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Friday, December 31, 2010

What Might a Horseshoer's Front Page Funeral and Your New Year's Resolution Have in Common?

If you've never been to a horseshoer's funeral, now you can say you have been.

On this last day of the year, it's time to reflect on the events that shaped this year. We'll get to that; the year's not over yet.

While it's easy to point out the things and the people new to the world of the hoof in the past year, it's a little more painful to recognize that we are moving on without some key figures.

Hence, this video. I think this is the first video ever made of a horseshoer's funeral. I never thought I'd be posting a video of a funeral here. It is, of course, voices from people who attended the funeral of Joe Kriz Sr. on September 4, 2010, but if you listen to the voices, they can speak volumes about others who are also gone.

In 2010, we lost Bob Skradzio and Jack Miller as well; these two men were great pillars of support and friendship for me from the day I met them. More than that, just like Joe, they were two people who loved what they did, and did what they loved.

I hope that you can say that about what you do; I know I can.

If you can't, why don't you make a new year's resolution to find--or re-kindle--the passion in your life? May it be half as strong as the passion that Joe and Bob and Jack felt for what they did, and the lives they lived. If enough people dedicated or re-dedicated themselves to their work with and for horses, our world will be a better place and slowly but surely the hole left by the loss of these men will be filled.

I know they'd all three add a PS to that: "And be sure to pass it on." Just like they did.

By the way, toward the end of Joe's funeral video, when they arrive at the cemetery, Joe's casket, emblazoned as it was with Scotch-bottom draft horse shoes, was buried next to his brother and lifetime horseshoeing partner, Johnny, just as you'd expect. It's a beautiful place.

I notice that on Johnny's headstone are written the immortal closing words from Will Ogilvie's famous poem, The Hooves of the Horses:
When you lay me to slumber no spot can you choose
But will ring to the rhythm of galloping shoes,
And under the daisies no grave be so deep
But the hooves of the horses shall sound in my sleep.

{ A note about the video }

The video is posted here with the kind permission of Joe Kriz Jr., producer Peter Hvizdak and the New Haven Register newspaper, where you can also still re-live U.J.'s funeral whenever you feel like it. I don't think we'll make a habit of showing videos of funerals, since they are very private events, but this video was produced more as a tribute to Joe, and I hope it's seen that way.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.
 
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Montana Marathon: Farriers and Veterinarians Trim 31 Donkeys' Hooves After Years Of Neglect


The struggling Montana Large Animal Sanctuary and Rescue gave up. It gave up trying to go on taking care of more than 1000 hooved animals it had taken in. There are camels and llamas and horses and donkeys and cows by the dozens.

According to news reports, they ran out of money, then they ran out of hay and now the animals have been rescued from the rescue. They are in temporary shelters while organizations in the state try to figure out what they will do to re-home them.

What these animals do have, in excess, however, is hoof. It's been years since the donkeys, at least, have been trimmed.

That changed this week when the donkeys were moved and a group of vets and farriers joined forces to get their hooves back to some semblance of normal. That, of course, wasn't easy. Some may be suffering from laminitis. All may be sore after trimming, whether from the trimming itself or the redistribution of load on tendons and ligaments. Donkeys are also prone to white line disease, which would require medication if they are affected.

But the farriers just kept on trimming.

According to the television news report, each hoof was radiographed before it was trimmed, and a farrier spent an average of 15 minutes sawing and then trimming each hoof.

The Montana Animal Care Association, Montana Horse Sanctuary, Montana Office of the Humane Society of the United States and Western Montana Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation all organized the effort to help the donkeys.

It's interesting that about 75 inquiries have already been received to adopt the donkeys, which will be going to new homes in pairs to lessen the stress of having been in a herd for so long. Their plight--and their pain--touched a lot of people.

Donations for the animals can be sent to: Western Montana Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation, P.O. Box 1168, Corvallis, MT 59828 (indicate "for donkeys" on check).

To help the horses, please contact Jane Heath, Montana Horse Sanctuary executive director, via email: ht@mt.net. They'll also fix you up with a camel. Or a llama. Or...

Thanks to KAJ18.com, the website for Channel 18 in Missoula, Montana, all the volunteer organizations, and all the veterinarians and farriers who worked on this rescue and the hoof trimming marathon. Special thanks to anyone who takes in one of these animals and gives it a home, at last.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.
 
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Seasons Greetings from Hoofcare and Lameness!

 I feel like I know these guys and would give anything to know who they are (or were). They certainly were having a merry time and I have a feeling that the horse was just there for the photographer's benefit. I hope your holiday will be just as merry and warm as this scene!

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.
 
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Experts Hail Discovery of Rare Reindeer Shoe as Key to Mystery of Christmas Eve Flight

Mystery solved: It's all in the hooves, after all. A winged reindeer shoe found in a British garden has finally solved the dilemma of how reindeer can fly.
Historians, aerodynamics engineers and mammalian biomechanics experts are hailing the discovery of a tiny reindeer shoe in a British garden as the key to unlocking centuries of mystery and downright skepticism over the idea that a team of reindeer could fly around the world on Christmas Eve.

The unusual shoe, which sports wings on its heels, is believed to provide the power of flight needed by the reindeer team each Christmas.

"We knew these reindeer aren't winged, like Pegasus the winged horse from Greek mythology," said one historian. "For years, we were looking at how the antlers might empower them to fly. But it was a dead end."

