The 2011 edition of the International Hoof-Care Summit once again sent attendees home with hundreds of fresh ideas to improve their footcare work and more effectively run their farrier businesses.

From the simplest basics to the most complex scientific issues, 698 attendees took home a wide variety of tips, tricks and techniques from 8 general sessions, 14 Hoof-Care Classrooms, 24 “How-To” clinics, 24 Hoof-Care Roundtables, viewing new products with nearly 100 Trade Show exhibitors and from networking with other farriers and veterinarians in the hallways.

Many attendees indicated the outstanding Summit lineup of farrier and equine veterinarian speakers is likely the best they’ve seen in the 8-year history of this event. With 72 in-depth sessions spread over 4 days, there were plenty of the latest ideas to meet the needs of everyone at the early February event held in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Here’s a brief summary of what attendees told us were their “wow” moments when it came to the most valuable information picked up at this year’s Summit.

Anatomy “Wows”

1. Mitch Taylor’s leg dissection helped me enjoy a much better understanding of what the other 55 Summit speakers were discussing over the next 3 days.

— Brandon Ogg, Logan, Ohio

2. It was amazing to see the amount of medial and lateral movement in the hoof capsule as Mitch Taylor moved around the leg during his dissection.

— Jonathan Wilson, 
Marengo, Ohio

3. It was nice to be able to view injury-prone areas from the outside during Mitch Taylor’s leg dissection so you know what you’re working with.

— Billy Bishop, Inverness, Fla.

4. Mitch Taylor delivered great in-depth anatomy information during his leg dissection.

— Jennifer Wrenne, 
Watsonville, Calif.

5. Seeing how Mark Caldwell visualized the coffin bone within the hoof capsule was fantastic.

— Dr. Chris Wickliffe, 
Corvallis, Ore.

6. Mitch Taylor’s comment about the ability of the bony column to rotate inside the hoof capsule was eye opening and explained some myths for me of equine footcare.

— R. Tyler Basinger, Benson, Ariz.

7. Revelations about scarring and calcification of the sensitive sole and laminae blew my mind.

— Alicia Thompson, 
Burlington, Ontario

8. The lessons learned in the Tuesday evening anatomy Hoof-Care Roundtable with Mark Caldwell, Simon Curtis, Dr. Ron Riegel and Bob Smith were amazing.

— Joe Livers, Lebanon, Ky.

Shoeing “Wows”

9. The frog is critical in reducing the impact of braking as the horse moves, says Steve Teichman.

— Dean Moshier, Delaware, Ohio

10. As soon as I get home, I’m trying Tab Pigg’s tip on using Adhere when shoeing several base-narrow horses.

— Dr. Maureen Fehrs, 
Michigan City, Ind.

11. Thanks to Dr. Amy Rucker, I now understand how a full rocker shoe can increase hoof growth and sole depth.

— Danny Terry, Pilot Point, Texas

12. My best idea is using David Nicholls’ leverage test to help determine the amount of support needed with hind limb proximal suspension injuries before wedging up the foot.

— Kerry Haugh, Wells, Minn.

13. Recognizing that the quality of dental impression material can shift dramatically as weather conditions change.

— Scott Nebergall, Allenton, Mich.

14. Dr. Amy Rucker revealed how to rely on venograms to evaluate changes in blood flow when raising hoof angles.

— Mitch Rawlings, Woodlawn, Ill.

15. David Nicholls’ talk on P3 fractures was a real learning opportunity. I’m going to use that information to see how much improvement I can make with several problem horses.

— Jesse Turner, Billings, Mont.

16. I learned a new method of building and applying a single-bolt hospital plate from Simon Curtis.

— R. Tyler Basinger, Benson, Ariz.

17. Talking about the pros and cons of leverage with Gene Ovineck of Equine Digit Support Systems during the trade show.

— Greg Leys, Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia

18. Tab Pigg’s idea of using acrylics to build out a shoe with a base-narrow horse is a technique I’m going to try.

— James Goode, Indiantown, Fla.

