April 2012

Mars 2011

Nyttår 2011

Desember 2010

Sjette utgave av Nevzorov Haute Ecole Magazine "Equine Anthology vol. 6" er klar!

13. juli 2010

28. april 2010

Fjerde utgave av Nevzorov Haute Ecole Magazine "Equine Anthology vol. 4" er endelig klar!

20. februar 2010

Tredje utgave av Nevzorov Haute Ecole Magazine "Equine Anthology vol. 3" er no tilgjengelig for nedlasting i pdf format. Løp og kjøp!

10. februar 2010

Harm og Maia går amok! :-)

10. februar 2010
Hestesport dreper!


NHE Against Equestrian Sport.
Me treng din stemme!

08. september 2009

Andre utgave av Nevzorov Haute Ecole Magazine "Equine Anthology vol. 2" er no tilgjengelig for nedlasting i pdf format. Løp og kjøp!

21. april 2009
Stormy May artiklar

Tre nye aktuelle artiklar av Stormy May lagt ut.

15. mars 2009

Første utgave av Nevzorov Haute Ecole Magazine "Equine Anthology vol. 1" er no tilgjengelig for nedlasting i pdf format. Løp og kjøp!

2. februar 2009

22. desember 2008

om skoing og barfothest, "Sko vs barfot del 1 og 2" publisert.
Artiklane tar for seg fordeler og ulemper med skoing, barfot trim og problem som kan oppstå i overgangsfasen fra sko til barfot. Artiklane er basert på moderne viten om hovens anatomi og egentlige funksjon.


By Fred Ivar Falck Husum, 30.09-2008

Myths and misconseptions, -what are they and why do they exist? To find these answers we are going to look at some examples of such, analyse them and come to a general conclusion. We are going to examine these tales, try to understand their origin and to find out what is the real truth. Here we are going to challenge some well known myths and misconceptions relating to horses and horse keeping today.

The examples chosen in this article are ones of great importance to the horse health and wellbeeing as well as the philosophy of NHE, in witch go hand in hand.

About horses feet.

Let us start with the horses feet, since the hoofs and properly working hoof function is considered a main key in the horse health by barefoot trimmers all over the world.

"The horse need shoes to be sound", "The horse will be sore or lame without the protection of shoes", "Horse in work need shoes for protection", "The hoof of a horse in work will wear down to quickly if not shod". These are some statements witch might be considered as myth or misconception by those who have experienced differently. Let us take a look at some facts: The horse is made to move 15 to 30 km each day in search for food and water. The horse has evolved during thousands of years, and the entire organism is adapted to its function. A horse with bad or sore feet would not keep up with the rest of the herd and die from hunger, thirst or predators. The hoofs are adapted to sustain the wear of such distances over varied terrain, and the horse is dependent on sound feet as flight is its only defence against predators. Most domestic horses do not move the distance it is designed for. Why should a horse become sore without shoes, then?

When a "sound" horse goes lame after deshoing it is not because of soreness, but the shoing has caused hidden damages inside the hoof. Nerves have been out of function because of restricted bloodflow caused by the shoe itself. Nerves are again working to report these damages when the shoe come off and bloodflow is restored. Suddenly the horse is sore or lame.
Fixed metalshoes restrict normal hoof function and blood flow inside the hoof. A little more scientifically explained, nervsignals travel in the form of electric impulses. When these impulses are triggered, they travel to to the brain with the "message". In this process ATP (adenosintrifosfat) is used. Because of insufficient supply of oxygen and glycogen caused by restricted bloodflow in the hoof new ATP can not be built, and new nervesignals can not be sendt. The nerve is incapabable of sending new impulses and the horse seem to be sound even with damaged feet. The hoof is "numb" and can not feel the pain. When the horse is deshod and regain bloodflow, nerves are now sending messages of the pain in the damaged hoof. Simply said the shoe is camouflaging damage done to the horse feet by the shoe itself. This ironic fact is considered to be the root to these myths and misconceptions. After all, if knowledge of the real cause is not known, it is not difficult to understand these are the conclusions most people come to when the horse seem to be fine and sound as soon as the metal shoe is back on.

