After 12 educational years of professional farrier practice, I hurt my back. During my recovery from back injury, I made the fortunate choice to keep my trim clients. This was a time of physical pain and loss of job identity. I took up carpentry and home remodeling to pay the bills, and began trimming horses and donkeys for fun. The next several years I nursed a sore back and healed. During that time, I noticed for the first time my trim horses that were bare foot, had less white line disease problems, less separated hoof wall problems. Almost none of them had flat feet, under run or crushed heals and no dropped soles. Over time the Natural Hoof Care Movement appeared on my radar, and I began to read and learn. In shoeing Laminitis (foundered) horses years prior, I had learned the concepts of keeping the frog supported using floating frog supports and heart bar shoes. I had learned keeping the heel wall as short as possible and frog supported, was key to healing foundered horse with shoes on. Why I never made the connection in my mind that a bare foot foundered horse was better off than a shod foundered horse I cannot explain. Excepting to say that I was brainwashed by the farrier industry to keep lame and foundered horses shod.
A real turning point in my life was around the year 2000 to 2005, when the American Quarter Horse Association in the Quarter Horse Journal, released the results of a study, declaring "Farriers" the "#1 reason for lameness" also declaring that Navicular Disease was "reversible". The American Quarter Horse Study results was like adding kindling to an already burning fire in me. I'm a guy not afraid of walking to the beat of a different drum. I've always believed most disease was man made, in horses and in medicine. That man in our ignorance and impatience, create the problems we have today, because of our desire for a quick fix.
Family and Tarzan