‘So I welcome you to the world and adventure of the natural horse... Exactly how much wear can their bare hooves endure? Why is their no founder or navicular? ... I know of no person who has gone among the wild ones with half an open mind, to return empty handed.’
Jaime Jackson. The natural horse. 1992

The wild horses life style has been researched in recent times and there is so much more to discover. Lessons from wild horses - in these hoof specimens mustangs from the great basin - have effected tens of thousands of domestic horses thanks to the natural hoof care movement. Wild horse research has  proved itself as a milestone which changed the way many horse owners and professionals are viewing 1. generic equine care 2. hoof structure and function. World leaders in hoof care, using both metal shoeing and barefoot trimming have embraced the significance of healthy horses and hooves in their natural habitats.
Field studies have demonstrated the hooves amazing ability to adapt. Wild hoof specimens from all over the world are providing answers that are transferable to domesticated horses lameness and wellness issues. Nature has answered the questions already: evolution dating back over 50 million years to the earliest known ancestor of the horse - Eohippus (with four toes) - has sculptured the hoof into what it is today.
We now have examples of wild horse hooves - brought into domestication without the correct nutrition, environment, stimulation etc - debilitate quickly. Domestic horses suffer an extensive list of ailments which at their worst can prove fatal. It is clear from wild horse research that these ailments are virtually unheard of. There is  a need to further our understanding to help answer enigmas in today’s equine management. Many traditional beliefs leave a shortfall in the health and performance of the domestic horse.

‘I have already seen what a relatively tiny amount of wild hoof study has done for thousands of horses, many of which had been declared incurably lame. As many research dollars that have gone into the horse, why has there been so little research done on it in his natural environment ? When a zoo takes an animal out of the wild they must set up a habitat and diet that closely imitates its natural environment. Most horse owners don’t have a clue what is natural for the horse. This would be the only sensible place to start, not only with their hooves but also with diet, exercise, training, and the list goes on. (Just think about how far horse training has come in recent years because a few people peeked into the horses natural world.) Imagine the benefits our horses could reap if serious, scientifically controlled research were done.’
Pete Ramey. Making natural hoof care work for you. 2003

WWW Links for further information on wild horse research
www.wildhorseresearch.com Chris Pollit. University of Queensland. Australia. The aim of the project is to improve the foot health of the domestic horse. This will be achieved by the detailed study of the feral horse foot and comparisons to the form and function of the domestic horse foot.
www.tribeequus.com Cindy Sullivan. Lots of pictures and dialogue from wild horses around the world. ‘Hoof form. It’s all about adaptation’
WILD HORSES Pete Ramey. An article to put a tear in any horse lovers eye.

Click here for photo’s from our visit with Mustang’s.
100 mile north of Las Vegas. Nevada

left Hind Hoof.  Mustang.
Right front
Right front
Left and right hind
This sagital section takes us inside 
a truly healthy hoof form from 
the US Great Basin
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