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  About Natural Hoof Care Resources

Luke Tanner Horse CareThe model for Natural Hoof Care is based on the wild mustang's feet. Since these horses travel 20 miles per day or more over some of the roughest terrain without lameness issues, their feet serve as the goal for what is to be achieved through natural hoof care in domestic horses. This amount of travel driven by behavioral impulses shapes the wild horses' feet into an amazing structure specially designed by God to be able to cope with anything that a horse might encounter.

The hoof was specifically designed by God to function barefoot. The hoof is a vital structure that is meant to flex, to absorb shock, to dispense energy, pump blood, and to feel the ground and transmit that information to the horse so he can properly react to the terrain he is on. This flexing of the hoof is called the hoof mechanism. The entire hoof flexes each time the horse steps down and picks up its foot. This action is what pumps the blood though the hoof. This will allow the horse to be more athletically fit since it will have four pumps (the hooves) in addition to the heart to help pump the blood through the horse's body. The frog is what partially helps this to happen by acting like a hinge for the hoof to flex by. This supply of blood to the hoof with each step is what keeps the hoof in a healthy state. If the hoof mechanism is compromised at all, the whole hoof will not be able to function optimally.

When the hoof is trimmed naturally and allowed to be bare, with proper movement, the hoof will be shaped into a vastly superior structure than anything shod could ever produce. Traction will greatly improve since the horse will be able to feel the ground it is walking on and be able to react to it. The structure of the capsule will also become more prominent than it could be with shoes. Structure changes will be a larger, more prominent frog, larger bars, more concavity to the sole, thicker hoof wall and larger heel buttresses. The surface area alone will allow for incredible traction in any condition -- wet, mud or hard surfaces.

Horses in demanding sports such as eventing, jumpers, dressage, racing and endurance will benefit immensely from natural hoof care. The added shock absorption of being barefoot allows the stress of long distance competition and jumping to be reduced by the energy dispensational structures of the foot. Whereas, stresses on a shod hoof will only be magnified and transferred into the joints, bones, tendons and ligaments of the horse's legs.

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