Lookout Mountain School of Horseshoeing held its 27th annual farrier clinic on October 18. The daylong event drew close to 80 attendees, with International Horseshoeing Hall of Famer, Mike Wildenstein, as the clinician.
Wildenstein’s presentation took place in three sections: “Trimming and Evaluation of the Equine Hoof,” “Therapeutic Horseshoeing” and “Shoeing for Soft Tissue Lesions.” Tom McNew, owner and instructor at Lookout Mountain School of Horseshoieng, says Wildenstein’s presentation grabbed everyone’s attention. “They were all paying attention all the time, and I do mean all the time,” he says.
McNew says Wildenstein presented the information in black and white and posed many questions to the audience, asking for their opinions on what they would do in this or that situation, and then he in turn would give his opinion and recommendation for the situation. He says, “Mike thoroughly explained everything, to the point where he covered a lot of the questions before the farriers even asked them.” This being said, when the audience did have questions for Wildenstein, he answered all of them and made sure everyone knew what was going on. The clinic was very conversational and Wildenstein let the crowd lead the discussion, yet still kept the conversations centered on the three main topics.
In the afternoon of the clinic, Wildenstein performed a live shoeing demo. McNew says, “He shod the horse to balance it out. He was most interested in making the horse level. His biggest suggestion to keep in mind when shoeing was, ‘Do not be afraid to try to fix a horse.’”
McNew and the Lookout Mountain School of Horseshoeing began holding their annual clinic in 1987. McNew says, “Back then there weren’t a lot of educational opportunities for farriers.” He saw the need for clinics for the current students at the Lookout Mountain School of Horseshoeing and also kept in mind the future students.