Thursday, February 14, 2013

Another barefoot article

 This one is from Eurodressage, "Keeping Horses Barefoot: A healthy horse from the ground up." Once again, Shannon Peters is quoted as a barefoot advocate (because Shannons are good people), they've also got a few quotes from veterinarian Melanie Quick who astutely advises that horse owners do their research before taking their horses barefoot. She also says this, which makes me happy:

“I prefer horses living the barefoot lifestyle, as there is absolutely no doubt that when applied correctly it gives the horse superior hoof, leg and back health, enhanced soundness, increased career longevity, and optimizes their performance. If the competition rules can be changed to allow hoof boots in the dressage arena I think barefoot will be massive, and we will all wonder why anyone ever shod a horse.”

Yes, thank you Dr. Quick for saying it and thank you Eurodressage for printing it.

But then there are some other quotes that make me want to pull my hair out. Like this one from FEI Dressage Director Trond Asmyr, "the reason why hoof boots are not allowed in FEI Dressage events is because they may be masking potential unsoundness and it is the FEI’s policy to ensure that all horses taking part in FEI events are perfectly sound and fit to compete. There are therefore no plans to change this rule."

Seriously? Because shoes don't do the same thing? How many of us know of a horse that was not sound barefoot become "sound" as soon as a set of shoes was nailed on? Everyone? Your argument is invalid, Mr. Asmyr.

Just to clarify my position in this argument: If a horse is not sound totally barefoot then the horse isn't sound no matter how they go in boots or shoes.

Then there's this from farrier Michael Jakob that sets me a little on edge: "According to Jakob there are also various reasons why the horse may seem lame lame after a barefoot trim, but he says the main problem could be that the hooves are cut too short."

This bothers me because it's a gross oversimplification of why a horse would be lame after a trim. I suppose I should give the guy a break since this is a magazine article and he can't go into detail about what might be causing a horse pain, BUT here's what really bothers me about that quote: it puts the blame onto the shoulders of the trimmer without consideration of the health (or lack of) in the hoof being trimmed.

I'm planning on writing a blog post about this (eventually), but here's something everyone should know: If a hoof is really unhealthy, it cannot be returned to health without some level of discomfort. If someone tries to tell you otherwise, they either don't know what they're talking about or they're lying to you.

And then there's this, the hoof they used as an example in the article:

Now I know I'm being overly critical, but darn it, I have high standards. The heels are uneven, the bars are too long and edging towards impacted (That crack in the frog where thrush likes to live? Goes hand in hand with bars that are too long.), and the hoof wall connection is poor. Oh, and can you see the toe creeping forward? This horse is landing toe first because the bars make the back of the hoof uncomfortable.

Well, it's still progress. Head on over to Eurodressage and read the article when you get a chance.

15 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops, I made a grammar mistake and had to delete it or sound like a moron.

      I would prefer all my horses to go barefoot. Unfortunately, some have medical issues that require shoes to help them. In my uneducated opinion if a horse is sound and healthy barefoot is definitely the way to go. They should be allowed to show without shoes too. I mean really what's the big deal.

      Delete
    2. I know you do, your horses are very well taken care of and you do what's best for them. Sometimes shoeing a horse is the right thing to do.

      I agree, it's totally silly for them to keep horses from competing based on what is, or isn't, on their feet.

      Delete
  2. Eeek, that hoof makes me cringe a little, too! The heels are WAY uneven. If that's their example of a "perfect" hoof, they have a lot of learning to do.

    The hoof boots thing has always seemed ridiculous to me. Although, to my understanding, it's anything that goes above the coronet. So glue-ons or boots that didn't go up to the coronet would be allowed (I believe). But if they're saying boots aren't allowed because they mask pain, then they shouldn't allow shoes either. If the goal is to make a level playing field, you would have to make them all go bare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, though that would probably disqualify 80-90% of all the horses in competition right now :(

      Delete
  3. On the whole, we do need more articles like this before barefoot can become mainstream, but I totally agree with the points you're making.

    Cassie's hooves looked very much like the above picture, uneven heels, not a good hoofwall connection and impacted bars and I had an experienced professional trimming her! I think that is part of the problem with going barefoot: depending on where you are it could be very hard finding a reliable trimmer and more than likely you'll have to take responsibility and learn how to do it yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that's part of why I learned how to do it myself and also why I keep researching and learning everything I can. I don't want to be one of those "professionals" who doesn't know what I'm doing!

      Delete
  4. All of my local horsey friends have horses with shoes. They are all very impressed by Lilly's barefoot transition and can see what a huge difference it has made for us, but state that "their horse would be dead lame if they tried to go barefoot". So the shoes are keeping the horse sound, but hoof boots could be used to mask a lameness?! That arguement has never made sense to me, and it frustrates me to no end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, absolutely agree that makes no sense.

      Don't give up on your friends, it's hard to change and for many people going barefoot is a BIG change. I seem to recall someone else that needed a little convincing... ;)

      Delete
  5. Oh my goodness, I think I'm finally starting to learn this stuff! I was able to spot several of the problems that you mentioned with that foot! Wasn't that long ago and I would have looked at it and thought it perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the link.

    Team Shannon is on a roll!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're just banding together for world domination. Don't worry, we've got this under control.

      Delete
  7. The fact that established dressage professionals and publications are (somewhat inaccurately) discussing the barefoot option is a great sign that the paradigm shift has begun. Yay!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I so agree with C above!! It is a good thing, though annoying as H***.

    Nice, I am needing to get me some nippers...I am really terrible at knifing Wa's bars off..and they are too large all of a sudden.
    Tell me the post that shows this again Shannon.Is it on the sidebar, "Optimal Hooves"...?

    ReplyDelete