WAS: RE Chief /NOW: How to get help...
The common theme is that owners rely on professionals to know what they are doing, when unfortunately those professionals have stopped learning somewhere along the way and rely on outdated and often wrong information. It is not just the farriers, but it is veterinarians as well. I have seen one veterinarian activate a horses lumbar reflex points and then told the owner the horse was back sore. I showed her afterwards how all her horses had the same back soreness by activating those reflex points. Another suggested a horse had probably ringbone on a hindfoot, but more diagnostics would be needed. This was a sudden onset injury and a hind foot which is not typical of ringbone condition which tends to develop slowly over time. I can come to that conclusion by simply logically thinking it through and it always puzzles me why a smart individual like a vet can not? The mare healed up just fine btw, and shows absolutely no sign of ringbone. She probably had simply sustained a bad ankle twist in the pasture.
Education is key. Horse owners need to educate themselves more about what is proper hoof form so they can cortically evaluate what a professional farrier is doing to their horses - DO NOT SOLELY RELY ON A PROFESSIONAL'S ADVICE! GET A SECOND OPINION, OR EVEN A THIRD IF YOU NEED TO!
I made a similar experience as you - out of 6 local farriers I know, there are only two I would let touch my horses. That's is very frustrating especially since those farriers have had extensive training and should know what they are doing. In addition I find that many vets support what the farrier is doing wrong to the horse, so apparently even they are taught incorrect information in vet school when it comes to hoof health.
Where does it need to change? I believe with the owners, but it is also often very difficult for owners to communicate to professionals, vets or farriers, about other approaches, as they are often not open minded enough to discuss alternatives and easily become defensive, as in "who are you to tell me what to do (you , who has not had nearly as much training as I), no matter how diplomatic one is trying to present it. This needs to change. We have an obligation to do what's best for the horse and find other ways to accomplish that if something is not working. Big egos need to step aside for the benefit of the horses.
Forums like this are invaluable for owners to gain more experience and learn. But even on forums one has to apply critical thinking sometimes to sift through information that is shared. I have found that if something does not seem to make sense, it often really does not. Trust your intuition too. It may not be based on solid data, but if often sends the right signals. And always listen to the horse, as he should always have the last say. If something is not working, something needs to change :-)
Ute Miethe - LMT/LAMT NCTMB
Nationally Certified Massage Therapist & Natural Performance Barefoot Trimmer
Lynn - Thanks so much for your post.
Years ago, Mike Savoldi's pictures in his discussion of finding the live sole plane really brought home to me the issue of high heels. You probably have seen it but for those who haven't it's at
The link is also in the files here.
So many of us struggle with the problem of finding what Lynn has accurately described as a "brave and skilled professional". We often can get some control over the diet but diagnosis and trim remain out of our grasp. Sometimes we need help getting on with correcting the diet as well.
I knew nothing and I fell into it face first. I came to the realization that while I didn't know anything, that there had to be some other way than was being recommended by the local pros I had hired at the time. (Which oddly enough was "use this device and get him ridable through the summer and if he founders again, oh well") I was lucky in that I stumbled on Robin and Dr Kellon. I also found a farrier willing to work with a consultant remotely via the internet and phone. What many of you do now.
It seems that a number of our acute horses and frustrated owners could benefit from a discussion that might entail
How do I know this consultant is the right one? (especially if I know nothing or little about the hoof)
How do I know I have the right farrier? (It took four farriers before I found mine)
How do I manage sharing hoof images and history?
Who else would be involved in the consult to address the complicating issues ?
I'm hoping as a group we could share what's worked for horse owners and pros. It would be great to get some constructive input that may help folks struggling. :-) And I hope members struggling will come up with more questions as well.
It's okay to vent frustrations - we're here for support. But if we can stay away from any bashing, I'd appreciate it.
Thanks for your input.