Jaime Jackson is a 35-year veteran hoof care professional, author, researcher and noted expert on both wild and domestic horse hooves. A pioneer in the practice of natural hoof care , Jaime first wrote of this following the time he spent studying the wild horse in its natural environment in the Great Basin of the United States from 1982 until 1986 in his book, "The Natural Horse: Lessons from the Wild, released by Northland Publishing in 1992.
The book explained his research, observations and findings -- including some radical differences between these wild horses and their domestic counterparts. Not only that they were living longer than domestic horses but also were suffering from none of the hoof maladies that plague those equines 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 while allowing them to remain barefoot -- but strong. In 1990 he completely stopped shoeing horses' hooves altogether 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 many vets and farriers could, over time, be restored to good health through the healing powers of nature, either encouraged or directed by this model of barefoot trimming, and by introducing other components of more natural horse care such as naturalization of the diet and of the boarding situation.
In the early 2000's, Jackson created the American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners (AANHCP), a non-profit organization devoted to education and training, which has a certification program for the Natural Hoof Care Practitioner. Since then, the organization has expanded its scope and changed its name to the "Association for the Advancement of Natural Horse Care Practices." According to Jackson, the guiding principles to natural hoof care are: "1. Leave that which should be there naturally. 2. Take only that which would be worn away naturally in the wild. 3. Allow to grow that which should be there naturally but is not due to unnatural forces. 4. Ignore all pathology."
Jackson continued publishing his writings with the release of "The Horse Owner's Guide to Natural Hoof Care" (200 ), a follow-up to "The Natural Horse" but with the intent of helping horseowners interested in a more natural way of horsekeeping that also included extensive advice for trimming to the wild horse model. In "Founder: Prevention and Cure the Natural Way," Jackson demonstrates the resilience of laminitic hooves when given appropriate, natural treatment and the opportunity to heal. The "Guide to Booting Horses for Hoof Care Professionals" focuses in detail on the custom fitting of the Swiss Horse Boot, the only commercial hoof boot on the market that Jackson recommends and uses.
"His most recent book, Paddock Paradise: A Guide to Natural Boarding (2006), further advances the concept of using natural horse boarding as an integral component of 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 that simultaneously use the horses natural instincts to stimulate and facilitate movement and other behaviors that are essential to a biodynamically sound horse.
Based upon the wild horse model, Jackson's research supports the theory 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 -- most notably by situating and propelling the horse forward. Jackson found 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" encourages 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 tracks in order to activate curiosity or movement. Other natural lifestyle and horsekeeping topics examined by Jackson in Paddock Paradise include Diet and Feeding recommendations; Water and Watering Behavior, Dung and Dominance; Rolling, Pawing and Bathing; Resting, Sleeping and Grooming Behaviors; Combat and Playtime, Prey & Predator Behaviors; and the concept of Relative Dominance.
Jackson is the Executive Director of the Association for the Advancement of Natural Horse Care Practices (www.aanhcp.net). He resides in Central California and continues to maintain a trimming and rehabilitation clientele.
The Natural Horse: Lessons from the Wild, J. Jackson, Star Ridge Company, Northland Publishing, 1992
Horse Owners Guide to Natural Hoof Care, J. Jackson, Star Ridge Company , 1996
Founder: Prevention & Cure the Natural Way, J. Jackson, Star Ridge Company , 2000
Guide to Booting Horses for Hoof Care Professionals, J. Jackson, Star Ridge Company , 2002
Official Trimming Guidelines of the AANHCP, J. Jackson, 2006
Paddock Paradise, J. Jackson, Star Ridge Company, 2007