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.
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.
Dr Thomas Teskey
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.
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