19. Dr. Amy Rucker’s talk on relying on digital radiographs for selecting the best shoe was great. She offered practical ideas and new ways to make lame horses better — always a great feeling.

— Billy Bishop, Inverness, Fla.

20. Mike Savoldi showed me how to read a cracked sole and determine if it means one side is more damaged or whether the horse has too much heel.

— Dean Moshier, Delaware, Ohio

21. Chris Gregory’s analysis of leverage vs. support dealt with real world, everyday shoeing.

— Joe Livers, Lebanon, Ky.

22. The Hoof-Care Roundtable moderated by Dr. Amy Rucker offered new techniques and numerous shoe selections that will give me a much better chance to help horses I haven’t been able to help in the past.

— Steve Myers, Arcanum, Ohio

23. Even though I’ve been shoeing for 30 years, it’s good to see some things never change and we still need to shoe for the coffin bone as pointed out by Simon Curtis, Dave Farley and Mark Caldwell.

— Lester Kurtz, Glenmont, Ohio

24. Bob Smith’s idea of using a diagonal pad or toe pad to float a section of the foot for better soundness.

— Dean Moshier, Delaware, Ohio

25. Tab Pigg’s tip on dealing with the base-narrow horse by addressing the high inside heel is my favorite tip.

— Dr. Maureen Fehrs,
Michigan City, Ind.

26. The quick and simple crack repair idea presented by Steve Teichman will let me more effectively patch hoof cracks.

— Tyler Basinger, Benson, Ariz.

27. Simon Curtis’ comment that a farrier’s misuse of corrective shoeing with conformation problems represents abuse of the horse was a telling point for me.

— Steve Stanley, Versailles, Ky.

28. I didn’t realize there were 30 definitions of breakover until Chris Gregory mentioned all of them.

— Paddy Doyle, West Orange. N.J.

29. Dave Nicholls had both scientific and practical information for dealing with pedal bone fractures.

— Joseph Newcomb, 
Longmont, Colo.

30. Don’t load the medial side of a foot on a medial-leaning horse. Treat this problem and quarter cracks with a two-bar shoe, suggested Dr. Amy Rucker in a Hoof-Care Roundtable.

— Alan Dryg, Crete, Ill.

31. Mike Savoldi’s discussion on why pathology never lies challenged me since it conflicts with many of my current shoeing practices.

— Richard Reid, Calgary, Alberta

Tool, Product 
Usage “Wows”

32. My most useful tip was Roy Bloom’s technique for properly sharpening a hoof knife. It isn’t the most insightful thing I learned at the Summit, but it’s the most useful tip because I’ll be using it on a daily basis.

— Mitchell Heitkamp, 
Versailles, Ohio

33. One of the best ideas was a new 3M product that’s cheaper and better than what I’ve been using for casting feet.

— Eric Joy, Bruin, Pa.

34. Talking to Trade Show vendors about their products was very enlightening, educational and motivating. I’m going to study how several new products could work in my practice.

— Clarence Crumpton, Jr., Thornburg, Va.

35. Dr. Amy Rucker’s Hoof-Care Classroom on combining a physical exam of the horse with radiographs was extremely helpful. I’d just bought some shoes at the Nanric booth and she showed me how to more effectively use them.

—Billy Bishop, Inverness, Fla.

36. Finding new iodine products in the exhibits of several trade show exhibitors.

— Tim Burris, Jacksonville, Fla.

37. Scott Lampert at OnTrack Equine always offers a wealth of new information and innovations.

— Justin Argent, 
Queenville, Ontario

38. Roy Bloom’s suggestion to moisten the buffing compound rather than the buffing wheel for more effective knife sharpening.

— Dean Moshier, Delaware, Ohio

39. Finding more casting tape options at the 3M exhibit and having breakfast with Rudy Kerckhaert.

— Todd Allen, Vandergrift, Pa.

40. The high-speed camera that showed the hoof in motion, the new Myron McLane shoeing apron and the magnetic “slipper” shoe seen in the Trade Show.

