IHCS_SM_Summit_0212_64.jpg

How Much Of What We ‘Know’ About Hoof Anatomy Is Based On Bad Feet?

Michigan State researcher suspects the answer is too much

Dr. Robert Bowker at the 2012 International Hoof-Care Summit. The researcher from Michigan State University, a member of the International Equine Veterinarians Hall Of Fame, offered his ideas on some of the characteristic of good vs. bad horses’ feet.

After tearing apart literally thousands of horses’ feet, Robert Bowker thinks he knows a little bit about how they are put together. 

And the researcher from Michigan State University is convinced that he’s figured out some things that research has missed, because so much of that research has been done on bad-footed horses vs. good-footed ones.

Speaking at the 2012 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, Bowker told his audience that it’s important to remember where most of the feet that are studied come from.

“You have to remember that horses that go necropsy or go to the slaughter house are there for a reason,” he says. “No one sends a perfect athlete with good feet to the slaughterhouse. So when you look at these feet (that are the subjects of most studies), you are selectively seeing feet that are not so good.

“I firmly believe that when most people dissect a foot, they’re looking at bad-footed horses.”

Bad as Normal?

That can lead to a misperception of a normal foot. He believes what some hoof-care professionals think of as a normal foot is actually a foot on its way to problems.

Bowker believes that the concept of a good-footed vs. bad-footed horse is an important one. In addition to having…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives online.

Pat_tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

Top Articles

Current Issue

Cover_AFJ_0919_pub.jpg

American Farriers Journal

American Farriers Journal is the “hands-on” magazine for professional farriers, equine veterinarians and horse care product and service buyers.
View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings