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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Who stole my cheese?

Is the title of one of those grim little books you get thrust upon you when working in corporate land. But there is a message in there for the would be luddites and the flat earthers in the horse world.

And although I am paraphrasing the message is: 'Move with the market or starve.'

My journey to barefoot is probably more gentle than most.  It became inevitable that I kept my old grey mare bare because my then farrier's suggestions about her feet were at best misinformed.  But many have barefoot thrust upon them because of recurrent lameness not helped or maybe even made worse by traditional techniques.

And so it is with livery.  Many of my clients requirements of livery do a 180 when they take their horse barefoot.  No longer do they want jewel green fields, swept concrete, rows of neat boxes and nets full of haylage.  Instead they come to envy those with rubble and weed strewn turnout and rough (but clean) hay.  The desire for a Premier Inn equivalent stable for their horse is replaced with a deep seated wish for a patch of pea gravel.  And a fibre sand school is but nothing compared with miles of safe hacking over varied and even difficult terrain.

And a number of clients, at yards where the concrete is practically polished but the horses get mud fever from standing in shit are voting with their feet (or hooves!).  There is a growing market for livery where the horses genuine biological needs are put first, over and above the human desire for pretty pretty.  And these yards can be more efficient and economical to run. 

More later - got some hooves to do!


Neets Human said...

He he .. laughing at the thought of all those mistified Yard Owners.. wondering why their flower tubs no longer "do it" for horse owners.. I am one of those who has found livery is not the answer.. or at least not as we know it.........

jenj said...

So, so true. If I ever have to go back to boarding my horses again... eugh, let's hope it doesn't come to that!

Doglinjoe said...

You must have seen my yard, with its practically polished concrete, but where my boy doesn't want to go into his "field" (aka quagmire). I am on the hunt for a scabby old bit of moorland now!

Doglinjoe said...

You must have seen my yard, with its lovely clean concrete and a quagmire that my boy refuses to go in to. I am on the hunt for a scabby old bit of moorland now!

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Southern England, United Kingdom