Scientists expressed remorse that a group of genetics researchers studying the reindeer genome would almost certainly be in danger of losing funding since the discovery of the reindeer shoe. "The pressure was on them," said one university insider who wished to remain anonymous. "They had to find the genetic mutation that allowed only a small number of reindeer to fly. Since they had no DNA from a flying reindeer, the task was monumental. What gene could give the power of flight? The discovery that it was a nail-on shoe that gave these reindeer their flight--and that some  farrier somewhere designed this magical shoe--well, it looks bad for the future of reindeer research, that's all I can say. Several PhD theses are down the drain."

Flight engineers still believe the antlers may assist in navigation, but insisted that they always held out for a novel form of  power for thrust and elevation. "The winged hoof is a brilliant adaptation," they agreed. "And the use of a removable shoe means that the rest of the year, Donner and Blitzen and the rest of the team can live normal lives. No one would suspect a thing."

The historians noted that rumors of the existence of reindeer shoes have cropped up over the years and around the world. "Apparently, like horses, reindeer can lose their shoes. This must make Santa quite cross when it happens, but it is easy to see how a lead deer's heel wings are endangered by the front hooves of the deer behind.

"We have noticed, however," continued one historian, "that wherever a reindeer shoe has been reported to be found, skeptical children and even adults who doubted the existence of Santa or the ability of reindeer to fly soon become believers again."

Credit for the current shoe's discovery goes to James Morris of Yorkshire, England. Since Morris is conveniently skilled as a metal sculptor and artist, his Sculpsteel studio has forged fac simile reindeer shoes which he sells to anyone needing to convince others how flying reindeer get around on Christmas Eve...and why all but one of them go back to being normal reindeer the next day.

All but one? True: Morris says he doesn't have an explanation or a design for Rudolph's nose...but he's working on it.

Morris noted that the actual reindeer shoe he found would be left for Santa, known as Father Christmas in England, this year on Christmas Eve with the annual plate of cookies and glass of milk. "Just in case he needs a spare," Morris nodded. "It might come in handy, and it's done its job here. The entire village believes in Father Christmas again!"

James Morris's reindeer shoes come ready to hang as Christmas decorations and conversation-starters. The toe clips are also ideal for hanging Christmas stockings, so a set could be ordered for a family. Available in black wax or rust finish, the cost per shoe is 15 pounds (about $US 23). Visit Sculpsteel to see James' work, then email him: enquiries@sculpsteel.co.uk. But never doubt him...or Santa!

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.
 
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

British Farrier Brendan Murray Receives Medal for Service

British farrier Brendan Murray received the ultimate compliment of his country at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky when he was asked to carry his nation's flag into the arena at the head of their delegation. I just happened to be there to take this picture as they were lining up at the gate.
On December 16, 2010, in front of a packed crowd at the International Horse Show, Olympia, the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) presented a medal of honor to farrier Brendan Murray of Cambridgeshire, England. Brendan was one of five individuals who was recognized by the BEF for outstanding achievement and contribution to the international equestrian world.


Brendan has been British senior eventing team farrier since 1992, and served his country at five Olympic and World Equestrian Games and nine European Championships. He was also show farrier for Olympia.

British World Class Performance Director Will Connell commented on Brendan's award: "Brendan is the mainstay of the stable area, carrying out any job that needs doing and ensures all aspects of the groom's welfare is attended to. He is completely committed to the success of Team GBR."  

I'm looking forward to Brendan's memoirs and hope he'll think of me when he's looking for an editor. In addition to all he must know about the British equestrians and their exploits around the world, he has had an interesting side life working as a stunt rider in films.

His biggest role in front of the camera, though, was when he was seen by an estimated two and a half billion people around the world when he served with the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in 1997 as an escort for the casket of Princess Diana to Westminster Abbey in London during her funeral procession. Hoofcare & Lameness's Hoofcare Online newsletter reported on Brendan's role in that sad event back in 1997.

Most recently, Brendan starred at the World Equestrian Games as the anti-gravity test driver for a media video about the Land Rover extreme driving test range. I've yet to witness him shoeing a horse but he certainly has a fascinating life, as expounded in this video interview with him before the World Equestrian Games began.

I went looking for a photo of him shoeing a horse on the web and found only one. It was taken in 2000 in Sydney, Australia at the Olympics and published on a sports web site in Iran. Somehow that didn't surprise me.

British equestrians dressage rider Laura Bechtolsheimer, vaulter Joanne Eccles, eventer Nicola Wilson and para-equestrian dressage rider Sophie Wells were also awarded medals for outstanding achievements in their respective disciplines last week at the Olympia show. Each of those equestrians returned to Britain from the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in October with medals.

Special thanks to event rider and broadcaster @SamanthaLClark for the heads-up for this post and for producing the videos featuring Brendan Murray.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.
 
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Mobile-Friendly Hoof Blog Version Launched for Cell Phones and Mobile Devices

A mobile phone friendly version of Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog was launched on September 18, 2010. You can now access the Hoof Blog on your mobile phone in an easy-to-read, single column format.

The single column makes it easy to scroll through the blog. It shows a miniature version of visuals in each blog article and the first few sentences of text. By clicking on an image or headline, full images, videos and/or articles will appear.

