Monday, 29 June 2009

A farrier's view of barefoot

As well as the endpiece to "Feet first", which I talked about here, we were very fortunate that one of the UKNHCP farriers, Mark Johnson DipWCF, has written the foreword to the book.  Its provides a real insight into a farrier's view of barefoot, so I've included some short extracts below. 

"When people from different countries, backgrounds and beliefs begin to walk a broadly similar path; when certified, skilled professionals put part of their tool-kit to one side in favour of what nature has already provided, is it not the obvious and intelligent response to ask why?

I began working actively with horses' feet when I was 14 and at the time of writing this I am 46 and a registered UK farrier."
He goes on to talk about how we met, and says:
"As a farrier who still shoes horses [though very many of his clients' horses are barefoot!] it is now essential that I use the knowledge I have gained from the barefoot movement.  I had never appreciated just how sick many of the horses I was dealing with were and are.  Whether shod or shoeless, health is everything...The barefoot world is incredibly dynamic: if a good working solution is discovered, it is normally circulated very quickly, giving rise to a massively broad field trial.  Although anecdotal, the evidence, whether good or bad, quickly becomes self-evident."
Finally he talks about the future:
"I would wish especially that my profession of farriery will move forward to embrace the information, which is so generously available and so beneficial to the horse we serve, as part of its training."
The full text is a marvellous piece of writing and we are very fortunate to have such fantastic support and interest, not only from Mark and the other UKNHCP farriers (though they are undoubtedly the trailblazers!), but others in the UK as well.