The Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop and the Homestead Veterinary Hospital hosted a 2-day clinic from June 6-7 in Villa Ridge, Mo. (June 6) at the Homestead Veterinary Hospital and in Foristell, Mo. (June 7) at the Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop, drawing 35 attendees. All proceeds from the clinic were donated to the Therapeutic Horsemanship and Animal Health Foundation.

The clinic was split into two portions for the two days with both being lead by clinician, Mike Wildenstein. Wildenstein is a Farrier Product Distribution clinician and retired Adjunct Associate Professor of Farrier Medicine and Surgery in the Department of Clinical Sciences of the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. He is a certified journeyman farrier and was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame in 2006. He specializes in the shoeing of lameness cases and heavy horses.

The first day of this 2-day clinic offered 10 farriers a “hands-on” opportunity to “evaluate and shoe a horse alongside Mike Wildenstein,” says Bob Schantz of Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop. “The evaluation was conducted by Mike, focusing on the whole animal, the horse’s conformation and any disparities and/or limb issues that the farrier might address. A trimming and shoeing plan was adopted to allow the horse to perform it’s best.  Homestead Veterinarians also took radiographs as requested, before work began, after the trim was completed and after the shoes were applied. Every phase was detailed with instructions and guidance.

“Mike reminded everyone that they are ‘horse shoers’, not just ‘hoof shoers’. He directed everyone’s attention to the entire horse, muscling differences per side, limb deviations and abnormalities and movement. He asked farriers to gather all of the information they could about the horse, the owner, the horse’s job and the environment, before they even begin working on the horse.”

While only 10 farriers were allowed to participate in the “hands-on” portion of the clinic on June 6, more people observed and audited the event for half the admission price.

The second day, a free clinic, featured three lectures from Wildenstein. He discussed “the evaluation and treatment of limb deviations in foals, shoeing for soft tissue lesions and current modalities for the treatment of laminitis,” says Schantz. A Q&A followed each presentation, leading to expanded discussions.

They will be holding another clinic in the spring of 2015 with planning already underway.

The Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop and Homestead Veterinary Hospital “cooperate regularly to host farrier and veterinarian clinics. We believe strongly in continuing education for farriers and veterinarians and we want to provide value to our customers,” explains Schantz.