The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Annual Convention opened for general membership on Dec. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This gatheribrings thousands of equine practitioners together for educational session, as well as a large trade show featuring nearly 200 vendors.

The keynote address features Dr. Marvin Beeman, the founder of Littleton Equine Practice in Colorado and past president of the AAEP. His topic, “Do the Little Things Well and the Big Things Will Happen,” covered ways to establish and maintain a practice. Many of the principles that he touched on apply to farrier practices. A high level of client service is a cornerstone of that success. He warns against losing focus of the client relationship. “Yes, we work for the horse, but we are really in the people business,” he says.

The Lameness Examination and Therapy track began in the afternoon, led off by Dr. Tracy Turner of Anoka, Minn, “How to Use Manipulative Tests to Diagnose and Manage Equine Foot Pain.” Turner likes to use two separate types of hoof testers for examining and prefers using one hand to regulate the pressure applied.

Dr. Steve O’Grady of Marshall, Va., presented a talk on managing the club foot. He profiled a few cases of flexural deformities in foals and provided insight to how farriery can contribute to good management of these cases. Therapeutic farriery is the mainstay of treatment for club feet. He reminds vet and farrier to be proactive in these cases because of the danger of laminitis. A presentation that is more applicable for farriers will be featured at the 2015 International Hoof-Care Summit