I tried the kicking and screaming approach in my early ‘barefoot’ days. Now I silently move forward ... doing my work.
I realized the gravity and the depths of the belief systems passed on from one manly generation to another and it put me in a bit of depression. Sad for the horses, I slightly backed off and could only speak to those who cared to hear.
I did manage to get quite a few people thinking differently and outside the box. Some even learned so much they could have sworn they invented it!
Throughout the years of the early Equinextion forums, people learned trim, diet and lifestyle techniques and many went on to do their own business in trimming and education, even though they were previously opposed to ‘barefoot’.
It's not about shoes or no shoes.
This was long before Facebook and at a time. The first Equinextion website was built on dial up and scanning photographs that had to be developed through the mail until One Hour Photo finally came along. The site was made only 3 years after the first ever image was posted to the world wide web. Not too many people had a home computer at that time...never mind the internet.
Throughout the coming years, I looked for those that did 'need' shoes . Yes, it's true! I did find those horses that are braced in metal and nails for extended periods of time, they become seemingly dependent on the brace. Numbed and damaged to no end and some beyond repair.
I personally have been trimming and documenting the miraculous healing abilities of the enhanced natural horse since 1995. Before and during this time I raised Natural Barefoot Performance horses that went to discerning owners and riders. Raised in an enhanced natural lifestyle, with incredible quality of their feet, bone and 'trainability' because of the lifestyle they led.
Funny thing is that when the vets did pre-purchase exams they always commented that this foot would never ever last in 'rough' or 'dry' conditions and would wear down to bloody little nubs if ridden at all, so advised potential clients that they would definitely need shoes if they wanted to ride. They commented on the 'unusually large' frogs and the 'incredibly low heels'.
They were always concerned when the horses flexed sound, and didn't flinch when the hoof testers sounded like they were busting into the outer wall. The vets would re-adjust and try again, but still no reaction. Suspicious that the horse was drugged, generally advised clients to draw blood.
They saw the horse was healthy, appeared ‘sound’, but his feet just looked ‘not right’. These big strange looking feet, didn't fit in with the common and ‘normal’ feet they saw in their day to day practice...contraction and thrush. That look is common, especially when the veterinarian is called generally for a sick horse.
Fast forward 15 years, I had hoped this had somewhat changed but I still see such lack of awareness of what a truly healthy sound foot is and what it can do, as well as the different shapes it can take on due to climate, seasons and lifestyle.
The digital cushion, frog and bulbs need to have strength and resiliency and most are littered with some presentation of a thrush infection and internal underdeveloped weakness, mainly due to improper functioning feet and an overall lack of early developmental movement.
Many things can be fixed and corrected through proper trimming, but you can not trim your way out of shit pen living conditions or a high junk food concentrate diet for that matter.
Raising amazing barefoot horses ideally should start from birth.
We now have a new awareness of what it takes to raise a super horse.
Stay true to the nature of the horse...Make the Connection!
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