”When one succeeds with rehabilitation it is because of competent trimming and care…not because of the shoe. In fact, it is the shoe itself that often stands in the way of what would have otherwise been a successful rehabilitation. It is a fact though, that the immediate relief of pain that a shoe can provide is soothing to horse owners and I worry that a ‘dual’ professional will be too quick to shoe a horse to put an owners mind at ease and miss out on the healing opportunity.” ~ PR

           The long term soundness and usefulness of your horse depends on the quality of hoof care your horse receives over it's lifetime. Every horse benefits from being on a regular trimming or shoeing schedule, not from waiting until a shoe eventually falls off or a hoof chips before seeking help. Increasing periods between trims or shoes is a false economy and often results in expensive repair further down the road. Farrier science has progressed from the days when the village blacksmith was called to put shoes on horses to the here and now which encompasses so much more than just shoeing a horse. Science is a state of knowing. With a great body of scientific knowledge (Applied Equine Podiatry) to draw from and a refined scientific method to determine the best course of action, I am able to use my skills and knowledge set forth in the farrier science to improve the health and performance of horses.

            I always expose the foot to proper environmental stimuli, making every effort to promote proper structure and function to develop and achieve high performance. I accept the fact that the horse has the innate ability to heal itself, and that domestication has caused imbalance and broken the golden rule of "Do No Harm." The Internal Arch is what I balance to, being able to visualize the foot within the hoof capsule during the trim or shoe application and provide the correct stimulus for proper growth. Stimulus being the primary factor, in respect to domestication as we know it today. Performance is achieved when each structure is capable of sustaining Dynamic Equilibrium of function for the demands asked of it (S+F=P).

            When it comes to “barefoot trimming,” I'm really not sure what the fuss is all about? You can’t expect your horses to fare well on rocky or rough terrain when riding if they are only exposed to soft ground at home. It’s just not going to happen. The only solution here is to add some varied terrain into your pasture or riding areas. Pea gravel is a great way to do this and/or gradually increase your riding time on rough terrain on a consistent basis. If you are unable to condition your horses feet for use on varied terrain shoes or hoof boots will be your best option.

            Fundamentally, there is a lot of basic science lacking when it comes to trimming and shoeing horses. I think it is a pretty good idea to have a lot of options and ability to think outside the box when it comes to dealing with horse hoof difficulties. One size does not fit all. When it comes to most things, this type of approach tends not to work very well. Many hoof-care providers have become complacent with simplicity.

            If your horse goes well without shoes great! If your horse goes well with shoes, I think that’s great, too!            

            At the end of the day your horse is going to tell you how things are going, at least if you’re paying attention Ꙭ

Serving the greater Central Florida area:

Orange, Osceola, Okeechobee, Seminole, Volusia and Brevard Counties.

Travel outside of these areas $0.30/mile.

Jason Stark, DAEP, MAEP, FAR

(321) 890 6033 - Phone or text