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RE: Re: Butler on Barefoot/Strasser/fads...

From Heidi:
> 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!>>>

Darolyn's response:  the race U must be talking about is the Montell Cliff
hanger... I love a friendly discussion on all of this... but Heidi, please
don't invalidate yourself or me/barefooting by getting black & white facts
exaggerated.  I've taken the liberty of printing the pull results from AERC
standings on the Cliff Hanger as this was the only ride this spring where
our group had a mass pull.  (BTW... only 11 of 21 starters finished.)

Now as U can see from the results... it was 5 horses, not 7, & 3 lamenesses
not 7.  The other's were overtime.  Several factual truths here that I would
like to share with you & the group.  #1 I was the only "trimmer" on my farm
at that time, the horses had not been trimmed for at least 3 weeks (maybe
longer in some cases) as I had left for Dubai the end of February.  I
cautioned the riders to attempt to trim the horses before they went to that
race and to fit & use EZ boots for the rocks there.  With no one else
knowing how to do it, I doubt much additional trimming was done & there
probably were some long feet in the group.

Obviously, Mark nor myself were there to assist riders that had never before
put on EZ boots.  Three were children & only one adult had any prior
experience with the ez boots.  Consequently they  had trouble, lost the
boots, lost time, had rubs on bulbs from the boots. etc.  The course was
very hard, (winner was almost 6 hours), and they lost time going back to get
more ez boots & I don't know what all... but the day was obviously a
disaster.  Four of them quit/pulled at 1/2 way 'cause they knew they cud not
make the time cut off.

I have no doubt that the toes looked long, they probably were.... & there is
a chance that one or more of the three that pulled for lameness may have had
sore suspensories...  1 of those 3 horses has had a series of pulls, and 1
of the lame horses was just off the track, probably no more than a month.
I'm not saying that none of the 3 had sore suspensories... as the
Veterinarian may have suspected, but I fell it may have just been a
suspicion due to what looked like long toe, low heel.  What's interesting is
DJB Bronze Star (barefoot 100 April 8, 50 miler May 26), DJB Raad Bey one
2nd & one win) , DJB Cytron (3 day 150 May 25-6-7, 50 miler June 9) have
gone on to have an incredible spring and summer ride history.  All with the
Strasser trim, with one exception... we shod Cytron for the USET 80 6/23 in
Gladestone.  Really rocky course there.  No pads, just shoes.  He's now
barefoot again.

Robyn's essay on the long toe issue is "right on"... from my experience...
all trimmers need to be very flexible and use some instinct & intuition on
how to customize each "Strasser Trim".... I've kept my toes shorter than
most from the very beginning.  However, it might be that the whole foot is
pretty short & the toe appears so too.  I felt from the get go that a long
toe might be detrimental to a distance horse & tried to never leave them too
long.  We do have a problem (once again in our wet soft sandy swamp), as the
ground is not hard enough to wear the foot off at all.... for my area, even
horses that are working between 25 & 75 miles per week, I have to trim every
3-4 weeks to keep up with the growth.  Whew!!!  I need help!  40 horses... I
did 3 today & I'm exhausted.  Gotta get Cowboy trained up soon...
Anyway... I liked what Robyn had to say & the way she said it... so I left
it at the bottom in case someone missed it.

Montell Cliff-hanger 25/50
Copyright  1985-2001 American Endurance Ride Conference

 CT Region  Mar 17 2001  50 miles
 Manager: Larry Ristow
  21 starting, 11 finishing

Lame  Matthess, Jim  on  The Silver Sabre
Lame  Brehob, Paulette  on  Qaduum

* Lame  Stoicescu, Laura  on  Djb Cytron Kon Jmf    #1        Lame
Lame  Cadena, Rose  on  WMA Sabbath
Metabolic  Maxwell, Melvin G.  on  Cimarron
Lame  Valenzuela, Denise  on  Tairs Legacy

* Over Time  Dunn, Megan  on  Djb Raad Bey             #2    Overtime
* Lame  Dial, Brittany  on  Djb Rio Desert Legend      #3     Lame
* Over Time  Muncy, Shryl  on  Djb Bahhir    	         #4    Overtime
* Lame  Muncy, Danielle  on  Djb Bronze Star            #5     Lame

-----Original Message-----
From: Robyn Levash []
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2001 12:36 PM
Subject: RC: Re: Butler on Barefoot/Strasser/fads...

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.
Happy barefootin',

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