The Strasser Method is just that, a method, and is therefore much more than a trim. Any horse will benefit greatly from a natural lifestyle, whether or not it is getting a physiologically correct trim; however, performing a physiologically correct trim on a horse who does not have a natural lifestyle can lead to problems.
Physiologically correct trim
The Strasser trim (hereafter referred to as PCT or physiologically correct trim) is based on the wild horse model, because the wild horse is the only model we have for truly healthy hooves (see pictures at right).
The goals of a PCF are:
There are specific parameters (toe angles, hairline slope angle, heel height, ,medial/lateral balance, etc.) which are also goals of the trim but may take time to achieve based on the condition of the horse and its hooves, and health of the coffin bone (bone loss will prevent achievement of some of these goals).
Nutritional imbalance and toxic exposure will also affect outcomes as they impact tissue quality and function of all systems.
More Lifestyle Features
In the wild, horses wade into water sources to drink and like to graze on the plants growing in and around the edges. As a result, their hooves are exposed to or immersed in water at least once a day, usually more often.
Healthy hooves receive hydration from two sources: (1) internally from sufficient circulation; and (2) from the environment. Here in Florida, we usually have a pretty lengthy rainy season, during which we don't have to worry about hydration. When it is dry, however, it is up to the owner to provide a source of external hydration.
One method is to feed in soaking pools (as shown above). My preferred method now is to keep a large area around my water troughs wet so they hydrate the hooves every time they take a drink.
CORRECT HOOF FORM
SUFFICIENT TIME TO HEAL
Never underestimate the impact of terrain on hooves. Shown above is a Paso Fino mare with a clubbed right front. Her left front is sitting on top of the sugar sand, while the clubbed foot is digging in with the toe because of that chronic high heel, taking the weight off the heel, which encourages it to grow faster and perpetuates the situation.
Wild Mustang Hooves
The pictures below are of mustangs living in the Pryor Mountains on the Wyoming-Montana border. They were taken by and used courtesy of Catherine A. Jones.
Mustang hoofprint in Pryor Mountain range. Note the round and symmetrical shape with a wide frog. Also note the hard ground with lots of rocks and gravel.
Pictured here are the hind feet of a Pryor Mountain herd member. You can see the low heel and 30-degree (or close to it) hairline slope.
Closeup of the Pryor Mountain winter range -- rocky and sparse. These very conditions are what keeps their feet so healthy.
The pictures below are of mustangs living near Reno, NV, and were taken by and used with permission from Carrie Christianson. She was able to get close enough to take these excellent pictures because the horses were used to being fed hay by locals during the winter.
Note the low heels, upright angle (55 degrees), and 30-degree hairline slope on this horse's hind legs.
This horse was lying down when the pictures was taken. You can see the quarter scooping that has been worn into the hoof wall.