Educating hoof-care professionals about the equine foot is at the heart of the International Hoof-Care Summit. There is no better way to demonstrate that focus than beginning the second day of the 12th annual event with the Burney Chapman Memorial Lecture.

The Lubbock, Texas, farrier, who passed away in 1999 at the age of 57 after a long battle with brain cancer, had a passion for educating farriers. A charter member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame, Chapman probably is best known for reintroducing the heart bar shoe for treating laminitis and other therapeutic concerns.

The 10th annual Burney Chapman Memorial Lecture, presented by Life Data Labs, was delivered Wednesday by Australian farrier Brad Porter, who shared his insights as the former head farrier of the Hong Kong Jockey Club during his presentation, “Treating Quarter Cracks: What Do We Really Know?”

“What do we know about quarter cracks?” Porter asks. “There’s been a little bit of documentation, but we don’t really know a lot.”

Part of the problem is a rush to treat the problem without first assessing the cause, he says.

“A lot of time we’re running a marathon, when all we have to do is walk,” Porter says. “We’re taking in a lot of information and it seems like some farriers are just worried about what they’re going to do rather than assessing the problem.”

When evaluating a horse with a quarter crack, he suggests asking yourself these questions:

  • Is there increased pulse?
  • Does the horse have a warm foot?
  • Does palpation exhibit pain?
  • How lame is the horse?
  • Is the horse performing fast work?
  • When is the horse racing (performing)?

“If the horse was galloping this morning, it’s a pretty recent problem,” Porter says. “If not, how long has it been since the horse galloped? Ask questions before you do anything to the horse. Stop, take a breath and take it all in first.”

Other things to consider is the surface the horse performs on, its bedding, nutrition, lower limb conformation, hoof balance, hoof prep and hoof capsule support.

Form And Function Of The Equine Foot As It Relates To Farriery

An understanding of the anatomy, physiology and biomechanics of the equine distal limb is extremely important for both the farrier and veterinarian. Dr. Stephen O’Grady of Northern Virginia Equine discussed the need for education, knowledge and communication from both parties during his presentation, “Form And Function Of The Equine Foot As It Relates To Farriery.”

“In order for a horse to be at the top of its game, it has to have a good, healthy foot,” he says. “In an equine practice, a skilled farrier is often your best friend because he will accentuate what you do. A farrier is going to play some role. If there’s conflict and a lack of communication, the patient suffers.”

The role of biomechanics, O’Grady says, is crucial to preventing and treating injuries and diseases.

“Abnormal stresses within the foot predispose the foot to injury,” he says. “The veterinarian and farrier can work to mitigate those stresses to prevent disease or for treatment after disease has occurred. By knowing biomechanics, you can change the stresses very nicely.”

Trade Show

The first day of the Trade Show got off to a roaring start as attendees flooded the third floor of the Duke Energy Center to get their first look at all of the new products for 2015. SmartPak provided coffee for attendees to enjoy as they took advantage of the opportunity to speak one-on-one with exhibitors.

“I sold a bunch of knives right off the bat,” says Frank Ringel of Ringel Custom Knives from Florence, Mont. “I have a lot of loyal customers who have learned over the years to get here early if they want to get the best selection. As soon as the doors opened, my credit card machine was getting a workout.”

A number of attendees inspected a shiny new farrier rig at a booth manned by Finger Lakes Custom Manufacturing of Owasco, N.Y. Neal Purdy and his team unveiled the newly designed trailer and received an “overwhelming response.”

“That’s what it’s all about, generating interest,” Purdy says. “I had one attendee who asked me how much it is. I quoted him a price and he asks, ‘How much right now?’ It would be nice not to drive this home.”

Attendees poured over the hoof knives, patriotic farrier tools and other products on display at the booth manned by Nanric.

“It’s been a great show,” says Shannon Redden, marketing director and company manager. “We’ve been busy.”

