We Ride Sport and Trail Magazine July 2016 - Page 20

Cavallo president, inventor, teacher and best-selling author Carole Herder possesses an inquisitive mind and a powerful desire. Ms Herder didn’t grow up with horses; she was a city girl who had to wait until adulthood to follow her passion by moving to the country and learning to ride. She quickly discovered that horses are burdened with various “conditions” accepted by the horse community as something that comes with horse ownership. These conditions seemed unnatural to her and when her beloved first horse Rocky was put down due to “irreparable” lameness, she became committed to challenging conventional practices.

“Equus has survived on this planet for 50,000,000 years,” says Carole. “They are not a design flaw that needs to be improved upon. Sure we have domesticated them, but things like laminitis, navicular syndrome, ringbone, sidebone, splints and arthritis should not be so wide spread.”

Ms Herder first put her curious, dedicated nature to work by developing the Total Comfort System (TCS) range of saddle pads to repair saddle fit problems and improve horse’s back issues and overall comfort. She then went on to examine problems originating in the hooves.

“The saying ‘no hoof, no horse’ is valid,” she says. “Horses are prey animals and without the ability to run, they don’t make it. It’s about biological imperative and healthy hooves are the horse’s ticket to survival.”

Observing horses fraught with hoof problems and lameness triggered Carole’s investigation into the 1,500 year old practice of traditional horse shoeing. “People are led to think that metal shoes protect the hoof, but when you really look into the issue, we can do a whole lot better for the horse than nailing metal onto their feet.”

Almost overnight, she made the decision to pull the metal off her own horses, and this is where the real work began. Carole’s speculations were confirmed after hours of studying text books that made her head swim, hoof dissections with cadavers that left her smelling of rancid blood and trimming clinics with various expert instructors. She decided that not only would she never nail metal into another horse’s hoof, she would provide a better option for protection.

“The hoof conditions to its living environment, but we often wish to ride on different, harder terrain. In addition, we’ve added an additional average weight of 200 pounds on the horse’s back, which pushes the hoof further into aggressive terrain. Of course we must offer hoof protection, but not by using metal horse shoes.

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Cavallo President, Carole Herder

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