Hello Riders , The Foot Doctor here. TGIF and looks like a great weekend on it's way.
I'm going to get alittle real with you , you'll find i do this a bit , remember i won't pull any punches here. Over my years as a Farrier i've witnessed alot and have to deal with clients attitudes and let's just say the pitfalls as well that horseowners fall into. Since The Foot Doctor is about lameness and preventing lameness the point is the pitfalls i'm talking about are the ones that lead horseowners to dreaded , unsuspected horse lameness and sometimes worst of all , permanent lameness and horses being put down as a result.
So i'm setting the stage here right off the bat , don't set yourself up for a fall by thinking you already know everything about horses feet and legs. Don't think that just because your horse has been sound for this long that everythings ok. I have alot of reasons why i am saying this and for some reason (For me so far) it's one of the most critical aspects of horseshoeing and lameness prevention that's the hardest for me to drill in and get the message across. If i could just snap my fingers and you'd get this message loud and clear it would be great - Lameness Sucks OK ? YOUR horse could end up that way.
I need to reiterate something again to get this message across. I personally have a 17 year 100% track record (Not One Single Lame Horse) due to my shoeing method. There's a reason for that - a deep reason that has to do with tying a great many aspects about shoeing all together into a system. This system wasn't taught me in what's considered the worlds greatest horseshoeing school where the 3 month mastery class tuition is close to 10 thousand dollars. Now think about this - if it wasn't taught in the Farrier Schools or textbooks what do you think/feel is the chance your horse is not being shod correctly and at a risk of lameness / permanent lameness? easy - HIGH.
My shoeing record isn't just due to working on a few horses ( you may only own a "Few" horses throughout your lifetime ) - my record is due to working on hundreds of different horses over periods of years of time and spanning 17 years. That accounts for something - namely "Something's being done right".
I need to warn you . I get alot of emails from people all over the world who find my information on the web and tell me horror stories of how their Farrier ruined all their horses feet, how this and that horse is now lame. I have clients locally that have horror stories about when the Farrier came out he trimmed the feet so short both horses could only lie on the ground ( FOR WEEKS ) and she had to come out every day and pull them up off the ground and turbulate (water treatment) the feet. And the list of these kind of horrible events is long and continues to grow. You need to know without a shadow of a doubt your horses feet are correct or the risk of Lameness raising it's ugly head on your horses is surely a possibility.
Don't take your horses feet lightly.
Here's an example: A couple weeks ago a client of mine introduced me to one if his friends ( a woman ) who was interested in me trimming her barefoot horse. When i was introduced to the woman and took a look at her barefoot horse the feet weren't lineing up correctly and there were some definate out of balance issues. When i started explaining to the woman these principles and mentioning lameness she was rather closed minded and for the most part had an attitude of "I've had horses for years and know it all". She wasn't getting the message as i was explaining why her horse could very well come up lame. It happens all the time. What makes her think she's immune to it. Part of my conversation with her was pointing out her horses feet were seriously out of balance and really the only way to get the horse into true balance was through a shoeing method ( to generate hoof where needed as well as moving direction of feet where they should be along with several other principles only achieved through a shoeing process.) She wouldn't have any part of it at first - refusing to accept the truth " Her horse was at risk ". I had to keep telling her "Your horse is at risk of lameness" - if you ride it like this you may get away with it for a long time - but one day you also might go out for your ride and finally the repetitive incorrect motion of the horse's joints and feet finally take their tole and now you have a lame horse. I had to continue to tell her she's not going to like having a lame horse and possibly one that will be lame for life. She finally started getting the message but it wasn't easy getting it through to her. A closed mind is a terrible thing. Horses don't give a warning they're going to come up lame - It just HITS - and HITS HARD.
So don't be like her. Open your mind up here.
I've said this before - in 17 years in this trade not one of my clients already knew what i showed them to be correct shoeing. So stick with us here as we'll go through all the ins and outs and the inside information of correct shoeing and balance. On the other side of this you and your horse will be much better off for it.
Ok - so next post i'll be starting to share photos and examples , the good , the bad , and all the rest . The world of horseshoeing and how it relates to the animal really is and has been a FASCINATING one. Let's get this going.
Thank you again . As usual happy and safe riding.
John "TheFootDoctor" Silveira . See you next time.
PS. By the way - i'm giving away (FREE) Custom Hand Forged Horse Head Hoof Picks from my webpage http://Farrieritis.Care4Horses.com Just go there and sign up - that's all it takes.
Have a GREAT weekend