Theres No Such Thing as the Strasser Style of Trimming
by Yvonne Welz ©2006
Is this a surprising statement? It shouldnt be, to anyone
familiar with Dr. Strassers work. But this is something that newcomers
to natural horse care and barefooting should be made aware of.
Dr. Strasser developed a method of horse care, and not simply
a style of trimming. This seems to be frequently overlooked, as many people
try to compare her method to current styles of trimming - which
are, indeed, simply man-made styles of trimming the exterior of
a horses hoof.
Dr. Strasser did not invent the parameters upon which her method
is based. These parameters were invented by the horse himself, Equus Caballus.
This species of animal has distinct biological needs, for both lifestyle and
hoof form, in order to be healthy. Dr. Strasser compiled and outlined these
needs, and developed her method based solely on this scientific basis. She
is a veterinarian and researcher, and her work will have far reaching effects
upon the world.
What, then, is the Strasser Method? It is simply a system of
caring for the domestic horse with natural lifestyle and physiologically correct
hoof form. Wild horses are the living examples of the principles upon which
the Strasser Method was developed. Most wild horses have both the lifestyle
and hoof form that we attempt to recreate for our captive horses. There are
also a very few captive horses blessed with perfect living conditions and
enough movement that they live according to the Strasser ideals, and their
perfect, healthy hooves are a demonstration of this.
The majority of domestic horses, however, are not so lucky.
Most of our horses have deformed feet (due to confinement and trimming that
does not create hoof function) - some severe, some not so drastic, but ALL
in need of rehabilitation before they will be healthy. This is the sobering
truth, and the root of why Dr. Strasser has caused so much controversy with
her simple, scientific, straight-forward method. Our horses hooves are
in terrible shape and non-functional, whether barefoot or shod. This is a
truth that many people would rather not listen to - they do not want to acknowledge
that their horse may need serious rehabilitation before its feet will be healthy.
Whether people agree with Dr. Strasser, or not, does not matter: the biological
needs of the horse will not change. The function of the equine hoof will not
change. What a horse needs to be healthy, including a physiologically correct
hoof form will not change. The controversies of mankind will not change the
simple truths that Dr. Strasser has brought to our attention.
Dr. Strassers parameters for trimming are a reflection
of the natural horse, and were also not invented by her; however she is the
first in modern times to aknowledge these parameters. Healthy, wild hooves
demonstrate 30 degree hairlines, ground parallel coffin bones, and low heels.
Coffin bone measurements show a consistent 45 degree angle on the front surface
of a fore foot coffin bone, and 55 degrees on the front surface of a hind
foot coffin bone.
The Strasser Method in official application is carried out by
persons trained by Dr. Strasser in her Certification CourseCertified
Strasser Hoofcare Professionals. These individuals are trained in holistic
horse care, lifestyle needs, hoof anatomy, and trimming to restore proper
functioning of the equine hoof, including the rehabilitation of severely deformed
hooves. Always, form follows function. The shape of the horses hoof,
the trim applied to that horse at that particular moment in time, is solely
to recreate the correct functioning of the hoof. Without this correct functioning,
you simply cannot have hoof health.
The Strasser Method in unofficial application is carried out by any horse owner, anywhere, who provides their horse with freedom of movement 24/7 in a paddock or pasture with a herd, daily exposure of hooves to water, plenty of exercise, natural diet with constant access to roughage, and bare hooves with light, frequent trimming that simulates natural wear and provides hoof mechanism.
©2006 by The Horse's Hoof. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduced by any means whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher and/or authors. The information contained within these articles is intended for educational purposes only, and not for diagnosing or medicinally prescribing in any way. Readers are cautioned to seek expert advice from a qualified health professional before pursuing any form of treatment on their animals. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.
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