Timeline of the Natural Hoof Care Movement and its Development in America
By Jaime Jackson ©2006
(as published in Issue 3, Spring 2001 of The Horse's Hoof)
The following is Jaime Jackson's detailed history of natural hoof care through early 2001, when he provided this to us for publishing in the very early days of The Horse's Hoof newsletter. We recognize and appreciate him as the true father of modern barefoot hoof care in America. Barefoot hoof care would not exist without his decades of wild horse studies and his dedication to the natural hoof.
The Horses Hoof asked author/researcher Jaime Jackson,
one of Americas biggest natural hoof advocates, for his perspective on
the development of Natural Hoofcare.
c. 500 BC - Xenophon describes characteristics of naturally
worn hooves, barefoot hoof care program, and other facets of natural boarding.
c. 1800 AD - Dr. Bracy Clark describes essential characteristics
of naturally worn hooves, his barefoot hoof care program, and suggestions for
improving horseshoe designs.
1952 - Velma Johnson lobbies Nevada legislators successfully
to pass law which bans use of air craft in rounding up wild horses in Story
County, where she lived.
1955 - Johnson lobbies successfully for further protection
of wild horses, banning capturing of wild horses in Story County except on public
1959 - Public Law 86-234 is passed, known as Wild
Horse Annie Act, the result of Velma Johnson's campaign to save America's
wild horses. Intended to prevent the capture or destruction of wild horses using
1971 - Public Law 92-195 is passed in 1971, signed by Richard
Nixon, called the Wild, Free-Roaming Horse & Burro Act, which
protected wild horses from mustangers and put management of wild
horses under the Department of the Interior, specifically the Bureau of Land
Management and U.S. Forest Service.
1976 - BLMs Wild Horse Adopt-A-Horse Program (formerly
conducted by Johnson's organization, the International Society for the Preservation
of Mustangs and Burros) commences nationwide.
1976 - Jaime Jackson begins professional shoeing career
in Arkansas; also becomes aware of wild horses for the first time in Missouri
during a BLM adoption sale held there in 1976.
1976 - Public Law 94-579 is passed, known as Federal
Land Policy and Management Act, which amends 1971 legislation.
1976 - Les Emery, Jim Miller, and Nyles Van Hoosen (DVM)
publish the book, Horseshoeing Theory and Hoof Care (Lea & Febiger). This
work speculates on natural hoof shape based on domestic range horses
in eastern Oregon. Focus of book is navicular, however, using an elevated heel
model (thought to be natural) for orthopedic shoeing.
1976 - Jackson contacts Emery the same year and discusses
meaning of natural hoof, but as yet there is no discussion of wild
horses or wild horse feet.
1976 - Wild Horse Annie dies of cancer, embittered over
treatment of wild horses by BLM.
1978 - 1971 - legislation is further amended (final time)
with the passage of Public Rangelands Improvement Act (PL 95-514). This is the
last legislation passed to date that amends the Wild Horse Annie Act.
1982 - Jackson moves to California to shoe horses in the
San Francisco Bay Area. One of his clients purchases a mustang mare from the
BLM. Jackson is astounded by its hooves and contacts Emery: I think I'm
on to something. Two weeks later, Jackson enters central Nevada to observe
wild horses for the first time on public lands.
[Note: by now the Reagan Administration is in place and encourages
the BLM and the USFS to begin gathers of excessive wild
horses in public rangelands.
1983 - Jackson conducts first study of wild horse hooves
at Litchfield, California. Does not publish findings. Discusses results with
Emery, who encourages further investigation.
1983 - Jackson returns to wild horse country to observe
horses in various HMAs (Herd Management Areas).
1984 - Jackson conducts second survey of wild horse hooves
at Litchfield; continues visits to wild horse country to observe behavior, environment.
Becomes aware for the first time of wild horse protection groups and government
biologists studying mustang population control.
1985 - Jackson decides to write a 20 page statistical
paper on his hoof study (approximately 1,000 hooves sampled at Litchfield holding
center) and, with Emerys encouragement, offer his findings to various
equine experts. Letters were sent to Dr. Chris Pollit, Dr. Ric Redden, Dr. Deb
Bennett, Dr. Doug Butler, and the current President of the American Association
of Equine Practitioners. There was no response, except Dr. Butler by phone,
who thought the information might be meaningful.
