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Sunday, February 28, 2010

New DVD "The Balanced Horse" Offers Hoofcare Advice from Two of the World's Most Respected Farriers

28 February 2010 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog

Now ready for shipping from Hoofcare Books: The Balanced Horse by Jim and Allan Ferrie. 60 minutes; This DVD is designed to be played worldwide on PAL systems; in North America, this DVD will play on computers and laptops with DVD capabilities. Cost is $49 per DVD plus $5 post in USA; $8 post to other countries. To order call 978 281 3222; send email orders to books@hoofcare.com; fax to 978 283 8775. Click here to send a direct Paypal payment. Mail checks to Hoofcare Publishing, 19 Harbor Loop, Gloucester MA 01930 USA.

The whole horse world is the classroom in this easy-to-watch magazine-style briefing on hoofcare and farriery topics from Jim and Allan Ferrie. The Ferries' new DVD is broken down into easy to understand, bite-sized chapters which explain assessment of the hoof and limb (both standing and in motion), the use of studs, remedial shoeing, emergency shoe removal and much more. It is perfect for classroom use, library collections, personal study, or general enrichment.



Farriers at work: Allan Ferrie (right) and an apprentice work on two of the Clydesdales stabled in a park in Glasgow, Scotland; originally uploaded by jascmorgan; thanks for sharing!

This DVD is highly recommended as a basic building block of any educational library on hoofcare, farriery or horse management and is a companion to their successful first DVD, Shoemaking and Shoeing for Heavy Horses: Secrets of Success (80 minutes, available in North American format from our Hoofcare Books department; also $49 plus $5 post in USA). Click here to read a review of the first DVD and learn more about its contents.

Jim and Allan Ferrie run a multi-farrier practice and train apprentices in Newmilns, Ayrshire, Scotland. Both brothers are Fellows of the Worshipful Company of Farriers and examiners in the British system administered by the Worshipful Company. They have also both excelled in international farrier competitions all over the world and have represented Scotland as team members. They are consummate teachers with a strong dedication to improving the level of care provided to horses.

Allan (left) and Jim (middle) Ferrie were recently honored by the Scottish Equestrian Association in recognition of their contribution to the equine industry at a reception at Scottish Parliament. At right is Scottish Minister for the Environment, Michael Russell.

While Allan and Jim are known the world over for their work on the hooves of the great Clydesdale horses of Scotland, their practice is quite diverse and includes all sorts of horses, competing in all sports and disciplines. The practice also supplies farrier services to the University of Glasgow's veterinary college hospital and to many veterinary surgeons in the Ayrshire region of Scotland. Both brothers are members of the International Horseshoers Hall of Fame.

Jim and Allan also own J and A Ferrie Farrier Supplies, one of the leading farrier retail companies in Europe; their firm, managed by Alan Murdoch, is the European distributor for GE Tools. Should I even mention the salmon fishing guide business, the guest cabin for fly fishermen, the well-bred gun dogs and that stunning splashy-colored crossbred colt in the front paddock?

Where and how the Ferrie brothers found time to make a video is anyone's guess but you'll be glad they did when you watch this DVD. Both DVDs flew off our booth's table at the recent American Farrier's Association convention; people didn't even ask what was on the DVDs. They saw the Ferrie name and that was all they needed to see to know that this was something they wanted and would find valuable.

Note: Return to top for ordering information.
Click here for order form for fax and mail orders.


Farrier News: AFA Convention Elections, Awards, Contest Results

28 February 2010 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog at Hoofcare.com

The 39th American Farrier's Association Convention was held in Portland, Oregon. This image is another classic from the creative eyes and hands of British farrier Gary Huston.

The sun has set on the 39th convention of the American Farrier's Association Convention, held this week in Portland, Oregon. The combination of a lovely, friendly, snowless and warm (by 2010 east coast standards) city with a shiny new convention center and transport system made the convention easy to navigate and enjoy.

