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The Essential Hoof Book

By Susan Kauffmann and Christina Cline

I was hoping that The Essential Hoof Book would be the book written about barefoot trims that would be the “how-to” guide for properly trimming a horse’s foot so it can remain barefoot, without resorting to comments about the evils of horseshoes.

No such luck.

This would have been an exceptional textbook for maintaining horse’s feet had the authors refrained from the seemingly obligatory condemnation of horseshoes that barefoot trimmers apparently need to justify their methodology
and beliefs.

Written For The Horse Owner

The Essential Hoof Book is written for the horse owner who wishes to understand more about their horse’s feet and foot-related diseases from the perspective of barefoot advocates.

The words and wisdom of Robert Bowker, VMD, PhD, and with comments by Registered Master Farrier Gene Ovnicek and Pete Ramey permeate the book. They are portrayed as definitive authorities on the barefoot horse, with occasional references to Ovnicek’s EDSS shoes.

The Essential Hoof Book is well written and includes lots of clear photographs and illustrations. The four chapters on hoof anatomy and function are clear and easily understood. The authors use clever tips to help the horse owner remember terminology used by hoof-care professionals and veterinarians. Every hoof-care professional’s job would be easier if all horse owners read and understood these four chapters.

Great Information About Feet

There are six chapters on recognizing healthy and unhealthy feet. I enjoyed this section and the many excellent photographs that support the basic concepts of balance. Clear and concise language is…

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Bob Smith

Bob Smith is a Hall Of Fame farrier and owner of the Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in Plymouth, Calif.

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