Victory for the Horse

Probably the ultimate victory for the horse would be for all of us humans to leave planet Earth and let Mother Nature be in charge all the way, some would say. Then the horse could care for and breed itself naturally, boost its health by natural living, breed out the bad that we have apparently bred in, and live natural lives by 'survival of the fittest'. That would indeed procure the best natural horses possible; anything less than optimum in health and intelligence would die off or be eaten, thus stopping the passing on of weaknesses.

That might be the optimum situation for the horse as a species, and may very well come to pass if we continue many of our foolish and destructive human ways. The horse has been here a lot longer than we humans have, and might be here long after we are gone, if indeed that happens, whether by self-destruction or divine intervention. Sounds depressing, but we all know how real the possibility is – we are headed in that direction.

But for now, human and horse are on planet Earth together, likely for many generations to come. It is our privilege and our responsibility for the time being to live with the horse here on Earth. We can do so in harmony, and with the horse's best interests in mind along with our own. There are always compromises that can be made to accommodate the horse's natural needs.

This was thankfully brought to light at the recent Tufts Conference, "Hoofcare for the New Millennium", featuring Dr. Hiltrud Strasser, German veterinarian and expert on barefoot hoofcare and natural horsekeeping. Her viewpoints were presented and a panel gave comment. Questions were presented to Dr. Strasser by the panel and also by the audience. It was evident that there are many contrasting opinions on what is best for the horse, and it was evident that many horse caretakers are unaware of or disregard what is best for the horse in the long run. But the victory for the horse is that there is a huge interest in doing better, FOR the horse. Many horse caretakers are seeking new and better ways of caring for the horse and his hooves, naturally, due in large part to being dissatisfied with much of traditional hoofcare, veterinary options, and management practices.

There is always room for improvement in what we do as horse caretakers, and having an open and inquiring mind allows for new knowledge and ideas to be considered and examined. No human can improve upon Mother Nature's plan; we can only manipulate it to our advantage. In doing so, we must be aware of the impact so as not to destroy or imbalance Nature, or disadvantage the horse.

THANK YOU, Tufts University, Dr. Robert Cook, Fran Jurga, and all who attended for making this conference possible, and therefore opening the door to 'new' and natural ways in hoof and horse care. It is time for change; this was indeed a victory for the horse.