Combining scientific research with real-life case management is the mission of the new Hoof Project Foundation headed by David Hood, DVM, PhD. Noted for his research on hoof problems such as laminitis, Hood hopes to work with the horse-owning community to treat and prevent laminitis, utilizing owner observation and management in the overall study of hoof disease.
Hood, a longtime faculty member at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in College Station, Texas, has worked with initial donors to design a three-part mission for the Foundation–education, rehabilitation, and research. The Foundation will fund scientific meetings related to hoof disease and research, but it also will set aside funds to help financially strapped owners rehabilitate their horses. A strict tenet of the Foundation is that all funds will be reserved for the Foundation’s mission; no funds will be used for veterinary fees.
The Foundation is allowing owners of foundered horses to memorialize their horses in an Internet gallery. One of the gallery horses is “Buck,” a Paint stallion which foundered at four days of age. He is now owned by Texas veterinarian Ilka Wagner, DVM, who is donating the horse’s stud fees to the new Foundation.
Hood continues to publish new information on the horse’s foot, including biomechanics studies that will lead to a clearer understanding of hoof structures and the role of hoof balance and nutrition in soundness. He recently completed a color photography guide of hoof anatomy titled Building the Equine Hoof, which will be published in early 2003.
To learn more about the Hoof Project Foundation, visit www.hoofprojectfoundation. com. A companion educational web site, www.hoofproject.com, is under construction.