Can The Internal Structures Of The Hoof Be Changed

In the last decade, more veterinarians, farriers and horse owners have recognized that better nutrition, proper trimming, correct movement, changing the environment and improved protective devices can cause dramatic and positive external and internal changes to the equine foot.

“The internal foot can become larger, stronger and better,” says Joe Camp from The Soul of a Horse. “These changes give significant resistance to hoof problems and can provide a cure to pre-existing problems as well. Many of us take this concept of internal hoof development for granted, because we have seen the changes with our own eyes. All the proof we need is in our own backyard, but we are still a minority.”

Equine veterinarians Debra Taylor and John Schumacher at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine plan to track the foot development of live adult horses over at least a 2-year period. The horses used in the project will also be divided into groups that will live very different lifestyles where different footcare options will be evaluated.

Horses in each control group will live in the same exact environment and under the same care at the same facility. This means horses purchased for the study must all be cared for and exercised in the same way. Full veterinary evaluation, MRIs, CTs and interpretation of the results will be done for each horse before, during and after the study period.

The focus of much of Auburn’s podiatry research deals with investigating the natural adaptations of bone and soft…

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