GETTING A HOOF UP ON NATURAL TRAINING
© by Trainer / Trimmer: Gordon Adair
To better serve my clients and to stay ahead of the competition when I showed horses, it was imperative to continually improve and develop new faster, easier, and gentler ways to train horse. I discovered there was more avenues to explore than just training techniques and methods. Most trainers and owners spend their time training the effect of horse behavior problems and never find or eliminate the true cause. When only addressing the effects of horse behavioral problems you will be training forever and never accomplish your goals. So, finding the true cause of horse behavioral problems like hoof care. The first step to successful Natural Horse Training is maintaining regular hoof trimming. It is common for owners to extend hoof trimming for as long as they can remember: "No hoof, No horse."
THE BEST HOOF CARE CAN HELP
Simply horses are more likely to challenge you when they are in discomfort, I have found that 40% of horse behavior problems are solved by Natural Barefoot Trimming. The hoof angles can affect and change the skeletal system from the ground up, causing discomfort in the shoulder, back, etc., altering the horse's movement discouraging movement. To make training and working horses easier, it is important to make sure your horse is free of discomfort. When horses have contracted and high heels every step will be painful as the contracted hoof capsule tightens around the coffin bone inside. When all four hooves hurt equally your horse may not show lameness but may exhibit resistance against working, as a rule when horses refuse to move forward check their hooves. This resistance against working is often labeled as a sign of a problem or sour horse. Can we blame horses for not wanting to move when they have sore feet? You can incorporate a fun activity into your horse's workout by increasing the desire to work to overpower the discomfort. You can also increase your horse's training level so his desire to please you is greater than the discomfort. Neither of these solutions will solve the true cause of the behavioral problem of soreness; they only increase the horse's desire to tolerate the discomfort. The cause of the soreness must be eliminated!
PUTTING THE HOOF TO THE TEST
Being a Natural Horse Trainer I have the opportunity to work with varying degrees of horse and owner behavior problems. A common problem that horse owners have is their horses do not listen to them and are reluctant to move forward. I decided to experiment with this training problem by using my findings on how to properly trim a horse. The horses in my self-directed study did not show lameness and were all ridden by the owners as well as myself. Each horse would perform my riding requirements for me yet, would resist to perform the same requirements properly for the owners. After I applied my natural barefoot trim, some horses had increased energy to the point they required several days of turnout to satisfy their playful needs. Once the owners returned to ride, their ability to control their horse improved dramatically without any additional training. A couple owners even thought I worked their horses earlier in the day to make them more responsive. None of the horses where worked prior to the owners riding them. The conclusion of my study was that; required training time for each horse actually decreased and they advanced in training more quickly after my barefoot trimming. Not only were the owners happier about their horses increased desire to obey them, they were also happy about not having to spend more money on training. By eliminating the horse's resistance to work, which was caused by undetected discomfort, each owner could take over the responsibility of their own horse's training.
THE HOOF UP ON LAMINITIS, FOUNDER, AND NAVICULAR LAMENESS
I was able to perfect my Natural Barefoot Trimming skills by experimenting with many different horses and problems that were in Natural Horse Training with me. Being able to change or adjust a horse's barefoot trim when needed is a valuable tool when training horses. I learned what worked best because, I rode my own natural barefoot trimming. During my research and studies on natural hoof care to improve training I discovered that the system I learned was affective towards curing laminitis, founder, and navicular lameness which, are deemed un-curable. Unfortunately, I was put to the test when a clients horse had an acute cause of laminitis. The mare laid on her side most of the day when I started, after applying my natural barefoot knowledge and skills she recovered and returned to riding on the trails and jumping. There is a lot of established research on proper natural barefoot hoof care, it is up to you to study the information and determine what is best for your horse. Your horse will benefit from your time whether there is an evident lameness, affiliated body soreness, or no signs of a problem. Proper natural barefoot trimming knowledge and practice is vital to your horse's health. Eliminating the source of your horse's resistance will also avoid undue stress, injury, and soreness caused by addressing the problems generated from hoof discomfort. Also, there is nothing more satisfying than watching horses, who are free of discomfort, cantering around the pasture with renewed youth and vitality.
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