Understanding the Equine Foot Part 6

Watching and listening to Linda J Harris, the founder of TACT trimming, I have learned even MORE about the internal equine foot than ever before. Her dissections and descriptions really show what is going on INSIDE the hoof capsule and what incorrect trimming can do to the foot of the horse. 

It ain't purty sometimes but encouraging that, perhaps, through this knowledge, more horses will be helped and saved because more hoof care people will understand, as I am learning, how VITAL it is to know the anatomy and physiology of the equine digit and the role of that in properly maintaining our domestic horses. 

I always knew the heels were an integral part of the supportive and structural part of the hoof but didn't know HOW supportive and HOW much a part of the structure. I always did emphasize that the hooves NEED their heels and their bars but didn't FULLY understand the intricacies of the physiological results when heels and bars are trimmed down so drastically as is seen commonly today. 

So, what did I do? One of my very first founder cases came functionally sound in less than 6 months of corrective trimming. I displayed photos of the progress we had made but I made a BIG mistake of listening to a number of 30 degree hairline enthusiasts who proclaimed that if I did not get the heels DOWN then the horse would founder again (the pic shows the BEFORE trim of taking down the heels. I should have them them alone). 

I trimmed the heels down again for that sacred 30 degree hairline. 

What happened? 

The horse went IMMEDIATELY lame, once again, and it took another 4 months to get her back to where she was the day I listened to those hoof trimming vigilantes. 

I never made that mistake again. Neither trimming for a specific hairline degree nor take the word of any HUMAN when the horse was telling me differently. 

The information in this series if VITAL for every horse owner, trainer, trimmer, farrier to know, to digest and to understand fully.  It goes hand-in-hand (hoof-in-hand?) to knowing HOW to trim the individual hoof on the individual horse. 

Enjoy. And ... as always, comments are welcomed. 

Please be sure if you've not watched Parts 1 - 5 of this series that you do BEFORE watching this part so you get the FULL gist of what is being shown and shared. You can find them HERE. 


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 20 years. She and her husband John keep a small herd of their own equine in SW Florida and continue to offer consults for horses in need. You can email to Gwen -- gwen.santagate@gmail.com or telephone in the US (239)-573-9687. For further information please click here: www.thepenzancehorse.com

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