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In my last president's message (American Farriers Journal, March/ April, 2001, pages 106 & 107), I warned that our profession seemed to be under attack from the “Natural Horsemanship” crowd and the barefoot groups in particular. I still maintain that, but would like to clarify a few facts.
I am not opposed to horses going barefoot under the right conditions, providing they can be maintained in that state without their conformation causing detrimental pathology within the foot. However, I am opposed to radical groups attacking the farrier industry, and you should be too! It is your livelihood that is under attack. While these groups will claim to not be attacking any one group specifically, but “Only trying to help horses and their owners,” some have been very clear about their agendas with me and with others.
In a recent e-mail, I was warned that “I should be afraid of this ... We will see you again in 10 years.”
Apparently this was a warning and assumes that their trend will have caught on by then and taken over in the care of equine feet.
Recently, the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) came down four-square against “untrained” individuals working on horses’ feet, especially those of the foundered horse. I am usually very cautious of animal protection groups, as some can be very radical, but I did write a letter of support to these people.
In short, their opinion is that if Dr. Hiltrud Strasser’s…