The text in the mobile version is quite large and easy to read. Don't worry, you can still watch videos and leave comments, if you have a cell phone that is video-enabled and has a keyboard function.

To access the mobile version, just use your regular cell phone browser to reach the blog. Once you reach it, it will change from the normal format to the single column. Depending on what type of phone you have, you can either bookmark the blog (if you haven't already) or create a desktop icon for it to be able to access it directly. This method works with the iPhone.

Another development to make the blog easier to find and use was a shortening of the URL to reach the blog. The new url of www.hoofblog.com now re-directs to the blog and requires less typing, which is especially helpful on a cellphone or mobile device.

Watch for more developments and changes on the blog in the coming weeks. The blog will also begin accepting advertising on a trial basis. Advertising will be available as small ads in the right-hand sidebar or as banner ads between ads in the body of the blog. This will just be a trial; we'll see how it goes.
 
Email Fran Jurga at Hoofcare Publishing or call 978 281 3222 for information about all of Hoofcare Publishing's projects and advertising and sponsorship opportunities for 2011. It's going to be a great year!

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.
 
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good Luck Reading My Shoe: The Rest of the Story about Secretariat's Raceplate Auction on eBay to Benefit Charity!

One of the original shoes worn by Secretariat in his Futurity Stakes win at New York's Belmont Park on September 16, 1972, has been put up for auction on eBay by Secretariat.com, the official website of Secretariat. The shoe was mounted on a wooden plaque by the late Jim Gaffney, Secretariat's exercise rider for Meadow Stable from April 1972 through May 1973.

That day--September 16, 1972--was Penny Chenery's father's 86th birthday. She called him at a hospital in New Rochelle, New York where he was a patient to give him the news that their horse had won--again! The nurse informed her that he already knew that, according to the account in Bill Nack's book.

That day was also the day of Bull Hancock's funeral. He was the owner of Claiborne Farm, the great character in the film Secretariat who stares Penny Chenery down with the coin toss to see who gets the colt. Again, according to Bill Nack, he was buried at Paris (Kentucky) Cemetery, at about the time that Lucien Lauren was saddling Secretariat for the Belmont Futurity.

Working in concert with groom Eddie Sweat and regular Meadow Stable farrier George Collins, Gaffney collected many of Secretariat's racing plates, meticulously cataloging each one as the colt was routinely shod. The Futurity shoe was obtained on October 8, 1972, when Secretariat was re-shod after winning the Futurity Stakes and prior to his following race, a winning effort in the Champagne Stakes. The Futurity was Secretariat's third stakes victory and his first start at Belmont Park.

The Futurity shoe, from Secretariat’s left front hoof, is mounted on a wooden plaque with blue metal backing, and it contains a plate engraved by Gaffney that identifies the race. On the reverse side of the plaque, the frame has the handwritten inscription documenting the mounting by Gaffney along with the individual identification numbers. The plaque is signed by the Meadow Racing Stable team of Gaffney, owner Penny Chenery, and Secretariat's Hall of Fame winning jockey, Ron Turcotte. The shoe is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and the official winner's circle photo from the race.

The nails from Secretariat's shoes were saved too, and you can buy them. Note that this is a Japanese Izumi nail. Now there's a bit of Secretariat trivia for you!
I shared the eBay photo of the shoe with Ed Kinney, president of Thoro'Bred Racing Plate Company, Inc. of Anaheim, California, which manufactured the shoe. Ed confirmed that, as far as he knew, Secretariat wore Thoro'Bred plates throughout his racing career. This shoe is what is called in racing circles a "low toe", referring to the height of the toe grab, and Ed estimated the size to be a 5 or 6. Neither of us could read the size on the shoe in the photo.

Here's what Ed said in an email, "It is a Thoro'bred Low Toe Front shoe.  The size is hard to see, it is either a 5 or 6.  The two marks under the number indicate Low Toe. I would say that it is authentic.  He raced in our shoes his entire career to my knowledge. (My) Dad knew George Collins, and the name is familiar to me too, but I don't remember, sorry."

The most interesting thing we noticed about the shoe are the little bumps back by the heels. These would be what's left of copper rivets that held either a felt or leather pad. Why did a two-year-old colt need a pad? Nowhere in Bill Nack's Big Red of Meadow Stable is there a mention that the horse had a definite problem, although he does mention rumors that Secretariat was not sound at that time. Did his soles sting? Did he have some kind of an infection? And what did Jim Gaffney do with the pad? We know he kept the nail heads--wouldn't he have kept the pad, too?

Here's a front Thoro'bred raceplate, also attributed to Secretariat, that was auctioned off by Claiborne Farm. It's a different shape from the two-year-old shoe, and perhaps a different size. Presumably this would be one pulled off Secretariat when he arrived in Kentucky from New York to stand at stud. He would have still had his raceplates on, so it would make sense that Claiborne Farm would have them.

If anyone reading this knows anything about George Collins, I would surely like to know more about him.

Proceeds from the sale of this shoe will benefit the Secretariat Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization created by Secretariat's owner Penny Chenery to assist the Thoroughbred industry in the areas of research, rehabilitation, retirement and recognition.

The auction will end December 19th at 9:00 p.m. (ET). As I write this, 60 bids have been placed on the shoe, which is now up to $5,950 and expected to go much higher. Bidding ends on Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 3:22 p.m. EST.

