Peripheral loading of the hoof

Last weekend we attended the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo in Denver.  We visited for awhile with Natural Hoof Care Trimmer Dan Craig.  The last wind blew away the crusher fine base we have in our corral.  So our conversation drifted to the best footing to put back in.  Pea gravel or squeegee seemed to be a good footing to help with, new research to me, peripheral loading of the hoof.  He gave us an article by Yvonne Welz who was reviewing a clinic she attended given by Dr. Robert Bowker.  The important information gleaned from the article was Dr. Bowker’s research on peripheral loading.  Whether your horses are barefoot or in shoes this is interesting and relevant to our horse’s soundness.  In summary, when all the horse’s weight is loaded on the hoof wall, the flow of blood to the hoof is greatly reduced.  For the past few years we have kept our horses barefoot so I can trim every four weeks.  This is one way to keep the wall low.  When we shod our horses we used Equi-Pak to fill the sole area so it would create sole pressure, another solution.  The article More Hoof Ideas from Dr. Robert Bowker (click here) is worth reading to better understand options, form footing to padding, to more effectively load the bottom of our horse’s hooves to keep them sound.

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