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International Hoof Care Summit


Lafayette, Ind., farrier Danvers Child kicked off the fourth and final IHCS general session with his presentation, “Considerations For Shoeing The Caudal Aspect Of The Foot.”

During the Better Practices, Better Results Lecture, Dr. Scott Morrison of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital discussed, “Shoeing Strategies -- Covering 'Normal' Through Pathologies.”

The 14th annual International Hoof Care Summit (IHCS) was held in Cincinnati, Ohio January 24-27, sponsored by the American Farriers Journal. The theme of this year’s gathering of farriers and veterinarians to improve equine hoof care was “Trusted Practices, Innovative Thought.”

This event offered top quality equine foot care education with 8 General Sessions, 15 Hoof-Care Classrooms, 24 Hoof-Care Roundtables and 18 How-To Clinics. In addition, attendees had hours to spend at the IHCS Trade Show, seeing and learning about new foot care products for 2017, as well regular items that farriers rely on hoof health in their daily practices. Following are some of the highlights of this year’s summit.

On Tuesday, January 24, Mitch Taylor talked about “How To Affect The Equine Fetlock Joint.” The fetlock joint is an incredible part of equine anatomy. Lameness that involves this joint is a common challenge for hoof care professionals to address. Mitch Taylor, owner and operator of the Kentucky Horseshoeing School in Richmond, Ky., surveyed the anatomy of the fetlock joint and surrounding structures. Tag-teaming with Dr. Jenny Hagen of the Equine Locomotor System and Hoof Orthopaedics at Leipzig University’s Institute of Veterinary Anatomy, Hagen presented the results from a study of the relationship between toe conformation and fetlock joint angle, and the effect of different wedges on internal structures associated with the fetlock joint.

In the second part of this presentation, dissections utilized a close-up camera so all attendees could see on a big screen the subtle anatomical details. As Mitch Taylor continued with the dissection, Dr. Hagen related this complex anatomy to the physiological function of the performance horse. Their combined presentation revealed how orthopedic device selection affects the function of the fetlock joint.

A series of “How-To” hoof care knowledge clinics include such topics as: equine nutrition advice for horse owners; the effect of moisture on hoof wall integrity and how to control it; how shoe wear provides indication of joint problems; therapeutic shoeing, and more.

The Hoof-Care Rountables provided small group settings for information sharing. Attendees could choose from a variety of Roundtables including: anatomy, foot pathologies, farrier’s legal responsibilities, trimming the bars, farrier business practices, veterinarian-farrier relationships, and more.

Dr. Brian Hampson lectured on “Brumbies: What’s New In The Australian Wild Horse Research?” Following up on his landmark research of the Australian Brumby, Hampson reviewed the latest research discoveries with the Brumby.
Chris Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School spoke about foot care for the mule. He talked about how the mule’s different anatomy and temperament require an adaptation to the normal shoeing style.

Dr. Mike Steward spoke on “Managing Severe White Line Disease.” Although the term “white line disease” is technically incorrect, it is the go-to term/description for most practitioners, and farriers and veterinarians encounter this issue with some frequency. When the problem has become serious, treating it presents many challenges. Shawnee, Oklahoma veterinarian, Steward reviewed the pathogenesis and cases in which the disease was treated. His insight showed how a team approach, skill and knowledge, combined to help these horses return to their previous level of use.

A careful study of the shape of the bones of the lower equine limb is important to have the best understanding when trimming and shoeing the horse. Radiography is the most typically used and powerful tool that the equine practitioner has available to assess the conformation of any individual horse. Hoof researcher Monique Craig of Paso Robles, California summarized the morphology of the bones and the lower-leg kinematics, and showed how this information aids in the best utilization of radiographs of the equine lower leg. Using state-of-the art-technology, she looked at the three distal phalanges of the leg, and studied them from 3D polygonal data from laser scans, and from standard practice radiographic projections of the lower leg.

Simon Curtis, Researcher in Newmarket, England, and Dr. Sarah Jane Hobbs, Biomechanics Research at the University of Central Lancashire, were featured panelists on the topic “How Does Weight-Bearing and Loading Affect Hoof Wall Growth.” Some horses grow too much foot, some not enough. The reasons why and challenges that come with either are addressed by Curtis and Hobbs.

There were plenty more hoof care presentations from top hoof care experts. Readers can review the 2017 program and get a preview of the 2018 program at: Follow the American Farriers Journal on facebook, too. Here you’ll learn about the free ebook Hoof-Care For The Dressage Horse. In addition, find out about free webinars offered by the American Farriers Journal.

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