Ok, here goes my long devil's advocate post. I agree the feral desert foot is not ideal for wet soft areas. Neither does Pete Ramey or Gene Ovnicek. For my money, I'm sticking with those two guys even though they do disagree on some finer points. I actually wish they would form a coalition and work together.
That's why we're here, to discuss things.
Quote: "An interest in the “wild horse” or “natural” hoof model has emerged several times in the past few centuries and
the recent resurgence of the model has been particularly strong."
This started sounding, to me, as demeaning toward the work that has been done, which is considerable. It began sounding as if the author was scoffing at yet another round of centuries old re-emergence that would soon fade as it did in the past.
True, I felt a sort of "tone" in the article that seemed demeaning toward the work done by others. Without which, there probably wouldn't have been a surge of interest in hoof care which most likely funded these studies.
Quote: "The conformation of the feral horse may offer a guide to
best practice for overall soundness, but may not necessarily produce the best performance." Not sure I'm understanding this. Is our goal to be performance first and overall soundness second if at all?
Right, that does not sound like a good concept.
I just watched a video of Ovnicek's a few days ago that was made prior to this article where he was rounding the toe and commented he didn't want a square toe. And that was on the front. But the breakover can be thought of as square since it's straight across from pillar to pillar.
I feel that those who really study what the experts say won't be confused. But it is those with a marginal knowledge who often trim with an actually square toe, or misunderstand what it means to have a short breakover.
Quote: "The toe length was predictably highest (33 mm) in the horses living on soft footing and was significantly different to that of horses living on hard footing (toe length 29 mm)."
This according to both Ovnicek and Ramey is indicative of a long toe that would be accompanied by curve or flare at the front of the hoof. No mention was made of the condition of frontal flaring....A hurried reader might conclude that the sample had perfectly straight hoof walls top to bottom.
Now I did get from my reading that this meant the hooves had frontal flaring. Perhaps I was inferring, based on what I imagined they were describing in the soft footing hooves. Which I believe they categorized as a "lesser" abnormality versus what they categorized as more severe abnormalities, meaning actual remodeling of the soft tissue within the hoof.
Quote: "Lining the inner hoof wall are the lamellae, which function to support the weight of the horse within the hoof capsule and dampen forces transmitted from the ground towards the skeleton of the horse."[/I][/B]
This is almost an antiquated concept. Dr. Bowker and almost anyone else of note agree that this concept has been one of the most detrimental concepts to the health of the equine foot that has ever existed.
I can't agree with the part I bolded. Yes, it has been detrimental to believe that hooves must be fully peripherally loaded. But I have personally seen how going to the other extreme of saying the hoof wall is not a necessary part of weight bearing, and putting the horse onto the sole completely is also very detrimental to horses. That is where I believe this study might have importance. It points out how only choosing a certain hoof model from a certain climate and basing trimming all horses on it without understanding completely how this hoof developed, its purpose (protection for extreme circumstances such as heavy travel over rough ground), and what the foot might give up (such as flexibility) in return.
So I agree and disagree with parts. But it is still important to consider the facts that were found even if you disagree with some of the conclusions that came from those facts.