—David Ginter, 
Prince Albert, Sask.

Trimming “Wows”

41. Mark Caldwell’s findings answered my questions as to why basic trimming is so fundamental and often different for every horse.

— Arvin Reynolds, 
Washington, D.C.

42. If the junction of the frog doesn’t align with the sole plane, avoid trimming the heels down to that point. Be patient over several trims and they’ll match up, says Mike Savoldi.

— Kerry Haugh, Wells, Minn.

43. Dave Farley’s talk provided 12 easy steps to use when trimming to make sure I’m keeping horses properly balanced. His three tools — the laser level, contour gauge and hoof measuring brass ruler — are products I’m going to buy.

— Mary Miller, Ossineke, Mich.

44. Mark Caldwell’s emphasis on recognizing distortion in the hoof.

— Steven King, Kirkwood, Pa

45. Mike Savoldi’s presentation on “Pathology Never Lies” totally changed the way I look at the sole.

—Kerry Haugh, Wells, Minn.

46. Mark Caldwell’s talk on the importance of balance as it relates to various hoof landmarks blew me away. Coming to the Summit has motivated me to learn more — I’ll definitely be back.

— J. Kirk Shaw, Calgary, Alberta

47. The landmarks Mike Savoldi uses in trimming are new tools that will lead to better trims for me.

— Lee DeLisle, 
Preston Hollow, N.Y.

48. Mark Caldwell’s foot mapping procedures for identifying internal structures of the distal limb by understanding the external points of reference were awesome.

— Taylor Keenan, 
Clinton Corners, N.Y.

49. The Hoof-Care Roundtable on foal trimming had some great ideas from farriers and was very informative.

— Dr. Amy Rucker, Columbia, Mo.

Business “Wows”

50. Thanks to Jamie Cooper, I’m going home with many new ideas to keep clients happy with more effective customer service on my part.

— Stephen Smith, 
Wichita Falls, Texas

51. Illinois farrier Tom Rock talked about how to set up a Facebook page during his 20-minute “How-To Clinic.” I just created a business page for myself in my free time. My goal is to offer a way to promote a means to post questions and photos for discussion. This represents the free sharing of information for the farrier, vet, trainer, rider and horse owner as Mark Caldwell described. Tom Rock’s session inspired me to create this forum.

— Taylor Keenan, Clinton Corners, N.Y.

52. John Fligg’s critical business management strategies will help me improve the way I run my business.

— Doug Ruch, Westminister, Md.

53. Dave Farley’s data on the scary impact of a 10% increase in both the cost of farrier supplies and living expenses was very enlightening.

— LaVerne Mast, Middlebury, Ind.

54. Jamie Cooper’s ideas on new ways to collect overdue debts from clients, including possibly sending a 1099 tax form that declares the unpaid invoice as income.

— April Gladysh, Benson, Ariz.

55. Dave Farley’s presentation on mapping out your farrier career was great. He had great points on how to run a successful business, the importance of communication and how to save essential dollars for retirement.

— Jamie Wooten, Maine, N.Y.

56. I plan on working the business management ideas handed out by Dave Farley into my hoof-care business as soon as I get home.

— Justin Wilkins, Mundelein, Ill.

57. You can only trim and shoe so many horses in a lifetime, so if you do 30 horses a day at the beginning of your career, your career will be short. Space out the horses and you may shoe for 30 years, suggested farriers in one of the 24 Hoof-Care Roundtables.

—Kevin Durward, 
Little Britain, Ontario

58. Dave Farley has great ideas about what we can do every day with our shoeing skills and business skills. He possesses the knowledge to help us reach our full potential as farriers.

— Jake Giguere, Smithers, British Columbia

59. Jamie Cooper’s idea of knowing who you’re working for will help lower my risks regarding liability concerns.

— Lester Kurtz, Glenmont, Ohio

Hoof Health “Wows”

60. Dr. Frank Reilly’s tips about neuritis and resulting sore feet was great.

— Dr. Tookie Myers, 
Chesapeake, Va.

