Jaime Jackson (born 1947) 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 veterinarians 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. Jackson is its Executive Director.
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. According to veterinarian Robert Cook, Professor of Surgery Emeritus at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Massachusetts, Jackson provided "indisputable evidence, available for more than a decade, disproving the claim that domesticated horses need shoes."
Jackson's 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 resides in Central California and maintains an active trimming and rehabilitation clientele.
A paddock paradise is a natural horse boarding 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 that 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"). It 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.
- Cook, Robert. "Is It Time for Hoof-Care Revolution?", Veterinary Times v.38, pp. 24–27, 2008.
- Equine Wellness 3(5), September/October 2008, pp. 26–30.
- Hansen, R.M. "Diets of Wild Horses, Cattle and Mule Deer in the Piceance Basin, Colorado", JRM, 29(5), Colorado State University, 1976.
- Jackson, Jaime. "Hoof Anatomy 101", Equine Wellness Magazine, March/April 2010.
- 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.
- Jackson, Jaime. "Understanding Wear Patterns", Equine Wellness Magazine, May/June 2010.
- Jurga, Fran. "The Natural Hoof: A Sign of the Times," The Horse, 10 October 2001.
- Lambert, Annie. "Lose the Shoes? Is Barefoot for Everyone?", Barrel Racer News, April 2010.
- Matthias, Gerss, and Appelt, S. "Our Computer Controlled Active Stable System", The Horse's Hoof, No. 32, Fall 2008, p. 1.
- Strasser, H. Lifetime of Soundness, Sabine Kells, 2000. ISBN 0-9685988-0-3
- Taylor, Walt. American Farriers Journal, v.26, #6, November 2000, p. 5.
- 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
- The Natural Trim: Principles and Practice, J. Jackson, J Jackson Publishing, 2012 ISBN 0984839909
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- Official website
- The Institute for the Study of Natural Horse Care Practices, a Natural Hoof Care Training & Education program, created by Jaime Jackson
- The Association for the Advancement of Natural Horse Care Practices (AANHCP)
- Paddock Paradise