Check it Out!
Re: Butler on Barefoot/Strasser/fads...
> I'm happy for your success. I also understand from colleagues in Texas
that on one ride alone, SEVEN horses with Strasser trims were removed from
competition, not from stone bruises, but from suspensory damage. Apparently
the heel wear with a lot of miles and concussion causes far too many
barefoot horses to end up with the equivalent of long-toe-low-heel, even
though the toes do not appear to be long. This sure dovetails right along
with my own experience with barefoot horses--but I've never been willing to
ride one to that point of damage. Sure points out to me that the horse that
can do what you have done with yours is the rare exception, not the norm!>>>
Although there is a tremendous amount of wonderful and valuable information
that Dr. Strasser has to offer, I do have one major concern with the
Strasser trim that is exactly the result of what Heidi stated above. I
recently went to a clinic given by a Strasser Certified Hoof Care
Specialist(CHCS). I was appalled at the length of toe he left on these
horses. I realize that he does not have years of experience yet, and some of
these horses had previously foundered and had navicular. I asked why the
toes were left so long, and mentioned that I could never do endurance on
these horses. They would break down in 5 minutes. He agreed with me, and
really did not have an answer for me other than "I don't want to touch the
toe for now". I have asked this question on the Strasser list SEVERAL times
and have yet to receive any kind of a logical explanation for the long toe
What makes total logical sense to me is to have a balanced front to back
positioning of the foot. To determine if the front to back positioning of
the foot is balanced you measure with a ruler. You measure from the apex of
the frog to the bulb line. Divide this distance by 3 and memorize this 1/3
measurement because the horse will maintain this for it's entire life.
Starting from the apex of the frog, measure rearward this 1/3 distance to
determine the center of mass. When you measure forward from the apex of the
frog, this 1/3 measurement will establish the naturally balanced breakover
point. When ever the distance from the apex of the frog to the breakover
point exceeds this natural 1/3 critical measurement, your horse is saddled
with an additional amount of leverage which puts additional great stress on
the feet, tendons, and ligaments. In other words Long toes = Long levers =
great stresses. Long toes greatly increase the forces upon the suspensory
appartaus of the limbs. Also excess toe, and improper position of the long
toe causes a flexing or massaging of the corium in the toe area. This moving
effect greatly increases blood flow to the toe area. These types of feet are
not able to grow heels because all the blood is utilized to grow toe.
I trim my horses with most of Dr. Strasser's techniques, because I find for
the most part the trim makes sense. But if something (like the long toe
part) does not make 100% logical sense, doggonit, I question it up and down.
If I do not get a logical answer that makes 100% sense, then I go with what
does make sense. For this reason I find it is extremely important for us all
to stay open minded in our learning. Take in the good stuff (valuable
information) from that person and treasure that knowledge and grow with it.
Dish out the not so great information. If something does not make total
sense, and you aren't getting logical explainations, you owe it to your
horse to find out what does make sense. We are all human, and I don't think
one of us is 100% right on everything. While I greatly value the wonderful
information Dr. Strasser (or anyone else for that matter) has to offer to
the horse community , this does not mean I will blindly just believe
everything that person says and therefore will not question anything. When
we get too wrapped up with this close minded thinking, we shut ourselves
down for potentially learning from someone else who possibly does make
sense, or has a better /more logical way to enhance our horses comfort/
performance. Then perhaps our barefoot horses will not have to suffer
suspensory problems from long toes, just because we did things by the book.
Just food for thought.
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