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With better hoof care on their minds and learning as their goal, almost 800 people gathered in Cincinnati, Ohio, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 for the 4th annual International Hoof-Care Summit. They didn’t leave disappointed.
A wide-ranging educational program that included presentations on complex theories to practical suggestions for daily work helped attendees fill up the classroom hours and generated plenty of enthusiastic — and sometimes heated — hallway discussion between sessions. The man who founded the Summit says that kind of enthusiasm has become a trademark of the event, and is one of the reasons it continues to grow.
“When we first came up with the idea for the Summit, we told everyone in the hoof-care world we wanted them to take ownership of it,” says Frank Lessiter, Editor and Publisher of American Farriers Journal, the event’s sponsor. “And every year, more and more people invest in that ownership.”
Lessiter pointed out that the core of each Summit’s educational program comes from suggestions gathered through surveys filled out by the previous year’s attendees.
“We make a real effort to find out what kind of topics farriers and veterinarians are interested in,” he said. “We’re convinced that’s one of the big reasons people are so enthusiastic and keep coming back.”
Meike van Heel, the Dutch researcher who presented some ground-breaking findings on the importance of short shoeing intervals as well as hoof care for foals, found herself surrounded by attendees who wanted even more information from her throughout the…