EQUINE PODIOTHERAPY

~ HOOFCARE AND REHABILITATION

FOR HORSES AND DONKEYS

Hi! I am Anya Lavender of Lavender Hoofcare. I have over ten years experience and am a qualified, professional Equine Podiotherapist (DipEPT) This site is dedicated to one large part of my services That of a Hoofcare Practitioner and rehab specialist. I am also an experienced trainer and you can also visit my training page for information on training horses & other animals.

This site is evolving and the working links are(theoretically) in blue or purple. If you can't find what you want, you can always ask me. I appreciate feedback on what you've read here, and being notified of any broken links. If you believe there's a site you think I should list, please let me know. Contact me.

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Who am I ?My experiences & journey in Natural Hoofcare. Why I have chosen this path.
High Performance Barefoot Horse? What this means & How to achieve it. By Anya Lavender
A few diagrams & photos of feet good & bad
Donkeys The similarities and differences between donkey & horse hooves
Do Not Believe... Appropriate life advice from Buddha


Principles of Hoofcare

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In this day and age, especially in Western countries, the horse is used mostly as recreation and sport. They are seen these days less as a utility and more as a pet. Therefore their health and happiness is important to us, not just from an economic point of view.

Horses are usually kept in steel horseshoes and hoofcare is something that the vast majority of owners are quite uneducated about. They employ a farrier to carry out trims and shoeing and often blame these professionals, rightly or wrongly, when their horse's feet become damaged or too weak to keep shoes on, etc.

It is therefore vital, for the sake of our horses, that we educate ourselves as best we can, to make informed and objective decisions on their care, including the choice of professionals we choose to pay for help.

What are the Principles of Trimming?

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Below are a few articles & papers to consider. Whether you're a 'beginner' or another professional, I am interested to hear opinions on what I've written, so don't be shy!

Contrasting Structural Morphologies of 'Good' and 'Bad' Hooves. By Anya Lavender. A look at the differences between 'good' and 'bad' feet and the factors & theories that influence the differences.

^^ This paper above is rather 'heavy', but worth the effort I have been told!

'Hoof Balance' by Anya Lavender
Minimising the Damage of Horseshoes by Anya Lavender
Prevention and Healing of Hoof Problems and Lameness From weak, chipping feet to 'navicular disease', founder and sidebone. Learn how you can prevent and rehabilitate problems. By Anya Lavender.

Hooves May Be Causing Your Training Problemsby Anya Lavender.
Bad Conformation?Is it unchangeable? Are you sure it's not a hoof imbalance? by Anya Lavender

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Horses are also often kept singularly, in small paddocks, yards or stables, often on soft ground or bedding, and only 'worked' for an hour or so each day, if that.

Horse owners are often in ignorance of what damage is being done through these management practices. Even those owners who understand that metal shoes can damage horse's feet generally look upon them as a necessary evil. I am here to tell you there are now effective alternatives!

Natural Hoofcare is a holistic management philosophy. It involves the whole horse and it's environment, not just the hooves. The horse needs to be kept as naturally as possible, preferably running with a herd on large acreage and moving around as much as is possible.

Lifestyle as it Relates to Health by Anya Lavender
Easycare boots A real alternative for hoof protection

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Even some farriers and vets may not have adequate knowledge of the complete workings of the equine hoof and how a metal shoe effects it, as farriery is unregulated in Australia(& USA & elsewhere), so farriers may or may not have done any comprehensive study, and vets may or may not have specialised in equine hoofcare & lameness. In addition, much of the scientific information which has led to good understanding of hoof function has only recently been available, thanks to modern studies & people like Dr Robert Bowker & Gene Ovnicek! And of course, countless 'field studies', such as has been done by people like Andrew Bowe and Pete Ramey.

Look at some recent studies;

Physiological trimming & Hoof Function by Dr Robert Bowker.
How Hoof Form Relates to Hoof Function from Gene Ovnicek
NEW THEORY MAY HELP AVOID NAVICULARMichigan State University News Release March 1999
More Hoof Ideas from Dr Bowker by Yvonne Welz
The Wild Horse's Foot by Ric Redden
Natural Balance trimming & Wild Horse Research E.L.P.O ~ Equine Lameness Prevention Organisation

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So it stands to reason that if we want to ensure our horses have the best care, it is up to US to learn what that is, and to maintain it ourselves, or find a professional to maintain that quality of care.

  • Visit Andrew Bowe's site Mayfield, Pete Ramey's site Hoof Rehab and Dr Bowker's site Corona Vista Equine Center and Pauline Moore's site Gravel Proof Hoof for more on nutritional considerations.


    I am available for hands on hoofcare, help and instruction if you are within reasonable travelling distance of Healesville, Victoria.

    Please contact me if you're interested in services or learning more.

    For further information on Natural Hoofcare please refer to mylinks page as there are some great sites already out there & I do not wish to re-invent the wheel!


    Hoofcare for Horses & Donkeys
    High Performance Barefoot Horse * Harmful Effects Of Shoes * Bad Conformation? * Minimising the Damage of Horseshoes * Donkeys * Hoof Problems and Lameness * Trimming Principles * Lifestyle as it Relates to Health

    * Best Angles for Pictures * Links & more info ~ feel free to suggest further sources to add!


    Humane Training
    >Why train? * Basic training principles * Why reward based * Punishment


    Preparation, Management and Care
    Managing your Horse * Feeding and Caring for your Horse


    My Business & Getting Help From Me
    My Training Experiences * My Hoofcare Journey * Champ's Story * Benny's Story
    My Animals & I

    This site began life on 24/2/05 and you are visitor number... somehow my counter replaced with bodgy site link! Since 13/5/15 you are visitor... url and counting visits
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