September 2008 Journal Entry
Listen to Your Horse's Conformation, Not the Latest Fads
September 25, 2008
I was just doing research for a presentation and while looking for references on hoof shape all I could find was information about "natural/barefoot" methods (caring for domesticated horses as if they were in the wild). The central idea being to establish a hoof similar to that of a mustang.
Domesticated horses have been bred for years to live in a human environment. Wild horses live in their own environment with health demands that differ greatly from those of domestic horses.
Looking around I saw a whole bunch of "healthy" feet that were all the same shape with no regard for the horse's conformation. When removing flares and distortions, I take the conformation and the use of the horse into consideration. A toed-out horse will travel best with a certain hoof shape. A toed-in horse will travel horribly with that same shape.
Trimming a horse to anything other than its individual conformation is ultimately setting the horse up for failure. The horse is always right!