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When it comes to apprentices, some shoers think they should be paid while others say the learning experience is more important than a paycheck. Even though Hank McEwan believes an apprenticeship should be a non-paid total learning experience, he’s not a fan of shoers who take advantage of apprentices by having them increase the number of dollars flowing into their business. “Once I decided that apprentices shouldn’t be paid, it solved all my problems,” says the Langley, British Columbia, shoer and long-time shoeing school instructor. “Instead, I could concentrate on spending time teaching them about trimming and shoeing.”
Since abnormal remodeling and formation of osteolytic lesions often occur in the navicular bone with horses suffering from navicular disease, French researchers believe that it may be due to an imbalance in bone metabolism. Along with colleagues in Italy and Germany, Dominique Thibaud of Ceva Sante Animale in Libourne, France, has evaluated the effectiveness of tiludronate in treating navicular disease. This drug inhibits excessive bone resorption while balancing bone metabolism.
Among horses with navicular disease, 67 percent showed a positive drug response and 75 percent of those horses returned to normal activity within 6 months. Although the drug is not approved for use with horses in the United States, Thibaud reports that combining drug therapy with corrective shoeing definitely improved navicular disease treatments.