I noticed that there is another shoe up for auction on eBay that says it is off Secretariat; it is priced at $3500 (not an auction) and is for sale loose. That's not the one for the fundraiser!

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.
 
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Vascular Plastination Casts of Equine Feet Ready for Shipping from Hoofcare Publishing

Note: these casts are temporarily not in stock. Because of the delicate work involved, they will be offered on a "special order" basis in the future. Please contact us to find out what the status of supply is at any time and we'll do our best to assist you. We do also sell beautiful posters of images of the blood supply

A plastinated "corrosion cast" of the blood supply in a horse's foot is created from the foot of a cadaver. Plastic is injected into the veins and, after removing the hoof capsule and processing away any non-vascular tissue, what is left is virtually a three-dimensional venogram. Hoofcare and Lameness is offering these for sale on a special order or as-available basis beginning in November 2010.




This over-exposed and light-enhanced image of a corrosion casting shows the delicate structure of the blood supply inside the hoof capsule.


Hoofcare and Lameness is now taking orders for full-hoof vascular casts, preserved by the plastination process of Dr. Christoph von Horst of HC Biovision in Germany. Dr. von Horst will be shipping these to the USA.

Some of you may have seen the half-hoof cast that has been on display in the Hoofcare and Lameness booth in the past. Everyone wanted it, but it wasn't for sale. A special-order trial set of casts was sold this spring, and new sets have followed.

The cost for a whole hoof corrosion casting in the USA is $352 plus $10 shipping. The casts cannot be shipped to foreign addresses.

The plastic is quite resilient, but these models should be handled with care. It's hard to imagine a better tool to explain why a venogram is needed, or as an asset to an anatomy class.

Photos can be shown to preview a model. They vary in the amount of detail and thickness in the hoof wall and sole; many have high detail in the coronary band papillae and digital veins.

One model that has been popular was affixed to a plexiglas base, making handling easier and insuring longer life. To view the underside, you can just look through the plexiglas. This is an excellent model for anyone who would use the model in a classroom setting.

A great variation exists in the amount of capillary tissue that has clung to the plastic through the mastication process. Models with more external capillaries are attractive to represent the whole hoof and the complexity of the hoof's blood supply; models with fewer capillaries allow better examination inside the capsule and more attractive light transmission for photography. The two models in the photographs with this article illustrate the extremes of these variations.

Partial models mimic venograms of horses with severe laminitis so that the owner can see in three dimensions what the damage to the vascular system might look like. This is just a gross approximation and is not meant to represent any particular case or stage of laminitis, but to illustrate where the damage might have occurred. These partial models are fragile.

Special orders can be arranged with Dr. Von Horst if you are looking for a vascular model of a certain type of foot. The casts available are a mixture of front and hind feet of average-sized, presumably healthy horses with no medical history available.

Please contact Fran Jurga at 978 281 3222 or email fran@hoofcare.com to inquire about the models. They are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-payment is required on all orders.

Hoofcare & Lameness has some amazing plastinated equine educational tools from HC Biovision.

These models are used in natural history museums, universities, veterinary hospitals, farrier clinics, and natural trimming schools around the world. They are permanent, low-maintenance, colorful, and durable preservations of actual tissue slices of horse hoof and limb tissue.


© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.
 
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Equine Pituitary Dysfunction Test Choices Analyzed by New Bolton Center's Jill Beech VMD

In our new age of horses as companion animals, a significant proportion of our equine population would be considered into or at least approaching the geriatric phase of life. Equine pituitary disease and disorders are a concern in the horse-owning public and what we call simply "Cushings Disease" is being studied by researchers as a complex condition or even set of conditions and/or disease.

For horse owners, the problem is always to obtain a definitive diagnosis and to understand a prognosis, if it is possible to have one. Laminitis, in subtle or complex forms, often is a side effect of pituitary disease and any progress in understanding, diagnosing and treating the disease more effectively is welcome. Here's an update from one researcher at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jill Beech VMD presented data resulting from recent research at the Dorothy Havemeyer Geriatric Workshop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 24-27. Dr. Beech (show left, University of Pennsylvania photo) is the Georgia E. and Philip B. Hofmann Professor of Medicine and Reproduction at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, PA. Her clinical and research expertise is focused on equine pituitary disease and disorders. The Dorothy Russell Havemeyer Foundation, Inc. is a private foundation that conducts scientific research to improve the general health and welfare of horses.

Dr. Beech’s research compared two different diagnostic tests, using two different hormones, to measure equine pituitary dysfunction. “First,” says Dr. Beech, “I compared measuring alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone [MSH] with measuring adrenocorticotropic hormone [ACTH] to determine if one hormone was superior to the other in making a diagnosis. MSH is more specific for the part of the pituitary that is abnormal in horses with Cushing’s disease.”

Although both hormones are secreted from that area, ACTH is also secreted from another area in the pituitary, so it was hypothesized that MSH would be more specific and a better hormone for evaluation. Results, however, did not indicate that MSH was a more sensitive or specific indicator for pituitary dysfunction. Those data, along with the fact that ACTH, but not MSH, can be measured in diagnostic laboratories available to veterinarians has important practical application.

“This means,” says Dr. Beech, “that veterinarians can continue to measure ACTH in a reliable laboratory. At New Bolton Center, we use the laboratory at Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania or the New York State diagnostic laboratory at Cornell.”

