Domestic horses today live completely differently from their wild horse cousins. They are usually kept in tidy, small paddocks standing still for long periods. Paddocks are cleaned of rocks so that they won’t bruise their feet; they are fed one or two big meals a day and often kept on their own to stop them getting kicked or bitten. Our horses are often rugged and usually shod. For generations, people have been taught that this is the correct and only way to look after their horse properly. Have you ever wondered that just because this is the way it has always been done where this is the right way?
The biological makeup of the wild horse has ensured his successful survival for millions of years. Natural hoof care is all about looking at the whole horse – the natural horse – and trying to emulate the environment the horse would have if he were to live in a natural environment. This includes: diet – a simple grazing style diet high in roughage and low in non-structural carbohydrates; environment – room to constantly move in a herd; and hoof care – regular hoof trimming to emulate the trim he would have in the wild to create a balanced and healthy hoof, free from pathology.
Natural hoof care is now becoming a strong ideological foundation for many horse owners, giving them a relationship with their horse they never dreamed possible. By understanding the fundamental ethos of natural horsemanship and horse psychology and owning relaxed and happy horses with healthy hooves.