'By reading and interpreting the muscles in the horse's body,
the relationship of the hoof to the upper body can be ascertained.
Interpretation is the key to treatment.'

This one statement represents the conerstone of Ashley Davis' methodology. There exists a direct relationship between muscle soreness and the foot and consequently makes the muscles the only barometer with which to determine the cause of the soreness in the horse. Ashley looks at the horse as a whole and not at just which muscles are sore or at just the leg where he is lame. Anything that affects a muscle or a group of muscles can cause changes in the movement of the horse. If a foot is out of balance it makes the muscles sore, and then movement is restricted. Balancing the foot will relieve the sore muscles. Soreness is detected by paplpating the muscles.

"Muscles control all movements of the horse."

In conjunction with palpating a horse's muscles, Ashley uses infrared (IR) imaging to aid in his assesment. Ashley uses an IR camera that is highly sensitive and extremely accurate and produces high-quality images. The camera has FDA approval and is used by medical doctors. The IR images demonstrate temperature differentials, and heat is generally indicative of soreness. When dealing with muscle soreness, cold areas may actually be more significant than hot areas. The cold spots can indicate a lack of adequate blood flow in the muscles since the muscles are in a state of contraction. These are the muscles that show soreness when palpated. Hot areas show that there is inflammation present and are usually caused by an injury.

Ashley believes that for all horses in competition a proper shoeing schedule should not be over 6 weeks, although there may some slight variation depending on the climate. If there is too long an interval between shoeings, the hoof capsule grows out from under the bony column and the support is lost.

Ashley has worked with farriers from all over the US and occassionally he goes to Canada and Mexico. Together, they have definitely proven that the back and muscle soreness in horses can be directly related to the foot. If the problem is related to the foot, then the farrier is the only one who can relieve the pain. (He was asked, and went, to work on the Canadian Equestrian Team Horses before they went to the'92 Olympics in Spain)

The farrier is the 'Cornerstone' of the horse industry. Farriers are the only ones that can correct these problems, but first, they have to be aware of the issues. Ashley is available for consultation to help your farrier address these training issues and muscle soreness problems for your horses.

Ashley Davis - Equine Sports Trainer and Performance Consultant
214-244-3367

 


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