The mission of the foundation is to conduct and foster research with respect to diseases, abnormalities and health of the equine foot. The foundation engages in veterinarian research, collecting clinical data, providing continuing veterinary education and publishing and disseminating research papers and studies to equine veterinarian podiatrists, farriers, veterinarian schools and the horse-owning public, relating to proper equine hoof/foot health and care, focusing on enhancing the understanding of equine foot function, disease conditions and abnormalities.
Equine musculoskeletal disease and resulting lameness is the single greatest contributor to equine wastage. Due to equine wastage, and resulting chronic lameness and pain, a substantial number of horses become unable to perform in the disciplines for which they were bred and trained, sometimes necessitating humane euthanasia. Recent studies (Marrian 2003, Jurga 2010, and Dyson 2014) indicate that 70-80 percent of all equine lameness cases have causes which originate in the foot and hoof.
At present, equine hoof care, including proper trimming and shoeing of the equine hoof, is based on experience-derived decisions rather than from research-derived data that can be applied on a consistent basis (O’Grady 2009). The two professions of equine veterinary medicine and equine farriery have often worked in separate arenas with little integration and marginal communications with respect to problems of the equine foot. The Foundation’s research will seek to develop uniform standards of treatment and provide research-based information and education for these two professions with the goal of achieving a meaningful reduction of equine lameness. The present lack of empirical data and clinical understanding of the equine foot provides the Foundation with research opportunities calculated to have a positive impact in the reduction of equine lameness, loss of use and suffering.