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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Hooves are like

Financial investments..........  they can go down as well as up.

Your job as a horse owner will never be finished - not while you have a horse.  It doesn't take long; a brief holiday and you can come back to chronic thrush, contracted heels or worse.

But the joy of it is if you get the hoof structure healthy in the first place then hooves can take a lot and small set backs are just that.  Small and easily resolved.

If you have the good hoof structure in the first place.

Which is what sooooooo many peeps seem to fail to understand including, but not exclusively; horse owners, vets, farriers, yard managers, instructors............

And good  structure as always is a product of good management/facilitating a healthy lifestyle for the horse.

So sadly some of these will, quite unintentionally I am sure, promote poor hoof structure because they don't know how to achieve something better, or even believe that structure is determined before birth and a bad hoof will always be a bad hoof.

But you only have to look at a few rehab photos to realise that this isn't so.  But what the rehab pictures don't show is the sheer hard work some of these transformations have taken.  Which is why some people think that is then just a matter of taking the shoes off and are horribly disappointed to find that they have to change......

And to continue this theme - I've seen some very nice hooves damaged by inappropriate riding techniques.  This is perhaps the most awkward conversation of all to have.  It is hard enough to say to someone 'your horse is overweight' or 'your horse has thrush' etc, but 'please can you change how you ride your horse' is a whole other matter.  If anyone has any constructive and polite suggestions...........

6 comments:

Lisa said...

Yes yes yes, a thousand times!

Great, simple, clear post. Shared on FB - thanks!

Anonymous said...

"Hmm. Looks like your horse is especially sensitive when you _________________ so perhaps you could try to __________________, and that will prevent his/her hooves from _____________, as we all love to save money!"

RuckusButt said...

My vet recently told me a story about going out to see a horse who was "off." The horse seemed to have back pain but not structural, so he watched her ride. He said that not only was the rider 25lbs over-weight but also a "slammer" in the saddle. He made no bones about telling her she needed to drop at least 20 lbs. He has a reputation and is respected for telling it like it is. He isn't exactly rude about it but he is very straightforward about what he thinks the problem is and does not suffer fools.

The woman lost the weight, her horse never moved better. Her husband also called my vet a few months later and thanked him. Seems he was seeing some benefit as well ;-)

I think if you are clear and stick to facts in a sympathetic way with a bit of tough skin, your clients will take it ok. Every rider I know really does want to do the best for their horse. As long as the criticism is sympathetic and constructive (give a concrete idea of how they can fix it) than you should be ok.

LittleTurkey said...

Perhaps you could tell us what sort of techniques can damage hooves and we can try do be honest with ourselves in the privacy of our own heads...

AngelsPetSupplies said...

I totally agree with 'RuckusButt', being honest and straight forward but constructive is the best bet.

Girl With a Dream said...

I agree with both 'ruckusButt' because sometimes honesty is the best way to go! But i also agree with 'LittleTurkey' sometimes hearing it from other people is hard and will only put people off riding cause they'll blame themselves (rightly so) so maybe people thinking in there heads in privacy is the best way? I think it depends on the person

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