Happy New Year! End of the old, start of the new, and the Winter Solstice is behind us here in the US - bright days are ahead. We even have a "National Day of the Horse" now (THANKS, Dennis Reis et al!) Think naturally, and think positively. That is difficult to do when there seems to be an ongoing trend toward war, whether it be a major armed conflict between nations, or any hostile opposition.

In this horse world we have beef producers against mustangs, conventional vs complementary, vets vs practitioners, shoers vs trimmers, equine dentists vs equine dental techs, traditional horsepeople vs natural horsepeople, humans vs horses, judges against horses, educational institutions against other educational institutions, and even horse rescues against horse rescues. It isn't fair when horses undeservedly bear the brunt of it. But let's remember to not throw out the baby with the bath water; opinions may differ but every one has something worthwhile to contribute.

Competition can be good to keep the competitors striving to put forth their best efforts for a well-earned reward. But when what is rewarded is not someone's best efforts, but rather something that hurts another in the name of personal gain or ‘desired outcome' - or achieving a certain ‘look' such as common show judging rewards - I don't agree with it. Many horses suffer at the insensitive hands of ruthless people who have no regard for the welfare of horses, or the earth and its other creatures, and who want the reward at whatever the cost to the horse (or other victim). To stop this, judging needs to change - the reward system needs to change. If harmful practices were to reap no reward, they just might stop. (Why many people strive in excess for reward is another story…)

In this issue you will find some interesting and informative articles including lots of helpful hoofcare information. Please check out our inside back cover for a hoof trimmer near you. Also, we have started, like our Hoof Trimmer list (Partner-Up Page), an Equine Dentistry PUP. In spite of the differences in the equine dentistry community, we want to help dentists/ techs and horse caretakers find each other, for the horse's sake. Dentistry is a critical aspect of horse care and maintenance, and while NHM doesn't endorse any particular educational institution or practitioner, we want to make them known to you. It is up to you to choose - ask questions. To be on the list, contact us at 800-660-8923 or Remember that in some states it is illegal for a non-veterinarian to do equine dentistry; check into your state's laws at and If you don't like your laws, get involved in changing them.

It is my sincere hope and wish for the New Year that the trend of opposition rapidly reverses itself toward Peace and Harmony. I love peace. Those of us who are on the same path, FOR the horse, could join up and ride along on the journey side-by-side, in harmony. There is much to share, and the path is wide enough for us all.

Enjoy the issue!