Re: On the subject of bars

John Stewart

Hi Claire,

Controversy and mystery? Before Dr Strasser said they should be cut right down, I would suggest that they were pretty much ignored. As far as I can tell, it was she who really started the debate.

Pete Ramey has an article on his website (also in The Horse's Hoof Issue 26) in which he tells of his changing view about whether to reduce them or leave them.

As with so many of his articles, I find this thought provoking. I don't think that I agree entirely with him, and I don't think I follow some of his arguments. Some of this relates to Dr Bowker's theories.

I am working, at the moment, on an article about the bars, (to follow the one that I have on my website Horse Feet/ the Bars) which will consider some of the arguments in Pete's article. One of the differences is that more of my clients have their horses shod, with all the problems that that brings, and many of the feet don't look like any that are in his article.

You can also see on my site what should actually be "Quotes on bars" rather than "Related Articles on Bars"
comments from about a dozen vets, farriers and trimmers.on bar trimming. (find it via The Bars or via the Site map.)

My opinion is that the bars should be cut down if overgrown - my opinion of being "overgrown" being more than most. I have found that what we see of the bars when looking at the bottom of the foot can fool us into thinking they are not too long, but I think that looking at the foot shape and length can give us an indication.
This is what I am working on - Examining horse's feet and trying to work out what they tell us. Too many vets will leap to some fancy (and expensive) machine or other to diagnose foot problems, when the foot is already telling us what the likely problem is. I have to admit it is often hard to pursuade owners that this is the case.



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