Lots of people watched the Panorama investigation on BBC1 this week. It was an interesting programme debunking common myths and assumptions about running and fitness.
From my point of view, it was interesting seeing the trainers/barefoot discussion finally edging towards the mainstream. There is a link to the iPlayer here, starting at the point where the investigation turned to assessing trainers.
Obviously the programme was about human running and fitness but there are some fascinating parallels. Horses are the only animals - other than humans - who are routinely shod AND whose footfall and landing we try to change with shoes.
I've thought for years that our attempts are likely to be counter-productive, and in "Feet First" I included some research into human barefoot/shod injury rates.
Guess what, injury rates are lower barefoot and biomechanics improved :-) No big surprise there but very satisfying to see it on BBC at prime time.
Even more interesting, the programme highlighted some research done into shoes which are intended to change footfall and provide "support" for compromised feet.
Guess what, the shoes which were supposed to correct footfalls had NO impact on injury rates. There is a link to the research mentioned in the programme here:
Doesn't this makes you wonder if we should actually be promoting less in the way of remedial farriery and more in the way of overall barefoot hoof health?
Now there is more and more research being done into human vs barefoot, surely equine research should follow?