STRUCTURE + FUNCTION = PERFORMANCE
(The cornerstone of Applied Equine Podiatry)
I am often asked what the difference is between the HPT (High Performance Trim) method and other methods. Below is a list of the main features unique to Applied Equine Podiatry and the HPT Method.
The Spectrum of Usability is a record of the seven structures of the horses foot - frog/frog spine, sole, angle of the bars/heels, bars, wall, toe and ungular cartilage. The spectrum is completed at alternate appointments and provides both owner and podiatrist with a guide to the health of the hoof's structures and what level of work and type of discipline that horse may be capable of at that time. This evaluation is imperative in keeping owners from exceeding the workload that the horse and its feet are capable of, whilst helping us understand which structures may be lacking and be in need of exposure to correct stimuli. The spectrum is a brilliant tool for recording the progress a horse makes through its transition to barefoot and is unique to Applied Equine Podiatry.
Photos are taken at regular intervals and kept alongside our horses spectrums as a record of any changes that may have occurred. Photos are a fantastic tool for any horse owner and podiatrist with which to keep track of the progress our horses are making
Exposure to correct stimulus is also imperative to Applied Equine Podiatry and the HPT method. By providing correct environmental stimuli it is easy to regain the health of the individual structures of the hoof, which allows our horses to regain correct neurological and physiological function. Providing correct environmental stimuli over time (the fifth dimension of the HPT method) is the key to the success of Applied Equine Podiatry and the HPT method.
The HPT method involves entirely revolutionary, logical and scientific philosophies and principles. KC La Pierre has discovered and researched previously un-noticed structures of the foot, their functions, and developed a theory on how the foot and each of its individual structures dissipate and utilize energy. These ground breaking discoveries highlight the inadequacy of traditional theory and open the door to us as horse owners and hoof care professionals to address the welfare of our horses' podiatry needs with advanced knowledge and practical application.
Traditional farrier sciences dictate that the hoof wall should be balanced to exterior angles such as the pastern and shoulder, and that the heels should be balanced using a T-square held up against the limb of the horse. These beliefs allow too much room for error and misinterpretation and do not take into account horses with anatomical irregularities. Shoes are applied in the name of support and protection which deny the horse's hoof its natural ability to distort and transfer energy correctly and efficiently. The hoof cannot maintain correct anatomical and physiological function and atrophy of some or all the structures of the foot sets in. The HPT method provides the hoof care practitioner with simple steps that allow the horse to deal correctly and efficiently with energy transferal within the foot, balancing the hoof to the foot within. Please refer to KC's 'The suspension theory of hoof dynamics' for further information on energy transfer.
I often come across the argument that Applied Equine Podiatry isn't natural and that the barefoot model should be based on the feral horse. I cannot make this point too clearly. Applied Equine Podiatry and the HPT method are not natural! Neither is domestication, which I think I can safely say all our horses are living in. Applied Equine Podiatry provides a happy medium between the far left (methods based on the feral horse) and the far right (traditional methods). As I stated earlier, traditional methods do not provide hoof care methods that are optimum for our horses, and neither do natural methods. Basing a method on a feral horse is nonsensical. Horses are not feral. They are bred larger and finer than their wild cousins for the disciplines expected of them. Environmental stimuli are limited in domestication, and it is almost impossible to complete an across the board study of wild horses, because they are wild. Let's take all horses into account and study every effect man has caused the horse to endure. Never forget Newton's Law (an important formula to take into account for the shoeless horse):
FORCE = MASS x ACCELERATION