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  • - Bob Morris

    [Fwd: [RC] [RC] doing your own hoof trimming] - Rob

    --- Begin Message ---
    I don't know if the data is available or not. I'll try to find out for
    you. Or if you wish you could contact the California State Polytechnic
    University, Pomona. Equine Educational Outreach Program at the W K
    Kellogg Arabian Horse Center. It was the advanced equine physiology
    department at the time (In 1994) that was conducting the study. They
    were figuring on about 40% attrition of hard tissue due to poorly
    trimmed hooves and improperly fit shoes that led to chronic lameness.
    They were stunned when they when hit 95%. Feeling it was just a quirk,
    they continued collecting legs, (The legs came from the slaughter house
    in El Monte CA. That's where the Farrier Science and Craftsmanship class
    obtained it's freezer herd. Beginners got to practice their newly
    learned skills on thawed, previously frozen  horse legs. Now it's
    illegal to slaughter horses as well as sell horses for slaughter in the
    state of California.) Taking hoof measurements, noting toe length, heel
    length, and medial lateral balance. Then they'd note shoe size and fit.
    This data correlated to areas of uneven pressure on the coffin bone and
    across the bones and joint planes of the bony column of the leg during
    the bearing phase of the horses stride. This uneven pressure caused the
    remodeling of bone, compression of cartilage, and tension on the
    collateral ligaments of the joint capsules. These forces caused
    calcification of these structures that in turn produced chronic pain.
    The chronic pain resulted in a lame unridable horse. The lame unridable
    horse went to auction and was usually purchased by killers. (Slim Hart
    was one of the largest in this area. Horse meat exported from the US to
    Japan sells for about $17.00/lb.) They continued this work until they
    dissected 3000 or 4000 legs . I'm not sure what year they started the
    study, but when I was there they were over 3000 legs I believe. When it
    came to anatomy related instruction the professors from the physiology
    lab would give the lectures to our class. I was also lucky enough to be
    able to attend a four hour dissertation on "Why Horses Change Gate"
    given by 3 professors from MIT with PhD.'s in equine physiology. Very
    interesting, the test parameters measured were velocity, energy
    consumption, and impact. Although influenced by hoof care practices,
    this is another study in itself and details will be left for another
    The statement;
    "I'd advise you to leave the task to someone that has the mettle to
    handle it."
    was a general statement to those who might be considering working on
    their horses hooves but are fairly unsure of their ability to be able to
    perform the task. I usually don't pick on people or attack their
    personality or abilities, sometimes I'll go off on a rant and it gets
    taken the wrong way.
    I like your Long Term apprenticeship idea. I met a farrier from Ireland,
    to become a farrier he had to go to school for two or four years (can't
    remember for sure) the entire process took eight or ten years. After
    school your tested to see if your qualified to start your
    apprenticeship, and then your tested every two years during your
    apprenticeship to see if your qualified to continue on to the next two
    year period. The problem with most shoeing schools in this country is
    the methods they teach are almost the exact methods detailed in the
    cavalry's horseshoeing manual. It's available in reprint I can find out
    where from if your interested. The procedure in this manual is pretty
    simply stated as don't do anything to the hoof that may make it become
    painful. No aggressive paring of the sole or frog, as well as the
    shortening of the toe length. For if this were to occur, you may render
    your horse unridable and as a result die. These shoeing methods were
    acceptable and thought to be correct due to the average life expectancy
    of a horse going into armed combat. None of these horses lived long
    enough for any shoeing related problems to manifest themselves.

    --- End Message ---