Some Inspiration . . . .

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The following notes are just some inspirational and educational quotes from my PENZANCE Students in the early 2000's as well as others. I hope you enjoy! (And note that some things regarding hooves never change!)

From Catherine Scanlon:  Questions for the assigned essay was, "What do You Feel is the most Effective Influence on Your Horse's Hooves and Their Health?"

Many factors can affect hoof growth; including genetics, health, exercise, environment, mechanics, trimming and nutrition. The reason nutritional deficiencies show up in the hoof so often is due to the hoof being a very metabolically active tissue. The hoof wall of a normal adult horse grows at a rate of approximately 6 to 10 mm per month. As this hoof is being worn away it must constantly be replaced.


Illustration from "Feet First, Barefoot Performance and Hoof Rehabilitation" by Nic Barker & Sarah Braithwaite

Many factors can affect hoof growth; including genetics, health, exercise, environment, mechanics, trimming and nutrition. The reason nutritional deficiencies show up in the hoof so often is due to the hoof being a very metabolically active tissue. The hoof wall of a normal adult horse grows at a rate of approximately 6 to 10 mm per month. As this hoof is being worn away it must constantly be replaced.

The role of nutrition promotes hoof wall growth, integrity of the hoof tissues and mt all key nutrients be present in the correct amounts. If the horse is lacking in one or more of the nutrients, hoof quality and growth will be compromised.

The role of nutrition promotes hoof wall growth, integrity of the hoof tissues and maintains structural integrity of the foot, all come from a well-balanced diet.

Deprived of nutrients, the hoof grows more slowly, and the horn that is produced will be weaker and of poorer quality. Nutritional influences that affect hoof growth include energy intake, protein and amino acid intake and metabolism, minerals such as zinc and calcium, and vitamins such as biotin and vitamin A. It is important that all key nutrients be present in the correct amounts. If the horse is lacking in one or more of the nutrients, hoof quality and growth will be compromised.

From Dennis Manske:

"The structural appearance of the foot is continually being modified by the interactions of the foot with the environment and the environmental influences on the foot and hoof wall. The term "environmental influences" includes just about everything that the horse has come into contact with since birth, including the extent of movement, ground surfaces, trimming and shoeing procedures or the lack of these practices, nutrition, etc. As a result, the conformation of the hoof and the foot can change when a horse is moved to a different environment and/or to living conditions different from those to which the horse was first exposed. The hoof wall and foot will then undergo additional adaptive changes and gradually become modified to the new environmental conditions."

From Barbara Money on Balanced Hoof Loading:

"The mechanics of balanced hoof loading are a complex yet highly efficient series of events that serve to absorb the shock and concussion of the hoof striking the ground, facilitate the instantaneous distribution of weight and dispersion of force, and supplement the work of the heart in the circulation of the lower limb. This efficiency of function is important, in that all life forms must conserve energy as much as possible while still performing the functions of living. To have the optimum performance in the hoof allows the horse to travel to food and water sites, and to escape predators, while expending the least amount of energy."

From Ed Preble on Balanced Hoof Loading:

First one must define what is a balanced hoof, and from our week 2 readings (Glossary of Podiatry Terms from Dr's Steve O’Grady et al, comes the following, “balance – a concept that describes the relationship between the hoof capsule and the underlying musculoskeletal structures.”   The definition goes on to say that balance is a “harmonious relationship” in the hoof/foot structure. The bones, ligaments, blood vessels, hoof wall, frog etc. express a sound solid structure which supports the horse.

The hoof must support the horse at rest and in motion with the outer structure of wall, sole, bars, frog and inner structure:

From Ed Preble on Balanced Hoof Loading:


(Hoof Anatomy – NC101 readings - From Dr. John Stewart, MA VET, MB, MRVCS)

"In testing the feet the first thing to examine will be the horny portion of the hoof. For soundness of foot a thick horn is far better than a thin. Again it is important to notice whether the hoofs are high both before and behind, or flat to the ground; for a high hoof keeps the "frog," as it is called, well off the ground; whereas a low hoof treads equally with the stoutest and softest part of the foot alike, the gait resembling that of a bandy-legged man.  "You may tell a good foot clearly by the ring," says Simon happily; for the hollow hoof rings like a cymbal against the solid earth." - Xenophon, ON HORSEMANSHIP

“Bed your horse in the terrain you wish to ride” -  Dr. Robert Bowker


"My horses (barefoot of course!) live out in herds, eating natural diets with free choice hay, minimal chemical exposure, and stress-free training. I am, effectively, a rebel within modern dressage -- seeking something better." -Yvonne Welz

I hope you all have enjoyed these short notes and quotes.

As for "seeking something better" ... Isn't that something we ALL should be seeking for our horses?

Gwenyth Browning Jones Santagate is the best-selling author of 10 Secrets to Healthy Hooves as well as a noted author for various international equine publications including The Horses Hoof, Equine Wellness, Natural Horse Planet as well as a contributing author for the 2001 United States Federal Mounted Border Patrol Training Manual. For the last 37+ years, she has maintained healthy hooves with natural trimming on thousands of horses and specialized in pathological rehabilitation hoofcare for the last 18 years. She and her husband John keep a small herd of their own equine in NE Connecticut and continue to offer consults for horses in need. For further information please click here:  www.thepenzancehorse.com

 

 

 

 

 

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