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.