About founder

Founder or laminitis is a disease in the horse hoof. The most visible symptom in a foundered horse is the position the horse puts itself in. To relieve pressure prom a painful inflammation in the laminae, the horse shift its weight backwards to the bulbs of the hoof. The horse is in great pain and is reluctant to move. Some statements considered to be myth or misconceptions relating to founder might be; "Founder is in most cases considered uncurable and will in the end be the horse death sentence", "Once a horse has foundered he is predisponed to founder again"
Conventional treatment consist of use of "orthopaedic" shoes. They build up the heel with pads steepening the hoofs, only to increase the damage by putting more downvard force on the coffinbone tip, resulting in even greater possibility for laminae separation. The commonly used treatment make it more difficult for the horse to heal and if the horse heals even partly it is in spite of the treatment used and not because of it.

Founder is considered uncurable only because of lack of knowledge to the true nature of the disease and understanding of the cause. Because the cause is not understood it is not revmoved successfully, and the horse is still living under conditions in witch a new founder or laminitis attack is most likely to happen. Removal of the cause include deshoing, returning the hoof to its natural shape by proper hooftrim and arrange stabeling and living conditions with possibility and stimulation of free movement.

"High sugar grass is cause of laminitis/founder" In the past, when working horses had rest and little movement in the winter and suddenly had full workingdays in the spring, they often foundered by overstress. People believed that the fresh grass in the spring was the cause of the disease. Grass is part of the the natural diet for a horse and can not cause founder by itself. Certainly high sugar grass may trigger laminitis by chemical processes, toxic build up in the hoof and disturbed metabolism. But in such a case laminar connection have to be in a severe weakened condition already, and the high sugar grass merely acts like a "trigger". (Who`s afraid of founder? By Dr. med. Vet Hiltrud Strasser)

About the use of bits

There is many myths and misconceptions concerning bits and the use of bits. Defending the use of bits has been useful and convenient for mankind through centuries. The bit has been a preferred tool for easy and convenient control of the horse. The need to justify the use of such a cruel and painful tool has created many such "wive`s tales". "The horse mouth is created for the bit", "The horse can not feel pain or discomfort of bits because there is no teeth in the area of the corner of the horses mouth where the bit rest", "When the horse produce foam around its mouth while working it is an indication that the horse is working good and accepting the bit".

When it is in mans own interest it is easy to belive in such claims, preventing us from seeing the real truth. However, let us take a look at the facts; The bit do not rest in the corner of the horses mouth between the lips as some assume, but rest directly on the top of the bars of the lower jawbone. This is one of the most sensitive parts of the horses anatomy. The jawbone is only covered with a thin layer of skin, and because the bit has a round shape lying across the narrow bars the contactpoints are extremely small. A pull in the rain is multiplied in force in the same way as a persons weight is multiplied when walking across a floor in high-heeled shoes. A theoretical calculation transform 30 pounds of rein force to 3840 psi of pressure to the jawbone by multiplying its force to match the small contactpoint. (Metal in the mouth by Robert Cook and Hiltrud Strasser)

Practical tests has shown figures of 300 kg pr squarecentimeter inflicted by a pull, and from 80 to 150 kg pr squarecentimeter by working force in such a delicate area full of nerves. (Test by Alexander Nevzorov as published in Stormy May`s DVD “Path of the horse”)

It is strange people find ways to explain things not understandable to them in a favourable way. Foaming in a human mouth would bring all other associations than good. And what about a dog? But for some reason foam from the horse mouth is considered good. The phenomenon is mostly seen by riders forcing the horse to bend the neck at the poll by applying pressure to the reins. It is called “dressage”. The horse bend the neck to avoid the pain created by the bit, at the same time crushing its own parotid salivary gland. (Article Dressage, how to kill a horse by Alexander Nevzorov). Foaming come from overproduction of saliva and the inability to swallow. At the same time the horse is fighting for air because its anatomy is not designed to eat or have objects in the mouth at the same time as inhaling air.

About horsekeeping

"Horses need rest in the box at night", "A horse need to be feed tree times a day", "Horse need blankets to keep optimal body temperature". These are claims regarding keeping a horse, but all three of them fit the need of a human more than a horse.

The horse is active also during the night and graze 18 to 20 hours, spreading rest and sleep only in short intervals inbetween. It`s only defence against predators is flight and enough space at all times is important for the survival and the feeling of safety. Therefore a small, confined box can not be considered suitable for the horse to rest in.

