Dan Lynch has been around horses all of his life, a sick mare changed his approach to caring for horses and 10 years later Delaware Natural Hoof Care is going strong.
Natural hoof care is a relatively new term. Its most basic purpose, as Lynch explains it, “is to let a horse’s hoof expand and contract to aid in blood flow, which helps absorb the higher frequencies of energy on impact.”
To achieve that hoof expansion and contraction, Lynch trims trimming the hoof using what he refers to as a “mustang roll,” molding and shaping the foot to resemble what is found on wild mustangs.
Lynch got started in natural hoof care when one of his own horses foundered on him. Foundering occurs when the coffin bone breaks loose and rotates in the hoof. After a visit from a veterinarian and a Farrier (a craftsman who trims and shoes horses’ hooves), Lynch didn’t agree with the treatment plan and decided to look for alternatives.
He discovered natural hoof care and began his horse’s treatment. Treatment that would have taken 12 to 14 months to work, worked in about 5 months.
“My horse was hitting on all cylinders,” Lynch said. He then started studying natural hoof care at clinics and elsewhere to learn as much as he could. “I was training, and then this just took off. And, you know, here we are. We’ve been training people and helping them to get started, it’s been very exciting.”
What nature intended
One of the people Lynch has trained is Barbara Dixon of Double-Bar-A Natural Hoof Care. Lynch and Dixon now split the Delaware business. Dan covers southern Delaware, and Barbara works in northern Delaware.
Dixon describes natural hoof care as “modeling our horses on what nature intended”. She has known Lynch for about 10 years and finally called him for his help when she noticed her horse was walking crooked. She now wonders why it took her so long to make that call. “Now that I see how much better my horses feet look, even after eight months, I feel bad that I’ve had my horses shod for the past thirty years.”
Holistic veterinarian care
Rounding out the holistic approach Lynch employs is veterinarian Christina Abramowicz, an alternative care vet.
Abramowicz employs many different methods to care for a horse, from herbal treatments to accupuncture and chiropractic solutions. “There’s an ancient Chinese saying, ‘no hoof, no horse.’ So, if my chiropractic adjustments are going to hold, they’ve got to have good feet, which is why I’ve been getting up with Dan a lot and making sure, that he can take care of my patients and they can be the best they can be.”
Using traditional Chinese veterinary medicine exam, Abramowicz checks the horses tongue, looking for signs of problems like dryness or swelling. She also checks various points along the horses’ body looking for flinching out of the horse that could signal a problem resulting from bad posture, irritation from a saddle and more.
She sees many different issues with her patients, from joint and posture problems to eye and hoof issues. “We expect [horses] to live thirty years, you can’t deal with them when they’re thirty if they’re broke down at twenty.”
Lynch and Dixon both love horses, and they’re passion shows. “I like the training, when we make a huge breakthrough. I think my favorite part of that is saving someone else’s horse, either the relationship with the horse or actually saving the horse is by far the best part of this whole thing, Lynch said.
Dixon also likes being able to help the horses as well as their owners. “Horse people are kind of a different breed; it’s born in us. I like the fact that you help people. It gives me joy to make that horse better. I think that’s going to be my favorite part is helping the horse and seeing the owner be happy with what we’re doing.”