THE HORSE’S FEET MATTER
Howdy Friends! The horse’s feet matter. You bet they do! I have come to believe that they matter a whole lot more than a lot of folks realize they do.
Yes just about everyone who has a horse can recite that old axiom, “No foot no horse.” But why then are so many horses allowed to endure all the structural damage of poorly managed feet?
I’ve traveled over the years working with a great many folks and their horses on posture. For me, just about everything good, great, not so good, bad and horrible can be traced to posture. All posture begins in the feet.
Sadly over the years, I’ve seen too many sad horses. I’ve seen a lot of feet causing poor posture.
For a long time now I’ve devoted a fair amount of my time to helping folks understand and learn the exercises Peggy Cummings put together to promote proper posture, body carriage and self awareness. Many can be found in my book, “It’s For The Horses.” As well a simple trimming advice.
As folks who know me know, I’m all about the horse’s posture and I’ve often written about it.
And for a long time I’ve “mentioned” the feet. But went about meeting with folks, doing a few clinics and trying to help. Inside me though, I was well aware that even though by the end of the day or clinic we’d have the horse in great, healthy posture and body carriage. I knew it could not hold. Not on a poor foundation. Not on poorly managed feet.
The purpose of my clinics was to teach the basic exercises so that the horse owner could continue to do them. But if the feet, the very foundation, are out of whack—no amount of exercises, bodywork, training or gadgets will keep the horse in healthy posture, free moving and happy.
So I began to speak up more about feet.
Please believe me it is not always easy. It’s not always easy for me to say. It’s not always easy for folks to hear. And it’s certainly not always easy for folks to accept and change. I get that.
However, I now always address feet right away, at the very beginning when I first analyze a horse. Or discuss a horse with someone.
Instead of simply studying and discussing posture and what the horse needs in posture work exercises, I talk about the feet. In fact I may not, in some cases, even begin until I trim feet. I’ve found that to be the biggest eye opener when folks can watch the pasterns, legs, chest and topline change right before their eyes.
Folks who know me know I’m an unwavering believer in that all horses can and should be barefoot.
If I’ve lost you here, that’s okay. For those of you still interested we’ll go on a bit more.
Sadly I see way too many barefoot horses with poor posture brought on by poorly managed feet.
All I’m hoping to point out today is, The Feet do Matter. In fact, they matter most of all.
When posture begins to fail, everything goes downhill. With it, health, attitude and money.
And posture will always fail, if the foundation is lacking. ~ Gitty Up, Dutch.