61. Dr. Frank Reilly’s presentation on dealing with Cushing’s disease in older horses was by far the most informative session for me.

— Carmen Theobald, 
Perry Sound, Ontario

62. Learning new ways to tackle foot lesions and abscesses from Simon Curtis was a winner.

— Mitchell Heitkamp,

Versailles, Ohio

63. Dr. Donald Walsh stressed the importance of cauterizing the hoof to prevent abscesses after trimming a laminitic or foundered horse.

— Bill Allison, Annville, Pa.

General “Wows”

64. After attending five Summits, my “wow” is being able to pick up information much easier and faster due to the accumulation of education gained over the previous years at the Summit.

— Glen Geesaman, 
Silver City. N.M.

65. My “wow” moment came during the Hoof-Care Roundtables when I recognized I could contribute to the education of other horseshoers.

— Robert Leach, Branchville, N.H.

66. New ideas on developing more effective vet and farrier relationships from Bob Smith and Dr. Ron Riegel will prove most helpful.

— Elam Stoltzfus, Gap, Pa.

67. Changes in trimming and shoeing won’t help if a horse has high AZTH or insulin levels, maintains Dr. Frank Reilly.

— Justin Argent, 
Queenville, Ontario

68. Talking with Esco Buff, I got a new perspective on what to look at from the top of the leg down and how to more effectively help a problem horse.

— Steve Myers, Arcanum, Ohio

69. Many new trimming and shoeing ideas came from valuable networking in the hallways with people from all over the world.

— Josh Burkhardt, Akron, N.Y.

70. Mike Savoldi’s comments on the way that legs move under the static body when a horse is on a treadmill being totally different than how the horses’ body moves over the static limb when running on the ground.

— Taylor Keenan, 
Clinton Corners, N.Y.

71. Esco Buff’s comment about clubfooted horses in his whole horse Hoof-Care Roundtable: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

— Mike Chaffin, Elk Grove, Calif.

72. Mike Savoldi was very knowledgeable, easy to understand and not too technical when dealing with the very difficult subject of foot pathology.

— Ian Dix, Galston, 
NSW, Australia

73. Helping fellow farriers in hallway conversations learn more about both high and low heels.

— Eric Joy, Bruin, Pa

74. When you get a shoeing prescription from a veterinarian, you still have to use your own best judgment and not automatically follow the recommendations. Since you have a duty to both the horse and owner, Jamie Cooper says you don’t have a legal obligation to follow the vet’s prescription.

— Nichole Smith,
Wichita Falls, Texas

75. My “wow” factor was listening to Pennsylvania farrier Sonny Pistilli explaining balance in the hallway.

— Ray Galluscio, Pawling, N.Y.


76. Dave Farley stressed how important the hind end is to balance. Most discussions are geared toward the front end of the horse, yet the hind feet provide the horsepower to make it work.

— Paddy Doyle, West Orange, N.J.

77. The 24 Hoof-Care Roundtables allow you to talk with other farriers about specific footcare problems you’re seeing and get new insights for dealing with a particular concern.

— Stephen Smith, 
Wichita Falls, Texas

78. Both Mike Caldwell and Mike Savoldi delivered very well thought out, cohesive, scientifically sound information. This valuable take home information can be used immediately.

— Jennifer Wrenne, 
Watsonville, Calif.

79. A number of speakers referred to new techniques I’d never thought of, which will make me evaluate things in different ways.

— Cody Williams, Okotoks, Alberta

80. Excellent take-home messages on anatomy, balance and therapeutic shoeing.

— Rick Stetler, Clyde, Ohio

81. Dave Farley’s 12 points of reference for better balance were great.

— Elam Stoltzfus, Gap, Pa.

82. Discussing similar concerns while networking with other farriers earned my biggest payoff.

— Tobias Ellis, Madras, Ore.

Biomechanical “Wows”

83. Mike Savoldi’s presentation showed how the pathology we see on the bottom of the hind foot is actually refloated on the pedal line. This alone was worth the trip.

—Lee DeLisle, 
Preston Hollow, N.Y.

