Before he passed away in 2009, he had built a career as a successful racetrack farrier, but also a reputation a shoer ready to help others. He freely shared his information with many of his farrier and veterinary colleagues. In that spirit of sharing knowledge, the University of Kentucky Department of Veterinary Science hosted the second annual Tex Cauthen Memorial Lecture at the Gluck Equine Research Center.
Closing out this seminar, the presenters gathered on the stage and shared further wisdom with the attendees. Here are a few of these highlights:
Mass Trumps Balance
Over the years, I learned mass trumps balance all of the time. The horses that I see these days are of many different breeds, and my main goal is to encourage foot mass. My questions with a horse is how much foot do I have to work with, when was it last shod, what is it wearing?
— Dr. Ric Redden
Look at the Foot First
Physical therapy is extremely important such as chiropractic work is important. In horses, you can’t get the body right unless you get the feet right, Once they are right, the other adjustments start kicking right in. A good learning lesson is on a laminitic horse that has a hard time walking. Start by trimming one foot. Then walk the horse a little ways. Then after that, you may find it easier to work with the next foot.
Much to Consider
There is a lot for a client to consider when a horse is hitting, and it isn’t necessarily a foot issue. A horse is a creature of habit, when you change anything of that daily routine, many horses have a tough time adapting. You better read your horse. If it was only hitting one time, go work the horse again and see if it does it again.
Make It Right with a Hot Nail
If you’ve been shoeing horses long enough, you’ve stuck a horse. If you haven’t, then you haven’t been shoeing very long or are lying. I’ve seen three cases of a horse dying because it was stuck with a hot nail. How does this happen. In one case, it was a young apprentice who stuck the horse, but didn’t tell his mentor. The boos didn’t notice it, and the client want informed. The vet missed it because he dint realized the problem was associated with the shoeing.
If you stick a horse, you know it. If you do, admit it to the owner. Never try to hide it — this will come back and haunt you. Pull that nail, don’t put in another one, put some iodine in the nail hole with some cotton over it. I may put the horse on antibiotics for 4 to 5 days. You are human, you’re going to make mistakes.
—Dr. Ric Redden
A running horse goes at a natural gait — keep it natural, keep it full. Keep it shod with as much foot as you can get on it. Always ask someone who is discussing shoeing “Why.” If it works, you now know why form their answer. And if it doesn’t work, it may be worth trying on another horse.
Overcoming Different Opinions
We stand behind our belief, but as you mature in the profession, you learn that we can disagree without being disagreeable. It isn’t about who is wrong and who is right, it what is best for the horse. You want different opinions so that you can learn from your colleagues and help the welfare of the horse.
—Dr. Raul Bras
You can watch lectures from this seminar below: