Jaime Jackson is a 35-year veteran hoof care professional, lecturer, author and researcher on wild and domestic horse hooves. He is best known for the practice of natural hoof care first written about in The Natural Horse: Lessons from the Wild (1992).
The Natural Horse was based upon Jackson's studies from 1982 until 1986 of the wild horse in its natural environment in the Great Basin of the western United States. Jackson discovered that not only were wild horses living longer than domestic horses but also were suffering none of the hoof maladies that plague those kept in ‘captivity’ -- notably navicular syndrome and laminitis. Following his research, he began experimenting on the hooves of domestic horses to find an effective way to trim their feet and allow them to remain barefoot and strong. In 1990 he stopped all shoeing of horses and, instead, began to advocate for the wild-horse trim. He soon concluded that even horses with severe hoof conditions deemed to be incurable by vets and farriers could, over time, be restored to good health through barefoot trimming and natural horse care (i.e., naturalization of the diet and boarding situation).
In the early 2000s, Jackson created the American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners (AANHCP), a non-profit organization devoted to education, training and certification of the Natural Hoof Care Practitioner. Since then, the organization has expanded its scope and has changed its name to the "Association for the Advancement of Natural Horse Care Practices." The guiding principles to natural hoof care, according to Jackson are:
- Leave that which should be there naturally.
- Take only that which should be worn away naturally in the wild.
- Allow to grow that which should be there naturally but is not due to unnatural forces.
- Ignore all pathology.
Within a few years, a large, worldwide barefoot movement formed to promote the healthy benefits of barefootedness and natural horse care. Although the studies of Dr. Hiltrud Strasser are also well known in the 'barefoot world,' the principles and methods of the wild horse trim taught by the AANHCP have little similarity with the trimming practices taught through the "Strasser Program." According to Robert Cook (veterinarian), Professor of Surgery Emeritus at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, in Massachusetts, Jackson provided "indisputable evidence, available for more than a decade, disproving the claim that domesticated horses need shoes." (see references)
Jackson's most recent book, Paddock Paradise: A Guide to Natural Boarding (2006), further advances the concept of using natural horse care to maintain and/or restore optimal health. The premise of Paddock Paradise is now generally recognized as a means to provide safe, humane, living conditions which use the horses natural instincts to stimulate and facilitate movement and other behaviors that are essential to a biodynamically sound horse. Jackson notes that because the hoof is adaptively cross-linked to the nexus of natural behavior and movement, it can be restored to its native integrity and soundness by putting horses in a simulated natural environment. This is especially noteworthy given the dismal results of a study published in the November 2000 edition of the American Farriers Journal, which stated that less than 10 percent of the 122 million equines around the world are clinically sound. The concept of a "paddock paradise" is designed to encourage movement through the creation of a series of pathways or 'tracks,' with various stimuli, such as strategically placed feeding spots and watering holes, incorporated within or alongside the track in order to activate curiosity or movement.
Jackson is the Executive Director of the Association for the Advancement of Natural Horse Care Practices (www.aanhcp.net), lives in Central California and continues to maintain an active trimming and rehabilitation clientele.
Paddock Paradise is a term used to describe natural horse boarding, a concept introduced by Jackson in his book, "Paddock Paradise, A Guide to Natural Horse Boarding" (Star Ridge Publishing). The premise of a natural boarding model is to provide safe, humane, living conditions which use the horse's natural instincts to stimulate and facilitate movement and other behaviors that are essential to a biodynamically sound horse.
Based upon numerous studies of the wild horse, research shows that horses will thrive physically, mentally and emotionally if kept in an environment that takes into consideration the most basic elements of their natural world by situating and propelling them into forward movement. According to Jackson, who founded the American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners (AANHCP) in 2002, the hoof is adaptively cross-linked to the nexus of natural behavior and movement and can be restored to its native integrity and soundness by putting horses in such a simulated natural environment.
Natural horse boarding is unlike a traditional situation with stalls, small paddocks and/or lush green pastures (founder traps!), and is designed to encourage movement through the creation of a series of paths with a quantity of various stimuli such as strategically placed feeding spots and watering holes that are incorporated within or alongside the track in order to activate curiosity or movement.
Natural horse care practices include elements of natural hoof care, encouraging herd mentality, foraging for small amounts of food strategically available throughout the day, maintaining a watering hole near or at the source of drinking water, behaviors related to horses as prey animals, relative dominance (pecking order), grooming, resting and sleeping behaviors.
- "Equine Wellness Magazine", Hoof Anatomy 101 by Jaime Jackson (March/April 2010)
- "Equine Wellness Magazine", Understanding Wear Patterns by Jaime Jackson (May/June 2010)
- "Barrel Racer News", Lose the Shoes? Is Barefoot for Everyone? by Annie Lambert (April 2010)
- Taylor, Walt, "American Farriers Journal", v.26, #6, p. 5) (November 2000)
- Hansen, R.M. "Diets of Wild Horses, Cattle and Mule Deer in the Piceance Basin, Colorado" JRM, 29(5), Colorado State University (1976)
- Matthias, Gerss, DVM, and Appelt, S: Our Computer Controlled Active Stable System, p. 1, The Horse's Hoof, Issue 32, Fall 2008
- Strasser, H, DVM Lifetime of Soundness, Sabine Kells, 2000, ISBN 0-9685988-0-3
- Ramey, P. Making Natural Hoof Care Work for You, Star Ridge Publishing, 2003, ISBN 0-9658007-7-6
- Thomas, Heather Smith, Understanding Equine Hoof Care, Eclipse Press, 2006, p. 23-24/>
- Cook, Robert, FRCVS, PhD., "Is It Time for Hoof-Care Revolution?" "Veterinary Times," v.38, pp 24–27, 2008 and "The Horse's Hoof," v.33, pp. 8–9, Winter 2008
- Jurga, Fran, "The Natural Hoof: A Sign of the Times," The Horse (October 10, 2001)
- Jackson, Jaime "Paddock Paradise", Star Ridge Publishing (2006)
- Jackson, Jaime "The Natural Horse: Foundations for Natural Horsemanship," Northland Publishing (1992) / rev. Star Ridge Publishing (1998)
- "Equine Wellness", V. 3, Issue 5 p. 26-30 (Sept/Oct 2008)
- The Natural Horse: Lessons From The Wild, J. Jackson, Northland Publishing, 1992, Star Ridge Company ISBN 0-9658007-0-9
- Horse Owners Guide to Natural Hoof Care, J. Jackson, Star Ridge Company ISBN 0-9658007-6-8
- Founder: Prevention & Cure the Natural Way, J.Jackson, Star Ridge Company ISBN 0-9658007-3-3
- Guide to Booting Horses for Hoof Care Professionals, J. Jackson, Star Ridge Company ISBN 0-9658007-2-5
- Official Trimming Guidelines of the AANHCP, J. Jackson, 2006
- Paddock Paradise, J. Jackson, Star Ridge Company, 2007 ISBN 0-9658007-8-4
- http://www.jaimejackson.com The Official Website of Jaime Jackson
- http://www.isnhcp.net The Institute for the Study of Natural Horse Care Practices, a Natural Hoof Care Training & Education program, created by Jaime Jackson.
- http://www.aanhcp.net The Association for the Advancement of Natural Horse Care Practices (AANHCP) Website
- http://www.barefoothorse.com The website of Marjorie Smith
- http://www.hoofrehab.com The website of Pete Ramey
- http://www.safergrass.org The website of Kathryn Watts