The hoofs are dependent on movement for proper function and bloodflow. During one night of confinement in a box, toxics will build up in the hoof because of restricted bloodflow.

The stomac and intestines of a horse is adapted to almost continous grazing and search for food. The stomac is small and made to handle small amount of food continiously. Feeding tree meals a day making the horse go hungry for several hours before swallowing the next big meal in a hurry put great strains on the digestion system of the horse.

Different kind of blankets are widely used both indoor and outdoor and in all kind of weather and temperature. The horse is equipped with its own perfect system of bodytemperature regulation and the horse depend upon it to be in shape for optimum health. Shift in overall temperatures between seasons give the horse a winter or summercoat. Small muscles attached to the hairs in in the skin is able to rise the hairs or twist them dependent of the need for isolation. In the case of overheating blood vessels expand to the surface of the skin cooling the blood against airflow. Sweating is also a way of reducing too high body temperatures. The horse is 20 times less sensitive to cold temperatures than a human (A lifetime of soundness by Hiltrud Strasser), and has rarely problems with very low temperatures.

Blankets sabotage the horse ability to use his own body temperature regulation system. In case of too low body temperature, rising of the hairs is impossible, and with overheating expanding of bloodvessels have no effect. When not in use, the system and muscles responsible for temperature regulation will be out of shape and less effective.

However, the horse`s comfortlevel has to be considered. Free movement, free access to food and tempered water and a spacious shelter for bad weather must be provided. The horse is not able to regulate temperature satisfactory when stalled in a box. The horse is able to shiver its muscles to produce heat and it is claimed to be one of the horses ways to regulate temperature. Humans shiver when bodytemperature drop too, to rise it. But when shivering the comfortlevel is very low, and from NHE-point of view this is considered neglection of care, and surely it would be impossible to ask anything from a horse in such a physical state. Blankets are used to keep the horse cofortable according to differences in breed, livingconditions and local temperature. The level of physical activity in work has to be taken into account too. A horse with a too thick wintercoat can not be asked to do vigorous exercicing. A sensible level of blanketing may be considered for such a horse to keep the wintercoat from getting too thick.


Then we arrive at our initial question; Myths and misconseptions, -what are they and why do they exist?

Myths and misconceptions might be perceived as "wives' tales" wich merely persist because of the difficulty to change a tradition. "It has always been done this way". But it has to be considered what are the cause or origin of such "wives`tales". Some of them are so strong and in some cases seem to be almost impossible to kill. They have existed in hundreds of years and are "common knowledge" even today after proven false over 200 years ago.

It is obvious these myths and misconceptions are born and keep themselves alive by human ignorance and convenience. But even the truth has had a hard time killing some of these lies.

The real truth about the damaging effects of shoing was studied in detail and published in several scientific documents by veterinary Bracy Clark already 200 years ago, but it is still unknown to the majority of horseowners over the world. What is the cause of such "stubbornness" and ignorance? Bracy Clark did receive great resistance and unvillingness towards his work by fellow colleages at his time. Even today the practice of fixing the horse hoof with metal is in most cases not identified as the cause of destroying the horses health. People even defend this practice denying the obvious truth and claim the removal of this evil to be animal abuse.
It is incredible that even after 200 years horses are still shod despite obvious damaging effects to the entire horse organism. Still today shoeing is commonly known as the best way to keep the horses feet "protected", and the myth is alive and well.

Still it is not the truth in witch has failed in its mission against these myths and misconceptions, but rather mans resistance to accept it. It seem to be far more convenient to make up an explanation to suit our own wish or need than to face the truth and accept the fact that we are doing something wrong.
One may say tales of myths and misconseptions develop because of easy assumtions and lack of knowledge. And they persist to exist because of tradition. It has always been done that way, and people are god at learning from each other, including all the wrongs.

A Lifetime of Soundness by Dr. vet. med. Hiltrud Strasser
Shoeing: A necessary evil? by Dr. vet. med. Hiltrud Strasser
Who`s afraid of founder? by Dr. vet. med. Hiltrud Strasser
Metal in the mouth by W. Robert Cook & Dr. vet. med. Hiltrud Strasser
Article Dressage, how to kill a horse by Alexander Nevzorov