE THE INTERNAL ARCH APPARATUS and the back third of the foot.  I find this incredible since this is where the horse lands and from when a whole load of physiological series of events begins.  It is also the part of the foot which is affected first BEFORE laminitis occurs, yet the majority do not understand how this part of the foot works (and some wont even contemplate it-egos again!).  But I guess since this part of the foot has in essence been ignored since man began nailing on horse shoes, its no surprise the trend still exists.  In fact several anatomical structures have yet to be 'officially' defined in veterinary text books!!!!!

So please, please...owners, carers, vets, farriers and hobby trimmers...please learn about true foot function and put your pride and ego aside..there is no room for vanity and egotism in animall welfare.

A little test: Do you know what dynamic equilibrium is?  Do you know the function of the coronet band?  Do you know what equine digital elastosis is and what role the coronet band plays in laminitis?

Are there gaps in your knowledge regarding understanding the structure, function and performance of all the structures in the horses foot?

Please, visit www.appliedequinepodiatry.org for more information on this and for info on 5 day and 3 day AEP courses. 

Keep up the good work...the horse has earned it just by having to put up with domestication!

Beccy x

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