The Approach

Limestone Forge has been built on a solid foundation where Matt believes that the good farrier considers the whole horse when assessing that horses’s needs. He believes everything is connected.

This includes the horse’s:

  • environment (living situation)
  • nutrition
  • exercise
  • age
  • riding discipline
  • exercise regimen
  • breed
  • breeding status
  • mental health
  • and every other factor that goes into the life of that particular equines overall health.

“I look at a horse a little differently from the typical mainstream assessment. I take a holistic approach and view the horse as an entire package rather than as a set of four feet located at the ends of their legs.” says professional farrier Matt Taydus, Founder of Limestone Forge. He continues, “I like to find the root cause of a condition or lameness rather just treat the symptoms I find.”

An Example

White line disease is characterized by the separation (avulsion) of the fibrous junction between the sole and wall on the abaxial border of the sole at the heel-sole junction. The corium becomes infected through this opening and tracks of infection may localize as an abscess or may penetrate deeper to form a retroarticular abscess. White line disease is a major cause of lameness.” quoted from the Merck Veterinary Manual.

White Line Disease is a contentious condition that occurs when a hoof is compromised by a bacterial infection. (full article on it here). A key factor in the equation of this disease is that the bacteria that cause are ubiquitous in many equine living environments. In other words, its a fairly common pathogen – but only affects certain horses. Matt believes that while treating the symptoms of it is something he can do, getting to the root cause of why it’s occurred in his equine patient will likely yield better results in eliminating it once and for all for that horse. “I prefer to take a more holistic approach in making suggestions in the treatment of the affected horse so that I talk about looking more closely into his overall immune system and what might be weakening that in addition to starting palliative treatment for the pain he’s now experiencing.”

 Another Example

Forging, where the back foot over reaches and slams against the front foot, full article here, and a common enough affliction that farriers have to deal with. Matt has observed that quite frequently, while a shoeing may lessen the symtpoms in the short term, in fact that are many extenuating circumstances that are coming into play that are more the root causes of this. Among these may be:

  • horse and rider are not properly engaging
  • improper saddle fit
  • old undiagnosed hock injuries

all of which have nothing to do with shoeing the horse!

The Holistic Concept

Matt explains it this way: “Let’s say we start with 2 horses that are identical in every way and each begins to experience the onset of white line disease. Let’s say we begin to treat each horse with medicines and podiatry treatments, but let’s also say we’ll only look at the underlying root causes of one horse and start working on that as well. After 3 months, say, which horse do you think will be further along in his recovery process: the one who’s had his immune system boosted (better feed, targeted nutritives, etc) or the one who hasn’t?”

Matt believe that while a farrier can almost guarantee themselves a lot of regular work just treating the symptoms of such diseases in horses, his personal goal is to treat the whole horse so whatever condition is also affecting his feet can be reduced or eliminated once and for all! “I care more about the actual horse, rather than doing a lot of repeat visits.”, he says.

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