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          Physiological trimming, what is it?

          Friday, August 9, 2019

          Also known as "natural trimming", physiological trimming has become popular in recent years. Opinions on the subject are diverse. In particular, the compatibility with sport-oriented horses, because the first idea that correlates with this practice is the "untrimming". You will discover in the course of this article that this way of thinking about your companion's feet is not only a question of having him shod or unshod.

          In addition, depending on certain pathologies, there is no other choice than the use of orthopaedic fittings. Similarly, for certain sports on grass, the use of spikes is essential, and therefore a shoe. In all cases, the advice of a professional is essential and the approval of your veterinarian is indispensable.

          Now let's take a closer look...

          1. Origins of physiological trimming

          In an attempt to remedy the locomotion problems of equids, man invented the shoeing. The latter became a common practice in the course of the 12th century. However, despite this effort, the number of diseases has not decreased.

          It is quite recently, less than fifty years, that the minds began to change. For example with theexpansion of alternative medicines and theethology. But it was during the 1990s that natural trimming was really born.

          L’ideaIn the past, the idea of a healthy foot began to emerge a few decades before that. After three currents of thought having in common a search for the balance of the foot as well as a strong and healthy horn. Here is a brief description of these different currents:

          1.1. Dr. Hiltas Strasser (1970s)

          She highlighted the fact that horses with a certain economic value, living in boxing and regularly shod, more often present locomotion pathologies than horses living in the meadow, to which we generally pay less attention.

          His research has shown that feet of domestic horses having a conformation close to that of "wild" horses. seem to be healthier.

          His approach is a combination between the physiological trimming and the study of theenvironment in which the horse evolves. For her, all the locomotion pathologies are due to the artificial life of equids. All her work has been focused on the observation of the posture and the legs. Without forgetting the daily environment and the behaviour of the horses.

          1.2 Jaime Jackson (1980s)

          His idea is to replicate the conformation of Mustangs' feet. He was one of the contributors to the development of physiological trimming. For him, we need stimulate every 4 to 6 weeks the horn growth by trimming by working on the wall, fork and excess sole.

          1.3 Keith Charles Lapierre (1990s)

          After taking a course on the installation of equilox adhesive, KC Lapierre has challenged the use of stiff irons commonly used. Some time later, he will create a flexible shoe to be stuck to the horses' feet.

          His thinking is that if we have a good comprehension of every structure which makes up the hoof as well as the functions of each, the care can be adapted and so we'll move on to foot performance.

          His theory also shows that the placement of the3rd phalanx with respect to the bone axis is due to the good health of ligaments, tendons and cartilage.

          His approach is a real description of the biomechanical functioning of the hoof and shows the importance of internal structureswhich he calls

          "Internal Arch Apparatus".

          The way the foot of the horse uses and disperses the energy created during impact with the ground plays a major role in the health of the musculoskeletal system. In this sense, its "high performance trimming" method makes it possible to find the optimal balance of the foot jointbased on references acquired on internal structures (3rd phalanx and lateral cartilage). The aim of this practice is to developing internal structures in order to obtain a 5°-6° angle between the 3rd phalanx and the ground.

          Finally, KC Lapierre has created a system called Perfect Hoof Wear ", which is a flexible protectionwhich adapts to each foot, allowing the natural stimulation by the environment and thus contribute to the optimal development of the internal structures. These are synthetic bandages compounds of resins which are activated when in contact with water.

          Illustration taken from "Podologie équine appliquée, énergétique et Perfect Hoof Wear", KC Lapierre, 2008, translated by Xavier Méal

          2. "Not just barefoot....

          A few years later, in the 2000s, Xavier Meal (French equine podiatrist graduated from the Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry in 2008) specified that having a horse without shoes is not a good idea. not just a matter of shoeing or shoving... but also to have a holistic way horses. For him, as for the three thinkers presented earlier, we must take account also theenvironment in which our companion evolves, as well as his power and its ability to movements every single day.

          To sum up?

          a good locomotion is not only due to the shoeing/non-shoeing of our companions. The trimming is the key and natural trimming can be an interesting way to go, depending on the horse and the work required of course. But that's not all, a good understanding of the environment in which your companion lives, as well as his diet and his daily movement capacity, are also important for the correct development of the internal structures of the foot, and thus for optimal locomotion.

          3. And the high level in all this?

          Some top riders have integrated these principles into their system and are successful.

          We can cite as an example Emma Hindle with the famous Diamond Hit in dressage which in 2005 at the CDIO** in Saumur obtained a double victory as well as a2nd place. Astrid Appels, chief editor of the eurodressage.com website, will write that :

          " The suppleness with which Hindle's horses moved was remarkable. Both horses, Diamont Hit and Wie Weltmeyer bounced along the ground in long, confident strides. The secret of this power and rhythm of his horses lies in the fact that they wear no shoes" (March 5, 2005; Appeals, 2005)

          Diamond hit and Emma Hindle, photo taken from eurodressage.com, 2005

          And in show jumping?

          Also in show jumping, Luca Maria Moneta has most of his horses without iron. However, horses are shod with particular pathologies or occasionally those that have to go to competitions with grassy ground. He confides to us that he has met:

          "I had a lot of problems with horses in terms of movement and foot quality. I experimented with plastic shoes, glued shoes, etc. Then research led me to KC Lapierre's method, using synthetic bandages. With the latter, my feet are well protected and move better. Locomotion is much better, but so is movement over obstacles.  

          Connery and Luca Maria Moneta, photo taken from Lucamoneta.com

          4. The link with my Seaver...

          As mentioned above, physiological (or natural) trimming aims at healthy feet which contributes to optimal locomotion of the horse. And locomotion, is one of the features that your Seaver allows you to control!

          For evaluateamong other things, the good foot health of your horse,

          the symmetry at the trot is a good indicator. Indeed, a horse at the end of its shoeing/paring or not at ease in its feet will show a slight dissymmetry. As a reminder for our regular readers, or newcomers, we have already written a few lines on the subject which you can find here: https: //seaverhorse.com/comprendre-la-fonctionnalite-seaver-symetrie/

          Two other indicators are interesting to look at: the cadence and the rebound. As a reminder, the cadence is the number of strides made in one minute at a given speed. The bounce is the amplitude of your horse's vertical movement.

          Indeed healthy feet and in their own balance give more reactivity of movement, a better thrust of the hind legs, a better better ownership to your companion allowing him to balance better and bounce in his paces, as well as having a more steady pace.

          Again, we had already presented you with these features: https: //seaverhorse.com/fonctionnalites-seaver-cadence-et-rebond/

          To respond to the holistic aspect quoted in this article, you can consult these three topics previously discussed in our blog :

          - What does well-being mean for horses?" https://seaverhorse.com/notion-bien-etre-cheval/

          - How to choose the best feed for your horse" https://seaverhorse.com/comment-choisir-la-meilleure-alimentation-pour-votre-cheval/

          - How to feed your horse properly Our tips for managing your horse in the stall " https://seaverhorse.com/alimentation-cheval-au-box/

          See you soon for a new article,

          The Seaver Team 🙂

          Sources :

          • "Is it possible to maintain a sport or leisure horse without shoes?" Amélie PASCAL DARTEVELLE
          • Interview with Luca Maria Moneta, Italian professional rider, conducted on August 7, 2019.