The internal areas of the horse industry are filled with many new and old and new techniques. More often than not there is a merging of the old and the new that creates either a more efficient or improved method of accomplishing many of the time-tested techniques of many of those same methods of operation.
There are also times that some changes within the internal areas of the horse industry that have happened that are not always in the interest of the horse. There are theories presented and, in many cases, not fully proven or even disproven until many years down the road and much damage has been done to the horse’s health, comfort, or even physiological well-being.
One such case is the area of foot care and how it has morphed into more of a cult-like following; no matter which side of the many fences you might be on. There are people that feel that all horses need to be kept barefooted, even at the point of causing pain to the animal itself. There are also people that believe the exact opposite and want to have their horses shod twelve months of the year. Both have their advantages and their disadvantages; just as both feel that they are correct in their beliefs. The truth of the matter is that there is one deciding factor; what is best for the horse that you are applying your belief. Are you following the program that you are using because of what you read, and what you were told, or are you allowing the horse to place their input into the decision?
I have titled this article “Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?” due to the fact that there are many different factors to consider when making the decision as to how your horse’s feet are to be cared for, and by whom. The greatest is the “whom” for it is that one individual that holds in their hands the ability to give you the greatest return and peace of mind for your invested dollar, and at the same time give your horse comfort or pain.
The selection of proper people to care for your horse’s feet should be chosen in the same manner as any service or care provider that is chosen for any other aspect of your own life. You are looking to have the least stressful and most enjoyable experience whenever you need a service provider to fulfill your needs. It works for you, so why not your horse? Give it some thought.
Until Next Time…” Ride for the Brand” -- Bob Burdekin