84. Steve Teichman provided an excellent understanding of how the mechanics of the foot actually work.

— Kevin Cydrus, Chillicothe, Ohio

85. Mike Savoldi’s comments about having to with the biomechanics of falling arches in the hind feet of horses will prove extremely valuable with some of the horses I have to see in my practice.

— Ron Vogel, Adamstown, Md.

86. I learned a great deal about new ways of handling unilateral leg deformities from Simon Curtis.

— Kenny Hoyle, Xenia, Ohio

87. The presentations by Mike Savoldi and David Nicholls dealing with hind end injuries will provide solutions to a horse that I’m working with.

—Selina Galick, Santa Rosa, Calif.

88. Mike Savoldi’s emphasis on the importance of understanding the terminal arch support was outstanding.

— Steve Norman, Georgetown, Ky.

89. Mark Caldwell revealed how using the latest thinking on biomechanics can lead to more consistent trimming.

— Boris Riaschenko,

Moscow, Russia

90. Recognizing that there are many different ways of solving footcare problems, along with the importance of picking and choosing what will work best with a particular horse.

— Glen Geesaman, 
Silver City, N.M.

91. Mike Savoldi’s lecture on the P3 pathology of hind feet was a very thought-provoking session.

— Erin Stevens, Fiddletown,

NSW, Australia

92. Simon Curtis’s comment that bull nosing is not necessarily caused by your rasp, but by forces within the foot.

— Dean Moshier, Delaware, Ohio

93. Esco Buff’s techniques for accurately taking hoof measurements from radiographs.

— Dean Moshier, Delaware, Ohio

94. Seeing Mike Savoldi’s video of the P2 and P3 bones under load was the best part of the Summit for me.

— Todd Bailey, Saskatoon, Sask.

Laminitis, Founder, Navicular “Wows”

95. Esco Buff’s effective use of radiographs for determining proper placement of heart bar shoes with laminitic horses. Using the forms he uses to chart the history of these horses will prove very useful to me.

— Lee DeLisle, 
Preston Hollow, N.Y.

96. Dr. Amy Rucker’s talk on using venograms with laminitic horses was very enlightening. I had little knowledge about how venograms work or how they can be interpreted to identify various pathologies, so it was definitely my “wow” moment.

— Alexander Barr, 
Tottenham, Ontario

97. Dr. Donald Walsh indicated soaking hay removes sugars that can often be a concern with laminitic horses.

— Sara Wollaston-Hayden, Greensburg, Pa.

98. The presentations by Dr. Frank Reilly and Dr. Donald Walsh on insulin resistance being one of many causes of laminitis opened my eyes.

— Kevin Oliver, Eddington, Maine

99. Seeing radiographs of a laminitic horse where the rotation actually shifts back to almost normal that were presented by Dr. Donald Walsh.

— Carmen Theobald, 
Perry Sound, Ontario

100. When dealing with sore feet in the winter, I liked Dr. Frank Reilly’s explanation of neuritis vs. laminitis and how to treat each problem differently.

Barton Patrick, Northport, Maine

101. When working with a laminitic horse, Dr. Amy Rucker says it’s important to use radiographs to identify where and what the coffin bone is doing instead of simply guessing the position and amount of rotation.

— James Halvorson, Crete, Ill.

102. When you’ve applied lily pads to a horse suspected of navicular disease and the situation gets worse, it’s normally navicular. But if the situation gets better, Dave Richards says the horse is likely suffering from heel pain.

— Dean Moshier, Delaware, Ohio

103. Esco Buff’s formula and detailed results for effectively using heart bars with laminitic horses was excellent.

— Travis Teigen, Glenwood 
City, Wis.

104. I’ll be asking the veterinarians I work with to do venograms when evaluating laminitic horses.

—Tobias Ellis, Madras, Ore.

105. Mitch Taylor’s in-depth dissection was amazing and so were Dr. Donald Walsh’s ideas on laminitis.

— Kevin Cydrus, 
Chillicothe, Ohio