Data collected also indicates that when horses have high levels of these hormones, single samples can be misleading due to variability of endogenous concentrations; veterinarians should therefore obtain several basal samples for ACTH measurement.

“If basal levels of ACTH are high, it can be an indication that the horse has Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction [PPID] or Cushing’s Disease. However, some affected horses have normal basal levels, and in those cases,” says Dr. Beech, “ACTH response to a thyroid releasing hormone [TRH] test should be performed. Affected horses have an abnormal and prolonged increase in their ACTH levels compared to normal horses.”

She and her co-investigators also compared the TRH stimulation test to the domperidone stimulation test, a diagnostic test that initially appeared promising for diagnosing pituitary disease in horses. In this population of horses, the domperidone stimulation test did not appear as good as the TRH stimulation test in differentiating horses with PPID from normal horses.

--end press release--

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Video: Virginia Tech Vet School Farrier Volunteered at World Equestrian Games


It wasn't long ago that this blog was announcing that Travis Burns had been chosen as the first resident farrier to work at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

It only took about six months for Travis to be settled in enough at the job to answer the call of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. He signed on with the American Farrier's Association (AFA) to volunteer his services during the eventing portion of the Games.

All of the 70 or so volunteer farriers did a great job, but I think that Travis is probably the only one with a public relations department waiting to work on his behalf. So let's say that this video is a blanket salute to all the men and women who pitched in to help.

I'm sure Travis would agree.

Working at the eventing part of the Games was a natural for Travis. Before moving to Blacksburg for his position at the vet school, Travis worked at Forging Ahead in Round Hill, Virginia, outside Middleburg and, after college and farrier school, went through the group practice's formal farrier career-track internship program . Forging Ahead specializes in sport horses and lameness therapy, and the client list reads like a who's who of the sport of eventing.

All the farriers--young and old--who staffed the events at the World Equestrian Games were a great group who traveled to Lexington from all over the United States. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I'm sure none of them knew exactly what to expect. It could have been pouring rain or a tornado might have passed through, but the weather was friendly and their service was, too. They took a chance, gave up their earnings at home for a few days, and traveled at their own expense, but I doubt any of them regrets the time spent volunteering or being part of that event. There will probably never be a "next time".

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.
 
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Friday, November 19, 2010

¿Habla usted del casco? Grayson-Jockey Club DVD on Thoroughbred Hooves Now Available in Spanish

The DVD is one segment of the Shoeing and Hoof Care Committee's efforts to study and improve the safety for racehorses through hoof-related education.
The Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit’s Shoeing and Hoof Care Committee has released a Spanish-language version of its educational DVD, The Hoof: Inside and Out, entitled, El Casco: Por Dentro y Por Fuera.

“Spanish-speaking individuals constitute a significant percentage of our horses’ caregivers, so it is only natural and in the best interests of the industry to provide a Spanish-language version of our hoof care DVD,” said Bill Casner, Thoroughbred owner/breeder and chairman of the Summit’s Shoeing and Hoof Care Committee. “We hope the Spanish-language version is embraced as enthusiastically as the original, because it will further enhance the care our horses receive on a daily basis.

The Hoof: Inside and Out was released in June 2009. Since then, more than 1,000 copies on DVD have been distributed and the online version has been downloaded more than 2,500 times by individuals in 57 countries.

Both the English- and Spanish-language versions can be downloaded at no charge at www.grayson-jockeyclub.org/summitDisplay.asp?section=39; or a physical copy can be ordered through that website for a $5.00 shipping and handling fee.

The 65-minute DVD includes seven segments:
* Introduction and Overview
* Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit
* Physiology — The Equine Limb
* Basic Hoof Care and Trimming
* The Basics of Horse Shoeing
* Types of Shoes
* Farrier’s Role and Communication (with trainers and owners)

The DVD features the insights of a number of hoof experts and industry professionals, including Mitch Taylor, director of the Kentucky Horseshoeing School; prominent Kentucky-based farriers Steve Norman and Colby Tipton; Dr. Scott Morrison of the Podiatry Center at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital; Dr. Sue Stover of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission; Kentucky Derby winning trainer John T. Ward; champion Thoroughbred owner and breeder Bill Casner; and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation President Ed Bowen.

The Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, coordinated and underwritten by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and The Jockey Club, convened a wide cross-section of the breeding, racing, and veterinary community for two-day workshops in October 2006, March 2008 and June 2010.

The Summits, which were hosted by Keeneland Association, have been the catalyst for many initiatives that improve the safety and integrity of the sport, including the Equine Injury Database, the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, recommendations concerning traction devices on front shoes, and bloodline durability indices.

Additional information about the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit is available on the summit’s website at www.grayson-jockeyclub.org/summitdisplay.asp.

Olds College Fills First Two-Year Farrier Degree Program

New students in the classroom at Olds College in Alberta, Canada last week. They'll be together for two years in the new program.
They said it couldn't be done. They said farrier students demanded short courses. They said that farrier schools should emulate the barefoot trimming training programs that compete with them with home schooling and weekend or weeklong on-site formal programs peppered through the program. They said students these days don't want to work as hard as you have to to become a good farrier.

They said Olds College would never fill the new two-year degree program for professional farrier training when they announced it last year. Not in this economy.

