Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Feature Friday -Veterinary Insights On Barefoot Horse Care - Dr Tomas G. Teskey "

Howdy Folks,

It was a severely foundered horse with spark and life in his eyes, Martha Olivo, and an owner who would not give up on her horse, even though the coffin bones had punctured the sole, that turned everything Dr Tomas G. Teskey had learned from veterinary collage and years of practice, on its head. Everything he knew shouted the horse must be put down. It was easy to trust Martha, and Dr Teskey wanted to save the horse too. So with high hopes and enthusiasm he followed Martha's lead, who had saved numerous horses in the same condition. The devoted owner helped every step of the way. A change in diet, hoof care and exercise, and a whole new approach to trimming and maintaining a horse's hoof had the horse totally recovered in a mere seven months. For Dr Teskey it was both a humbling and awakening experience. That was fifteen years ago.
Dr Thomas Teskey

"Soon after that I was studying with Martha and Courtney Vincent, a trimmer in southern Arizona who was also having tremendous success with horses labeled as “incurable”, and I learned for the first time how the lower limb and hoof of the horse was built, how it functioned, how it sensed the environment and how it allowed horses to do what they do." Dr Teskey explained.

He continued to study, and learn more and more from trimmers, horse owners and horses about the true mechanics of the horse's hoof, and leg. "We dissected dozens of hooves, trimmed hundreds of horses, fitted boots and pads, nursed more horses in crisis, and provided support to more and more owners becoming aware of the possibilities." Dr Teskey said. As he trusted in others and this new, to him, idea that horses knew how to heal themselves, his confidence and understanding grew. So did his commitment to share this knowledge.

"Since those early days of my real-life education, I have been continually provided with examples of horses healing from the ailments that had been labeled as “incurable” by the most respected and famous veterinarians and master farriers." Dr Teskey said.

As his understanding grew, so did his relationship to the horse. They were the most important members of his faculty of teachers. From them he learned, and taught others, horses must be connected to the earth to be healthy. And the iron shoe disallows that connection and starts a slow decline into poor health and injuries. "Steel is an absolutely unsuitable material to protect hooves that are dynamic and alive. They don’t protect hooves in the slightest, they damage them. We now have materials that complement the hooves, allowing them to function as intended and honestly heal from damage caused by steel shoes." Dr Teskey explains.

In February 2005 Dr Teskey published the article, "The Unfettered Foot, A Paradigm Change for Equine Podiatry," in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, creating much interest, and of course many questions, in the veterinarian community. He has since published many more.

Dr Teskey's mission is "To empower individuals interested in a partnership with horses." He continues to help horses and their people understand the benefits of the barefoot paradigm, and Holistic Hoof Care. He writes and conducts lectures worldwide on Holistic Horsemanship. He also offers Professional veterinary support for individuals, horse clubs, families and communities seeking Real Answers about keeping horses healthy.
"Right front of TWH after trim. Note the beautiful natural arch from toe to heel." Dr Teskey
My favorite quote from Dr Teskey is, "You cannot nail an iron shoe on a live hoof without causing damage." Another is, "Shoes are most "necessary" for hooves that have been damaged by shoes. Their use is archaic and steeped in an ignorant tradition that arose out of extreme selfishness. We have known this for at least 200 years now. The responsibility for our horses is coming to rightly rest with each of US now. If you choose to allow someone else to think for you and dictate tradition to your horses, YOU are the one responsible for the unsoundness in your horses. Empower yourself with what horses need to be sound – refuse to be victimized by tradition – move in to your happiness with your happy horses."

Join him on his Facebook Page - Tomas G.Teskey Veterinary Insights (HERE) You and your horse will be glad you did.

Our Feature Friday story today was based in part on an interview done by our friend Casie Bazay and published in October on her blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse. To read much more and get to know Dr Teskey more deeply please read Casie's interview (Interview With Vet and Barefoot Advocate. Dr Thomas Teskey)

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry


  1. Wonderful article! Thank you for your words that bring knowledge and awareness to those who would otherwise remain ignorant (like me)! I have learned so much from you and am so grateful!

    1. Thanks for joining the Coffee Clutch, Debby! My motto is, "It's for the horses."

    2. LOVE it, as always.. especially this particular suvbject! And there's still so much more for me to learn... Thanks Dutch!

    3. Dutch. your recent posts about going barefoot the right way are so perfectly timed for me. I just brought home a new mare a few weeks ago. She is currently barefoot, but trimmed in the traditional way. On sunday my certified natural trimmer will be out to get her started. So many people have been telling me not to do this, it will ruin her gait (she is a MFT). Thank you for giving me the confidence that I am not about to make a big mistake!!

    4. Patti, No horses need iron shoe, ever. Shoes don't make the gait, or the healthy horse - Please look for my post, 'Gaited Horses, saddles, bits and stuff" - and "Get out of the way and let your horse gait." I think you'll like them - just type in the search window to the left ...THANKS for reading, enjoying & commenting! And give your mare a hug from me!

  2. Dutch, I could hug you for this timely post! My regular trimmer is late-stage pregnant, and my temporary trimmer broke her foot just at my horses' four-week trim point. I called around and found someone three hours away that, according to his website, seemed to hold the same principles that I do. I was nervous as heck when he arrived, though, because although he had initially trained under my two favorite hoof experts, he was now using a completely different method. Several years ago I needed a short-term trimmer so a friend recommended her "famous" expert farrier (I don't even like that word). After he chopped off all of my horses' feet and lamed them for over a month, I found out he purposely did that to most of his clients' horses in order to keep them as customers. He's an evil, shady man. Anyway, hence my apprehension with this newest temporary trimmer.
    My fear was completely unfounded, and I learned more about my horses' hooves in one day than I had in the ten years I've had my horses. When he was finished, all of their hooves looked EXACTLY LIKE THE ONE IN DR TESKEY'S PHOTO!!! I thought I did more reading and research than anyone I know about natural barefoot hoof care, and I never knew about that little arch.
    I wish I could express my joy and excitement and utter shock on this keyboard. Suffice it to say, I'm a very happy and relieved horse owner right now.

    1. Robynne, that's why I say, "If your trimmer does iron shoes too, get another trimmer he/she does not understand the horse's hoof" - Sadly as you've seen, not even all barefoot caregivers know and understand the horse's hoof. Learn ALL you can yourself! ~ Dutch

  3. Wonderful article Dutch. I wish more people would read and learn about natural approaches for healing all animals.

    1. We've simply got to keep giving our voices to the voiceless, Cyndi ...