Okay, this post has been rattling around in my head for awhile now and a recently received email from a farrier whose website I’ve basically ignored for a long time, sent to me.
All he sent was a comment from someone who commented on his site. Yes, I made the mistake of commenting on his site one time awhile back, then I forgot about him.
I had commented on a post showing pictures of what appeared to me as a butchered hoof. I could not help myself. I asked why he would do that to a hoof. His reason was that he'd had many years of experience. So I guess that made it okay.
Yes, because he made no sense at all in his email conversations with me, I posted the pictures on my blog warning horse owners to protect their horses from anyone who would do that to their horses hooves. But if they do, the horse most certainly would need some sort of protection. Shoes being the preferred choice of hoof protection by that horse shoer.
It easy to figure out that a hoof that has been gutted will be a lame hoof. Enter horse shoes!
So after many months after I forget this guy exists, here what I received. So bizarre!
A comment regarding "Coffin Bone Rotations", an entry at Farrieritis, was written at 7/2/2009 6:25:36 AM.
Hello John, You were to nice to Pat. lol
She is the kind that knows it all for heaven sakes. People are the reason for horses bad feet most of the time and then some are as you said just founder and with rotation. My daughters horse is now getting the shoes you spoke of and it all began with a virus, then colic and now rotation, and this was no ones fought, just happens and good folks like you can most of the time fix it. We now have the Vet and Farrier working relentless to fix this horse and keep her out of pain, Thanks for your comments I think you are a hell of a good farrier or you would not have been able to explain the problem with the hoof you showed and with the x ray.
Ironically, the commenter states that her - quote “…Vet and farrier are working relentless to fix this horse and keep it out of pain.”
I only have one question for Marcia. “How’s that workin’for ya?”
Okay, so why was this sent to me? Oh, yeah, I figure if he can convince enough people that he is right, then he will feel good about what he’s doing to the hooves of horses -- backed by his many years of experience, doing this to horses, of course.
I’ve said it a million times, but I’m going to say it again here.
Why do we shoe our horses? The main reason we shoe are horses is for our own convenience. Period!
What's wrong with that? Nothing. If your horse isn't suffering from the shoes.
Going natural isn’t as easy paying someone to nail shoes onto their horse’s feet. Going natural means owners have to take a more interactive roll in their horse’s hoof care. They must educate themselves about the most important part of their horse's anatomy that let's face it most horseowners know as much about as brain surgery.
In the past years, for more and more horse owners whose horses are barefoot, their horses are worth the time and trouble.
Still, I keep hearing people blame bare hooves for every ailment imaginable - no matter which end of the horse is afflicted. From a blind eye to runny poop. "Oh, that must be caused from your horse being barefoot." What?
Everyone knows horses survived for millions of years without our intervention of nailing shoes onto their feet, but now that we’re involved in their care, they can’t get along without horse shoes being nailed onto them. For Heaven's Sake!
That sarcastic remark right there should tell us something about what we are doing wrong to their feet to cause a need for something as extreme as nailing iron to the bottoms of their hooves.
Horseowners are figuring out that there is a better, healthier way. The problem is they are figuring it out faster than the equine medical educational institutions and the farrier schools.
What is wrong with shoes?
The shoe isn’t so bad if the application is done correctly (9 out of 10 times, shoes are not applied correctly) AND if the shoes could be removed at the end of every ride, which we know they can’t be, unless we are farriers as well as horse owners.
Shoes create constant pressure on the hoof and
CONSTANT PRESSURE KILLS LIVING TISSUE,
CONSTANT PRESSURE KILLS LIVING TISSUE,
CONSTANT PRESSURE KILLS LIVING TISSUE.
The hoof IS held together by live tissue – the sensitive laminae.
The shoe supports only the outer edge of the entire hoof (peripheral loading) causing the horse’s entire weight to be supported by that living tissue this is connecting the coffin bone to the wall- the sensitive and insensitive laminae.
My horses were once shod. I remember my mare pulling her foot away when the nails were being driven into her foot. That alone told me, shoes were not a good deal. But it was when she tore a good portion of her hoof off when she stepped on her shoe with her other foot, (see the June 09 issue of Equus for an example of why you should grab the lead rope and runaway with your horse if you hear your farrier bragging that his shoes don’t fall off) was when I knew I had to figure out a better way for her than shoes.
That was over 5 years ago and she’s not worn shoes since nor will she ever be shod again. Funny, she is NOT lame.
So let me ask you something. If you’ve got a horse whose coffin bone has rotated, (if that's even a true diagnosis and it's usually not) how can you, with any compassion for your horse at all, look that horse in the eyes and say, “I realize you’re in constant, excruciating pain, and you can’t get off for aching feet for long, but I’m going to pay someone to pound nails into your hooves now too. So that your aching feet can locked up with these nice pieces of iron, until you start getting better or until you die trying.” ?
I, on the other hand, would look that horse in the eyes and say, “How about we put these boots on your feet with these soft pads in the bottom, so you can comfortably move around until you either get better, or it's determined that your condition is chronic and we chose to end your suffering.”
Who do you think that horse will thank later - whether it be from its pasture or from its grave?
When it comes to hooves, I’m the first to admit I do not know it all. I sure don't know much about hooves compared to people like Dr. Robert Bowker or Pete Ramey (hoofrehab.com) and others like them, but when I hear and read comments like the one emailed to me, I’m convinced that I know a hell of a lot more about hooves than most horse-shoers; more than some horse owners (most horse owners know more than their shoers) and a large percentage of veterinarians.
Especially the veterinarians who feel compelled to taking their hoof knife and gouging out an abscess. Why do you people do that? Leave it alone! How many holes do you have to make before you figure out you’ll never get past it. It’s working its way up the hoof to soft tissue where it will rupture. Digging out the hoof until you get to blood only opens the hoof up to infection. Isn’t it enough that the horse is already dealing with the abscess? Is it better that we add a giant open crater to the problems it already has?
Okay, sorry, I'll save that one for another rant.
Here is another experts take on "coffin bone rotation"
Andrea commented on this post: Here are the pictures she sent. One is of her shod gelding and one is of her barefoot mare. Most of you can guess which is which. Andrea, we are all so very sorry about your gelding. He is the reason you're doing things so much differently with your mare. Bravo to you!