But they did. Students sat down at their desks for the first day of classes in a filled-to-capacity program at the Alberta, Canada campus last month.

A horseshoe is one big learning curve for a student farrier. Photos by Thowra_UK via Flickr. Thanks!

“Olds College was already commended by the equine industry for its one-year program, considered the best in the industry,” said Jeff Suderman, Director of Student Recruitment. “We are encouraged to see that the move to a more comprehensive program has been well received.”

The previous program at Olds was one year in length. But Olds holds the belief that horses today represent a significantly greater investment for owners and that society calls for a heightened awareness of animal welfare and how it is achieved. According to the program's new rationale, by doubling the Farrier Science Program’s length, Olds College will ensure that students graduate with increased knowledge of equine anatomy, horse handling and horse husbandry as well as sufficient proficiency in welding, basic blacksmithing and advanced corrective and therapeutic horseshoeing.

In keeping with the college’s emphasis on real-life, hands-on learning, the farrier program now requires completion of a total of eight months of what they call "Directed Field Study", split into five-month and three-month sections, respectively.


“One thing that attracted me to Olds College was the fact that it offers more than just six-week training programs. The two-year diploma stretches out learning to ensure we understand and develop the skills we need,” said Tyler Johnson, a first-year student in the new program.

Traditionally, the number of applicants for the Olds College program has exceeded its capacity, which caps at 16 students. Existing familiarity and aptitude with the farrier profession and horse and tool handling are just some of the areas of competency students need to demonstrate before they can even be considered for acceptance into the program.

“Olds College already graduates some of the best farriers in North America but today’s industry needs them to be even better,” says Dean Sinclair, Olds College Farrier Science Coordinator.

Olds College discontinued its shorter programs. Only the two-year program is offered, showing what a commitment the college is making to in-depth training of its students.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.
 
Follow the Hoof Blog on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Education Connection: Speakers at Equitana Australia November 18-21, 2010

Jockey-turned-farrier Laurie Paltridge is one of the few people in the world who can say he has both ridden and shod the winner of his nation's top jumping race. You can hear Laurie speak and watch his shoeing demonstration if you happen to be lucky enough to be in Melbourne, Australia next week, where the Downunder edition of Equitana will be underway. Laurie is one of many speakers addressing hoof and lameness problems in sport and recreational horses at the event. Photo mirrored from the Melbourne Standard.
Melbourne, Australia may be half a world away for our USA readers, but if you read the statistics of who reads this blog, you will know that a good number will be attending Equitana Downunder this week. The organizers have put together an interesting program in equine lameness with something for everyone--no matter what your bent, from the alternative to the mainstream, from the traditional to the high tech, a speaker will be presenting on your wave length.

This is quite a switch from most horse expos, which seem to choose speakers based on exhibitor and sponsor provided experts, or the current popular circuit speakers. While popular speakers bring in crowds, they don't always provide a balanced view of what's going on in the field. It takes a roster of speakers to achieve that goal, and rosters cost money.

The biographies you'll read in this post are presented as supplied by Equitana, and they were surely only slightly edited from what the speakers provided, so please keep that in mind as you read.

Lots of information about Equitana Melbourne can be found online; most of the speakers have their own web sites as well. The original Equitana, in Essen, Germany, will be held in March 2011, and is one of the most outstanding equine/equestrian educational/commercial events in the world. The German show includes the famous Hufdorf, or Hoof Village, as well as a new Center for Excellence for Equine Welfare.

Spinal pain and/or dysfunction, and related stiffness, behavioral and performance problems, are the main focus of Dr. Ian Bidstrup's veterinary practice. He is one of a handful of Australian veterinarians using the combination of acupuncture, prolotherapy and veterinary chiropractic to treat these problems.
In addition to a veterinary degree, Ian has a masters degree in chiropractic science and international qualifications in acupuncture. He lectured part-time in animal chiropractic at RMIT Univeristy from 2002 to 2009 and in saddle fitting for the ASFA level 1 and 2 courses from 2000 to 2009. His presentation this EQUITANA Melbourne is on sacro-iliac joint complex troubles.
Learn more about his work for horse at www.spinalvet.com.au


Andrew Bowe began working as a farrier in 1990 after graduating from Dookie College (B.App.Sc). He is a Trade Accredited Master Farrier with a difference. His business combines a lifetime's experience of traditional farriery with modern barehoofcare ideas (training horses' feet to be healthy and strong enough to be ridden without horseshoes).

He specialises in returning chronically lame horses back to soundness with barefoot rehabilitation: restoring correct form, movement and function to horses' feet, using modern hoof boots when necessary.

Known as 'The Barefoot Blacksmith' he travels Australia-wide, teaching horse owners how they can help their horses grow and maintain healthy feet, the foundations to a healthy horse.

Learn more about Andrew at www.barehoofcare.com


Jeremy Ford, a farrier of 16 years is now a professional natural hoof care specialist.  He runs his practice Wild About Hooves in Tasmania with his partner and barefoot endurance rider, Jen Clingly.


After being introduced to barefoot trimming he has hung up his hammer and stored the anvil to promote healthy, sound, metal-free horses.

Jeremy has been involved with horses all his life in all disciplines including hunting, endurance and stock-work.  His encounters with wild Australian Brumbies in the outback were the major inspiration for the switch to barefoot.  These horses have hooves, hard and strong, and able to cope with the hardest terrain.  This natural world led him to study with the AANHCP (American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners).