1987 - Jackson expands research paper to 100 pages and
submits as manuscript to over 100 publishing houses. None accept.
1988 - Emery accepts invitation to speak before American
Farriers Association National Convention at Lexington, KY. He accepts contingent
upon Jackson being invited as a co-speaker. Jackson and Emery jointly present
Jackson's research before 1,000 farriers.
1990 - Jackson reworks his technical research paper into
a new manuscript, which is accepted by Northland Publishing.
1991 - Jackson returns to Arkansas.
1992 - Jacksons manuscript is published by Northland
as The Natural Horse: Lessons From The Wild For Domestic Horse Care.
1993 - Jackson is invited to speak by Dr. Barbara Page
before the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society at Denver, Colorado.
1993 - Jackson is contacted by Dr. Lennart Ostblom, a Danish
navicular researcher, for assistance in locating wild horse herds to sample
for comparative studies. BLM resistance to Ostblom's research protocols preclude
[Note: during this period, in the early to late 1990s, the
Journal of the American Farriers Association publishes approximately 10 articles
written by Jackson on the subject of natural hoof care.
1995 - Jackson is invited to speak at Ric Reddens
Bluegrass Laminitis Symposium in Louisville, Kentucky.
1996 - On May 30th, Jackson receives a letter from E. Muller
on behalf of Dr. Hiltrud Strasser, who had obtained Jackson's lecture notes,
entitled, Paradigm for the Naturally Shaped Hoof, from Reddens
1995 symposium. Strasser shares translations of her research, including her
published paper, The Functions of Hooves and their Importance for Care
and Treatment, The Practical Handling of the Unshod Hoof,
and New Aspects of Laminitis.
[Note: many letters are exchanged between Dr. Strasser, E. Muller
(her translator and student), and Jackson, during the next two years. Jackson
provides Strasser with a wild horse hoof biospecimen obtained in Nevada. During
this period, Sabine Kells travels to Germany from Canada to meet Dr. Strasser.
Together they collaborate to write A Lifetime of Soundness.]
1998 - A Lifetime of Soundness is published
by Strasser. Star Ridge Publishing becomes the first U.S. distributor of Dr.
1999 - Jackson publishes Horse Owners Guide To Natural
1999 - Dr. Chris Pollit states at the Geneva International
Laminitis Symposium that the hooves of wild equids must have great resistance
to laminitis, possibly due to the environmental pressure of predators.
1999 - Jackson travels to Germany and Switzerland to meet
with Strasser and the Swiss Horse Boot Company.
2000 - Dr. Ric Redden organizes a team to study wild horse
hooves in Nevada. Independently, Dr. Robert Bowker (Michigan State University)
organizes a team to study wild horse hooves, also in Nevada.
2000 - Star Ridge Publishing sponsors Strasser hoof care
seminars in the U.S.
2001 - Nineteen years after Jackson entered wild horse
country, Redden reports his wild horse hoof findings, entitled, A Closer
Look At Wild Horse Hooves, at his annual Bluegrass Laminitis Symposium.
This is the first actual study to corroborate Jackson's earlier research.
Jamie Jackson is an experienced horseman, hoof care provider,
equine researcher, teacher, consultant and founder of the AANHCP http://www.aanhcp.net.
He is the author of the critically acclaimed books, The Natural Horse,
Foundations for Natural Horsemanship, Horse Owners Guide to
Natural Hoof Care, Founder:Prevention & Cure the Natural Way,
and "Paddock Paradise." (all available for purchase in The
Horse's Hoof Store.) For more info, visit his website: http://www.primechoice.com/jaime-jackson,
or home of "Star Ridge Publishing," the publisher of Jaime Jackson's
©2006 by The Horse's Hoof. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduced by any means whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher and/or authors. The information contained within these articles is intended for educational purposes only, and not for diagnosing or medicinally prescribing in any way. Readers are cautioned to seek expert advice from a qualified health professional before pursuing any form of treatment on their animals. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.
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