Saturday, February 20, 2010

A United Front

A good friend of mine recently went to listen to one of the prominent proponents of barefoot hoof care speak. This particular speaker is a scientist, which clearly lends him some degree of instant credibility, and my friend and I very much agree that good science is the only way barefoot hoof care will ever reach the mainstream. Much to her surprise, his lecture failed to cite ANY research, and instead expounded on the techniques of just one barefoot hoof care methodology (read: guru), and even nipped around disparaging some others which are too closely similar to be maligned I have to say it?...GOOD RESEARCH.

But the lack of well designed, well executed studies is really a separate problem from the thing that really bothers me about this story. The real problem is the damage that such a tunnel-vision, exclusive mindset rends on the barefoot, or natural, hoof care movement in general.

United we stand, divided we fall, right? Divide and conquer, isn’t that the ages old battle strategy? Well, heck, folks, if we continue to fight amongst ourselves, we will:

  1. never, ever gain credibility in the mainstream, and
  2. exclude an awful lot of experience, and data, we need to fill in the gaps in our collective knowledge

I would like to strongly suggest, from my very humble standpoint, that we all recognize our common goal to better understand the natural hoof. Instead of this ongoing self-promotion and one-upmanship, a much more productive approach would be cooperation. A meeting of the minds. A profound willingness to put our damn egos aside, and learn from one another’s mistakes and triumphs. After all, this isn’t about someone’s brand name trim. This is about the soundness of our beloved horses.

Or isn’t it??????