Jeremy's life revolves around horses' hooves.  He runs educational workshops on hoof care Australia wide and is principle lecturer in the trade certificate Equine Hoof Care course run by the government education institute, TAFE.  Wild About Hooves runs annual tours to the outback to observe brumbies in their natural desert environment.  Coupled with this, they have produced educational documentaries and hoof trimming tools.

The aim of Wild About Hooves is to highlight the bare facts of keeping horses without shoes, about changing horse keeping practices to complement evolutionary needs and ways to adapt our domestic home environments and to keep some of the "wild" elements for the health and happiness of our horses.

Learn more about Jeremy at www.wildabouthooves.com.au


Dianne Jenkins is a passionate and highly successful equine specialist.  During 25 years of practice, she discovered that many horses suffer from previously unidentified patterns of common low-grade injuries that cause postural, training and behavioural issues and lead to lameness.

Her research indicates that she has solved the mystery of equine chronic lumbar pain that cannot be diagnosed by radiograph or ultrasound.  She can explain the primary cause and gradual patterns of compensatory issues that lead to early wear and tear and ultimately joint dysfunction.  These experiences and abilities led her to develop the Jenkins method of Equine Neurophysiological Therapy (JENT); a system that integrates comprehensive scientific knowledge with therapy.

Dianne presently resides in Ireland and travels abroad to work on horses by appointment. Learn more about her work at www.diannejenkins.com.au


Kevin Keeler has been a farrier for over 30 years and has experienced first hand the physical demands of working on horses feet.


Inspired by an injury early in his career, and then later after having survived a plane crash in the Idaho backcountry while being flown to work on ranch horses, the concept of a lightweight and safe hoof support system was borne.  Wanting to get the weight off his body while working under the horse, Kevin developed the Hoofjack®.  The Hoofjack® was designed to fully support both the front and hind feet of a horse and can be used by anyone providing hoof care such as the farrier, barefoot trimmer, veterinarian, or horse owner.

Kevin travels internationally sharing with the equine community the benifits of using the Hoofjack® for both the horse and the hoof care provider.  Kevin is the owner and CEO of Equine Innovations Inc., which in addition to manufacturing the Hoofjack® also manufactures the Tooljack® a unique tool cart designed to hold farrier tools and equipment.  Although "officially" retired as a farrier, Kevin still maintains a clientele of approximately 60 horses and lives in Star, Idaho, USA, with his wife Dawn, 2 dogs, cat, goat and 2 horses.


Helen Klowss is a qualified Horse Masseur and has been a leader in this field for over 16 years.  She has worked with horses in many aspects of the equine industry in Australia and overseas.

In 1968 Helen was employed by the legendary racehorse trainer Bart Cummings as a strapper and spent many years acquiring knowledge and experience with the master trainer.  Specialising in nursing and rehabilitating racehorses with training injuries, Helen soon discovered that she had the ability to see unsoundness in horses which seemed obscure to others. Knowing that there was more than the conventional treatment involved in the healing, recovery and ultimate return to racing, Helen set out to develop a form of treatment to compliment the training and veterinary treatment.  After studying the available equine literature of the time she also studied massage for humans to extend her knowledge.

During 1970 to 1981 Helen traveled to Europe and studied with the Classical Dressage Trainer Egon Von Neindorff in Karlsruhe, Germany.  She is still a student of dressage in the classical form and is now training in the Phillipe Karl system.

Since developing her system of horse massage she has been teaching her techniqes for over fifteen years.  Helen has treated winning horses from Group 1 Racehorses, Grand Prix Dressage horses to 3* Eventers.  She has a passion for the complete rehabilitation, recovery and retraining of horses to gain optimum results in whatever field you aspire to.

Learn more about Helen Klowss at www.animaltalkaustralia.com.au


Seeing infrared images of a horses leg in 1995 led to a "Eureka!" moment in 2000 when thermography again appeared in Jean Koek's life.

Then, as a EMRT™ therapist, she found thermography invaluable for giving progress reports to an abscent client.  The next ten years took her all over the world to study and work with this exciting but controversial diagnostic aid.  Presently, thermography is mostly used when regular diagnostic tools have failed!

Examples:

1.  FEI Dressage horse (Prix St. Georges Inter I) lame o/f six months following an arena fall.  Thermography showed o/f to be 11 degrees colder than n/f.  An amazing series of infrared images taken over an hour as a massage therapist (and NSW Dressage Team Manager) Jenny Carroll, worked on the horse, showed circulation returning.  Horse went Grand Prix in January.

2.  Pleasure horse owner was told by many that she was imagining a problem.  Infrared imaging during saddle fit assessment showed that horse was warming up on one side of her body only.  Veterinary chiropractic and acupuncture successfully addressed the problem.  Possible cause - post-birth problem.

Jean is currently involved in a variety of projects where thermography is one of the measurement tools.  Using video infrared to watch the body under stress in an ongoing love and she hopes to do further studies on the effects of the rider on the horse.

Learn more about Jean Koek at www.vidi.com.au.

Jonathan Leoncini has been handling and riding horses since he was 12 years old.  With the love of horses very much a part of his life with endurance riding, it was there where he wanted to give something back to the horse, and more importantly to endeavour to rectify horses' problems.  Farriery was the answer.