Hoof-Care Classrooms

Immediately following the first 3-hour Trade Show session, attendees had the opportunity to choose from five Hoof-Care Classrooms.

Proper Shoe Selection For Soft Tissue Injuries: Steve Sermersheim of Midwest Horseshoeing School in Divernon, Ill., discusses shoeing options for horses dealing with soft tissue injuries. Sermersheim says it’s critical to let the various factors involved determine your course of action.

“A soft tissue injury needs to be diagnosed by a veterinarian,” he says. “It’s important that farriers know how the injury was diagnosed because it influences our shoeing plan.”

How To Prepare And Deliver A Presentation: Dr. Harry Werner of North Granby, Conn., and Leighton, Iowa, farrier Jeff Ridley detailed to attendees what it takes to create a presentation that farriers, veterinarians and horse owners can understand.

Werner, the former president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and a member of the International Equine Veterinarian Hall Of Fame, discussed how to plan and write an educational or research paper. Ridley gave tips on assembling the information to create an effective slide show.

Considering The Role Of Sole Support: The frog and sole are important for a healthy foot; however, the engagement of the sole can be lost when applying a shoe. Todd Allen of Vandergrift, Pa., discussed ways to prevent and help many problems with the hoof associated with not maintaining function of the frog and sole.

Enjoy Your Footcare Business — Yes, It Can Be Fun: British farrier David Nicholls maintains that paying the appropriate attention to managing your business doesn’t have to be a chore.

A veteran of farriery for more than 45 years detailed how technology, as well as time-tested practices can not only improve your efficiency and profits, but also help you gain more appreciation for the business side of your practice.

Thinking Inside The Foot And Out Of the Box: Pat Burton provided attendees with ideas on how to read external landmarks of the hoof to identify where internal structures are located, determine the viability and function of the structures and how to arrive at the correct trimming protocol.

The Burleson, Texas, farrier detailed how he evaluates a horse’s progress, the application adjustments that might be necessary and how to document and review the cases.

Putting The Horse First: Focus On Case Outcome And Client Service (Part 1)

Werner and Ridley reteamed to discuss why both veterinarians and farriers need one another when treating the hoof care needs of horses.

The duo used case studies to demonstrate the roles that vets and farriers have and how they can vary. In addition, Werner and Ridley discussed how effective working relationships makes both better vets and farriers better at their respective jobs.

Rising Shoeing Star

Three farriers were honored for making outstanding progress in their young careers in the equine hoof-care field.

Cassidy Robyn of Hollister, Calif., won first place in the Rising Shoeing Star contest. The Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School graduate received $1,000 and all expenses paid to this year's Summit.

Sarah Coltrin of Roselle, Ill., and Sam Zalesky of Lexington, Ky., were the two runners-up. Coltrin is a graduate of Midwest Horseshoeing School in Divernon, Ill., while Zalesky graduated from Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo.

To be eligible for this year's Rising Shoeing Star Award, a farrier must have graduated from a horseshoeing school in 2011 and spent the past 3 years working in the hoof-care profession.

Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center, G.E. Forge & Tool, Life Data Labs, Purcell Farrier Supply, R.J. Matthews Co., Vettec and American Farriers Journal co-sponsored the award. 

Be sure to plan which lectures you will attend during the third day of the International Hoof-Care Summit.

The American and Canadian Associations of Professional Farriers (AAPF/CAPF) welcomed new board members in its annual meeting.

The membership welcomed Curtis Burns of Wellington, Fla.; Tim Cable of Blasdell, N.Y.; and Mike Hayward of Los Gatos, Calif. They will be replacing Scott Lampert of Lake Elmo, Minn.; Bob Pethick of Califon, N.J.; and Doug Workman of Cleveland, Ga. The retiring members will join the Board of Trustees.

"It was a very successful meeting," says Bryan Quinsey, executive director of the AAPF/CAPF. "There is a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about the association's activities. Watch for our new educational initiatives in 2015."

Tell us what you liked most about the Wednesday’s schedule in the comments section below.