Hoofmanship

Horse Herbal Gardens
Who needs a trimmer

Horses with good posture and correct environment can self maintain

Ian is a practicing AEP with over ten years experience in caring for horses hooves, he regularily works in four Countries helping clients to rehabilitate the hooves in order to perform well in all disciplines without the need for horse shoes.

Ian Whatley

Ian Whatley

Ian runs courses throughout the summer aimed at helping horse owners and equine professionals better understand how the hoof functions and how we can use the wear patterns that the hoof may develop to observe subtle changes in posture long before they become lameness issues, this way we can help ensure that our horses maintain the best health that we can provide.

The horses here at ARC are trimmed every six weeks in a specific manner that suits both their environment and their needs, they do not wear boots nor shoes and yet are very comfortable galloping around as you can see in our gallery.

 Definition of Balance

‘Balance’ is a word often used by people when writing about horses feet, it is a reassuring word, in fact the art of ‘rebalancing’ is one of the main reasons we as horse owners repeatedly employ people to care for our horses hooves.

But what exactly do we mean by the term ‘balance’ and is your Trimmer/Farrier achieving this consistently and accurately, indeed does it even matter?

‘In everyday life balance is something most people take for granted. We don’t realize that even walking forward is actually a matter of falling off-balance and then moving our feet forward in order to maintain our “balance” and not fall over. We are constantly off-balance, but remain in control because of our sense of balance.

Us humans stabilize our bodies with feedback received via the vestibular system found in the inner ear. Increasing one’s sense of balance requires practice and very specific types of exercises aimed at stimulating the vestibular system in coordination with other systems such as the muscular and skeletal systems.‘   Wiki answers.com

Farriers tend to create balance using angles, ‘T’ squares and other engineering devices. Some Trimmers prefer to create balance by copying certain ‘models’ whilst others rely upon nature and a perfect environment.

I believe the only way to balance the ‘hoof’ is to apply a trim that aligns the hoof capsule to the pedal bone, Why? Because the pedal bone is the source of all growth and being highly vascular it utilizes the horses proprioceptors allowing it to move in equlibrium.

What happens if we do not achieve correct balance?

Pressure is the stimulus for growth, if we do not correctly balance the hoof wall and other structures so as to achieve equilibrium then the horse will have to adapt in order to continue to move without causing injury, much as you or I would ‘adapt’ our way of moving if we were to wear boots that were to large for our feet.

So why does Balance matter if our horses can adapt?

In order to adapt to imbalance your horse is forced to place uneven pressure on the structures that make up the hoof capsule, thus whilst some structures receive too little pressure, others will receive too much and the correct growth of the hoof will be impaired.

Is it simply the hoof that is affected by imbalance?

No, if the hoof is out of balance then every structure both within the hoof and throughout the horse’s body will to varying degrees be affected ultimately resulting in joint and muscular problems.

After you understand true balance you can relax

After you understand true balance you can relax

 

 

Horse Herbal Gardens