In recent years, a growing contingent of the equine community has begun to question traditional hoof care. Why do so many of our domestic horses suffer from hoof ailments? Why are our veterinarians and farriers so frequently unsuccessful in rehabilitating these horses? Every horse owner dreads a diagnosis of laminitis, white line disease, founder, navicular disease, sidebone; conditions with mysterious causes, and often heartbreaking prognosis.
How awful would these same horse owners feel if they realized that traditional hoofcare, in addition to a lifestyle at complete odds with that which a horse is designed to live, were actually causing these problems?
Researchers like Dr. Robert Bowker of the cutting-edge Equine Foot Lab at Michigan State University are finally unlocking the mysteries of the horse’s foot, and proving that that is exactly the case. Astounding findings are the result of their ground-breaking work. One of the most spectacular discoveries has been the hydraulic-like function of blood flow in the healthy hoof: a never-before documented, highly specialized and extremely effective means of shock absorption which Bowker likens to a high performance gel running shoe.
The equine foot, it turns out, is quite probably the most amazing foot on the planet. An amazing foot that maintains itself with shocking efficiency in its natural state. An amazing foot that in the wild bears little resemblance to the feet of domestic horses managed in the traditional manner. An amazing foot that – brace yourself for this – can be developed and maintained in those same domestic horses – even horses that have already developed the pathologies mentioned in the first paragraph – using a barefoot trimming technique Bowker calls the physiological trim. A revolution is in the making…