The second day of the 2-day Cornell Farrier Conference at the School of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, N.Y., began with Roy Bloom showcasing some of his ornamental blacksmithing. He then showed the process that he uses to make a fuller.

Dave Farley then touched on the difference between hunter, jumpers and dressage horses, first using video profiling top horses of each. These three disciplines do different things, so the farrier must understand these subtleties of each. The Hall Of Fame farrier says the first step is to study these points in these disciplines:

  • They are trained specifically for their job.
  • They often compete in different footing.
  • There are different levels of competition in each one.
  • The higher the level of competition the most pressure on the farrier.

If you don’t have good relationships with veterinarians, it is impossible to succeed with these disciplines, says Farley. “If you don’t have a good relationship with vets, develop them now.” He also recommends joining each of the associations of the disciplines you shoe for.

Next, Karen Gellman, DVM, Ph.D., of Equine Sports Medicine in Ithaca, N.Y., presented research her team conducted on hoof distortion and equine posture. They studied eight barefoot horses in the Houston, Texas, area under the management of equine veterinarian David Hood. Gellman’s data shows that the horses with abnormal compensatory posture usually have hoof capsule distortion in the A/P plane, with the hoof capsule migrated forward on the coffin bone. Using only a trim, all the horses in the study made a dramatic change towards normal, balanced hooves in the course of Feb. 2014 to April 2014.

Dave Farley lectured again and shared his thoughts on running a successful farrier practice. The very first step to a successful business is to commit to it — it won’t happen by accident or time. You have to invest experience and continue your education. To run a good business, Farley says these traits are necessary:

  • The art of farriery.
  • Understanding lower limb anatomy.
  • The ability to communicate.
  • Have the proper equipment.
  • Be horse savvy.
  • Be a good manager and keep good records.
  • Seek out continuing education.
  • Give back to the industry.

To close out the Cornell Farrier Conference, veterinarian Wade Walker surveyed the advantages and disadvantages of the modalities used to diagnose equine foot diseases. He used various case studies to illustrate how one modality can help you succeed with diagnosing one case, but fail in helping identify the issue with another.

Cornell plans on hosting the 31st conference in November 2015.

See what happened on the first day of this conference.