Very interesting information for thought :) It's nice to hear your perspective as someone in the younger generation. I do think that some of us horse people can get a bit...neurotic... for lack of a better word in how horses are dealt with. I think two very big things have occurred that has changed things to what you are currently seeing.
The first being the internet. People have so much information available to themselves now for free at one simple search and for the common person, this also means they have the opportunity to read some more current research. Research is both easier to obtain and faster to obtain. All one really needs to do now is search up on google, one of the research sites (like pubmed) or have access to a database and you have 100s, if not 1000s of articles available for you on a specific topic area. I'm in my late 20s now and I remember when computers were just starting to become more of a popular thing. All of the sudden there was a ton of stuff to see.. at the wraith of dial up haha. But computers have advanced VERY quickly. I don't think obtaining research articles and information was as easy back then. Usually, you'd hear about the results from a book/magazine, a subscription journal, word of mouth, a university library or be connected to the area of research somehow, whether than be involvement or in application. But the common person? They might hear about it from vets or a magazine, but many would not be up to date on that sort of information. The internet has allowed more people to become aware of things like saddle fit, nutrition, metabolic issues etc. And ulcers and metabolic issues can have quite subtle symptoms - not all horses exhibit the tell tale signs, but it can affect them nevertheless.
Also connected, the advancement of technology has enabled some aspects to be better evaluated in the field. Previous technology may have not really been the best way to measure whatever variable the researchers were hoping to isolate. In other words, there could have been faults in construct validity. research topics would have been intrigued, but it takes more than one study for conclusive evidence. Time and the equipment for a deeper look into the research area will and has given researchers better insight. Again, I'm just speculating, but between technology advancement opening up exploration opportunities and that research becoming more widely available to bring to the public, I think it could explain why so many people are now aware and ready to explore underlying health issues before they jump on behavioural.
BUT, I think there has also come a clouded area where everyone ASSUMES that if they are having an issue with their horse, then there MUST be a fix and people almost always want that simple, quick fix. For example, if a horse is bucking, then they assume that it stems from a pain issue. Many times it does and it certainly doesn't hurt to explore it, but reacting in such a "poor horse, let's not push him because he is sore" kind of way fuels those behavioural issues even further due to the negative reinforcement. All this new information on saddle fit, nutrition, etc is now in the hands of the inexperienced too, so it is a bit of a double edge sword. People with less experience have all this information to make more informed decisions, BUT it can take experience to know how to evaluate the situation and hand. For example, people will try magnesium for an excitable horse and it works for their horse because their horse is deficient in magnesium. Then, they come online and tell someone else to try it without really knowing why it worked for their own horse, hence the ever persistent myth that magnesium 'calms' the horse. And when people come here or on other forums for answers, we can't see the situation at hand. I think a lot of us prefer giving them the conservative advice and direct them to a professional who can see it. The consequences of pursuing behavioural issues before health/pain issues is far more vexing and could be worse for the long-term. Dealing with chiro/saddle/vet is the much safer option of the two.
As for your comment on vets/farriers/ chiro, I agree. It has taken me a long time to find ones that are knowledgeable.
Last edited by Jolly101; 08-09-2020 at 05:13 PM.