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Following his previous works, Simon Curtis set out to write a book about the horse’s hoof, based on science. Not the horse’s foot and its internal structures, but a book on just the hoof capsule. In that endeavor Dr. Curtis was eminently successful in “The Hoof of the Horse.”
I have never found textbooks to be exciting to read and usually are kept for reference. However, “The Hoof of the Horse” is an excellent read as it takes you through the development and changes in the hoof from embryo to old age.
“The Hoof of the Horse” is divided into three sections, totaling 12 chapters. At the end of each chapter, Curtis provides an extensive bibliography of research papers, supporting his findings and a summary of salient facts. The bibliographies are a list of fascinating research papers that never seem to make it to the farrier world.
Chapter 1 has a profound statement in the first paragraph, “Learning the names of the various parts of the hoof is important to enable discussion about them. However, knowing the names without having any knowledge of the structure and function leaves our comprehension wanting.” Rarely does a book lead with such an impactful message at the onset.
There are five ages of the hoof, each with its own unique challenges for the horse and the farrier. Through “The Hoof of the Horse” the reader will study each age. The knowledge gained through Curtis’s studies will enable the farrier to…