Links to Articles by Other Authors:
Unnatural Practices, by Steve Hebrock of Enlightened Equine, July 16, 2015
p.s. There is a wealth of great hoof care articles at the Enlightened Equine website.
Breaking Traditions: A Veterinary Medical and Ethical Perspective on the Modern Day Usage of Steel Horseshoes, by Dr. Tomas G. Teskey, D.V.M.Hereford, AZ, U.S.A.
"It is of interest and critical to note that concussion is reduced to a level below what is appropriate in horses fitted with man made pads: There is an important and misunderstood role that concussion plays when it comes to proper and role that concussion plays when it comes to proper and life-giving stimulation to the foot: The natural foot has the exact concussion absorbing properties that are appropriate for that horse on his home terrain. All of this marvelous ability is stolen away when man interferes with the application of artificial materials. Reducing this concussion below what is appropriate disallows the vital stimuli needed for the horse to produce durable hoof tissues, healthy cartilage and ligaments and strong bones. The horse is immediately set up and unwittingly asked to grow a weaker and weaker feet and legs with the application of artificial materials. The even slight increase of pressure on the soles of the horse through pad material is inappropriate and also damaging, as sole pressure smashes the sole up against the solar corium, reducing blood flow in these areas. The sole can respond with what can be termed a "dysplastic" kind of growth: this is an abnormal growth development which can be thicker in the short term, but is never as strong or durable as sole growth that forms when a horse is allowed to have their normal feet along with normal environment and care. Farriers misinterpret this faulty growth as "healing" when in fact it signals the early stages of hoof deterioration--these skin layers are crowded and folded together due to an inability to flex and naturally exfoliate."
Form Follows Function, Characteristics of the Natural Hoof, by Ann Corso, Liberated Horsemanship
(please allow a few minutes to download - it's worth it)
" A multitude of trimming and shoeing methods, on top of unnatural conditions, does little to help horses attain optimal or even healthy hoof form. Some hoof care methods, like those used for racing and showing, focus on the horse’s gait or appearance, instead of promoting healthy hoof function. Trying to derive the optimal hoof form from such hooves is like trying to decipher the form of a tree from a wood sculpture."
Domestic vs. Wild Horse Hooves, by Jaime Jackson, AANHCP
"In the wild, the hooves are sculpted against a rugged, arid environment.... In contrast, in civilization the hooves are hardly abraded at all. There is no order to hoof size, shape, and proportion—as we see in the wild."
Get a Grip, by Dr W. Robert Cook, FRCVS., PhD.
"The foot of the horse is a triumph of engineering. Starting with a four-toed mammal the size of a fox terrier, its design has been shaped by 60 million years of evolution...."
The Mighty Arch, Part 1: A Natural Cure for Plantar Fasciitis?, blog posted on March 4, 2013 by Elf Martin
"Webster’s dictionary defines an arch as 'a curved structure that supports the weight of material over an open space.' Said another way, an arch is a structure that is able to support weight over an open space, by providing support on either end of that open space. Applying this logical definition to the arches of the foot necessitates support on either end of the arch, and is exactly the opposite of the type of “arch support” that is available to consumers, either over the counter (i.e. Dr. Scholl’s or similar product), or from their healthcare professional (footbed, arch support, orthotic). These products attempt to “support” the arch, not by supporting the ends of the foot arch, but rather by lifting up under the open space of the foot arch. This does not make sense."
...Sound familiar? The blog is actually about human feet. But the logic also applies to the arch, or concave sole, of a horse's hoof.
SLOW MOTION VIDEO OF BAREFOOT HOOVES
Excellent quality video showing bare hooves landing on hard surfaces. And, as per the article below, ("Different Theories of the Hoof Mechanism and How They Influence Trimming") you can see that the hoof wall is rigid upon impact; it does not flex.
"Enlightened Equine" Natural Hoof Care Articles, by Steve Hebrock, Liberated Horsemanship Natural Hoof Care Practitioner. EXCELLENT resource for information on: the natural trim, the myth of heel-first landings, hoof angles, laminitis, navicular syndrome, and much more.