He was one in seven apprentices who were the first group to complete a formal apprenticeship.  Jonathan's passion for horses has continued throughout his 25 years as a farrier.

He has competed in farriery competitions throughout Australia and has represented Australia at the World Blacksmiths/Farrier Championships in Calgary, Canada. Jonathan was recently invited to Malaysia to judge the Asian Pacific Farrier Championship, and also lectured there.

Jonathan's passion is strong as ever and he enjoys lecturing and giving the horse owner an understanding of what to look for in their horse's feet.  "Every horse is someones Phar Lap".



Laurie Paltridge has been shoeing horses for 17 years in the Western Districts of Victoria.  He obtained his 'Trade Certificate' in 1994.  He is based in Warnambool in Southern Victoria.

Laurie shoes a range of horses, including racehorses, eventers, show horses, pony club horses and ponies.  'Kibbutz' (who came 9th in the Melbourne Cup) 'Hissing Sid' (Warnambool Cup) and Arch Symbol (Wangoom HDCP) are among some of the racehorses whom Laurie shoes.

Alongside that, he does remedial work at Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic.  The Veterinary Clinic gets a lot of horses with feet and leg problems coming to Warrnambool to get trained on the beach.  This has allowed Laurie to see a wide range of hoof problems, which in turn has been a great learning experience in rectifying their problems.

Laurie is a great believer in furthering education and tries to attend as many farrier clinics as possible.  He also has his Certificate in Horse Management (MOFMC) and Certificate in Small Business (TAFE).

Joanna Robson, DVM, CVSMT, CMP, CVA, SFT is a graduate of the Washington State University Honors Veterinary Medicine Program.

Unable to find helpful professional resources, she determined to learn everything possible about a grounded holistic approach to pain-free performance and longevity in our horses, and to build a community of like-minded equine professionals.

Combining traditional veterinary medicine with veterinary chiropractic, veterinary acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and the science of saddle-fitting, Dr. Robson’s goal is to provide integrated soundness solutions, and to educate the equine public about understanding and achieving the pain-free horse.

She has published numerous print and online articles about the effects of ill-fitting tack and the importance of correct engagement on the equine body and mind, and has an acupuncture case study pending for the Journal of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Her focus is objectively demonstrating the before and after changes in equine movement following treatment and use of a correctly fitting saddle.

She is the owner of Inspiritus Equine Inc.  in Napa, California, and the founder of Intregrated Soundness Solutions (sm).  She found her way to her passion when her horse needed help healing from a back injury.

Learn more about Dr. Robson at www.inspiritusequine.com.


Maureen Rogers is a pioneer and leading expert in the field of Equine CranioSacral Therapy work. She is the founder of the Equine CranioSacral Workshops - an international education program which offers the most extensive program of study.  Her pioneering efforts have opened doors and changed lives of horses around the world.

Ms. Rogers travels internationally for teaching, lectures and private consultations.  She works with horses of all disciplines and her clients include competitive horses, Grand Prix showjumpers, to Olympic athletes through to novice.  Travelling year round, she brings her cutting edge principles to working with vets, equine physio's, farriers, equine dentists, horse trainers and owners world wide.  She is internationally sought out for her expertise in equine craniosacral work, rehab therapy skills and especially in treatment of conditions of headshaking, TMJ issues and biomechanics of the horse.

Her first DVD Hope for Headshakers - A CranioSacral Approch to Equine Health has sold copies worldwide and has opened doors for horses who suffered with this condition.  Maureen will be releasing her new DVD "Is it Posture or Conformation?" in November 2010 during her visit to EQUITANA.  She will also be offering her Equine CranioSacral workshops in November in Australia.

To learn more about her work: www.equinecraniosacral.com 


Dr. Chris Whitton has extensive experience as a specialist clinician investigating and treating lame horses in Australia and the UK.

Twenty five years of observing lame horses and their injuries have directed his research into the problems that are of greatest importance to veterinarians, owners and trainers.

He is currently heading Equine Orthopaedic Research at the University of Melbourne Equine Centre which involves collaboration with leading research centres in biomechanics, subchondral bone and cartilage microstructure and epidemiology in Australia, the United States and the UK.

You can learn more about his research at www.equinecentre.unimelb.edu.au.

Trevor Wozencroft has had a lifetime of experience in the horse and cattle industries, specialising in nutrition and reproduction, managing properties throughout Queensland and Victoria where all cattle work was carried out on horseback.
Photonic Therapy was an obvious choice to continue in the industry as Dr. McLaren, the developer and world leader in photonic therapy was his vet in the early days of the photonic therapy development.

In the 1970's Trevor held a Thoroughbred owner/trainer license in Victoria, at the same time being involved with his young family at pony clubs and shows.

2002 saw Trevor working and studying with Dr. McLaren and is now a Level 3 Equine Photonic Therapist working with racing and pleasure horses and supplying self treatment McLaren Photonic Therapy Kits throughout the world.

Trevor has been teaching the use of McLaren Photonic Therapy to horse owners at workshops and seminars on how to better understand their horses problems and treat them using Photonic Therapy. McLaren Photonic Therapy is an Australian designed and manufactured product.

Learn more about Trevor at www.wozenphotonictherapy.com.




© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.
 
Follow the Hoof Blog on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
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