As usual, farriers came most of the 50 states and seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. Having the convention in the northwestern corner of the USA brings a chance to renew acquaintances with old friends and subscribers from that region, as well as western Canada and even intrepid travelers from Alaska and Hawaii.

Many thanks to everyone who commented on their addiction to this blog!

More coverage from the education and commerce sides of the convention will follow, but here are some bulletins from the final day of the convention. I was flying home but New York's Steve Kraus took some notes. These are just notes and should not be considered official. The AFA will publish the official record of the convention and all the elections, awards, and contests in their magazine.

But in the meantime, the winners are deserving of some congratulations and the curious minds at home may want to know who won what.

Elections: AFA vice president: Buck McClendon. Steve couldn't remember all the Board of Director elections results except that he was re-elected to represent the northeastern USA. He did recall that Margie Lee-Gustafson was elected to the Board to represent the California region.

AFA Achievement Awards: Jim Linzy Award-Chris Gregory; Educator Award-Dusty Franklin; Edward Martin Award-Margie Lee-Gustafson; Journalism Award-Danvers Child; Walt Taylor Award-Doug Workma.

AFA Competition: Delta Specialty Forging-Gene Leiser (USA); Journeyman-Billy Crothers (United Kingdom); NACC-Billy Crothers (United Kingdom); National High Point-Gene Leiser (USA); Two-Person Draft Horse Shoes - Gene Leiser and Alan Karson (USA); Vern Hornquist Class-Mike Miller (USA); Overall High Point-Stephen Beane (England).

2010 American Farriers Team will be Mike Augustine, Ben Mangen, Dusty Franklin, and Brian Osbourne, with Bob Slansky as alternate.

Again, please wait for the American Farrier's Association's official results as things do sometimes change. These results are very unofficial, as is the spelling and order of listing.

Many thanks to the AFA for a wonderful week in a wonderful city!

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. 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.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bob Skradzio: The Horseshoer's Horseshoer

19 February 2010 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog at Hoofcare.com

Bob Skradzio at one of his last farrier clinics, at Skidmore College's equestrian center in Saratoga Springs, New York. Notice the size of his hands. That's a big anvil; it just looks small under his hands.

Bob Skradzio died today in a hospital near his home in Ambler, Pennsylvania. He suffered a stroke on Monday.

A funeral will be held on Thursday, February 25th at 10 a.m. at the Jarrettown United Methodist Church, 1460 Limekiln Pike, Dresher, Pennsylvania, with a viewing on Wednesday evening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Ciaravelli Funeral Home, Condolences may be made at a memorial page for Bob at www.ciavarellifuneralhomes.com.

If you didn't know Bob, you certainly had plenty of chances. He shod horses in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area for more than 60 years and lived for most of his adult life in Ambler. He is probably one of the most famous farriers in America, but is equally famous for his unique personality and genuine interest in people as he is for his outstanding skill as a horseman and as a horseshoer.

Bob began an apprenticeship as a horseshoer in Philadelphia while he was in high school. He worked after school and on weekends and finished his apprenticeship in 1946. Philadelphia had large stables of work horses used for delivery, that were shod by contract; horseshoers were in great demand in the wealthy suburbs on weekends. "I was a rich man, when I was a very young man," Bob used to recall. "No one was making the kind of money that I was making back then."

Out in the foxhunting and horse-showing suburbs, Bob built up a loyal clientele, some of whom he kept for decades. He trained many apprentices, including his son Bob Jr., Ron Palmer, and others. Bob and Ron worked to bring the American Farrier's Association Convention to Valley Forge, PA in 1982.

I think Bob must have given more educational clinics than any other farrier in North America. During the 1990s, he worked on weekends with St Croix Forge, giving low-key presentations all over the country. His goal was not to directly sell shoes (Bob wasn't good at commercials) as much as to bring horseshoers into the fold, and to show them that going to clinics was not a threat. It worked because Bob could and would talk to everyone in the room. Maybe he'd never see them again, but they'd never forget him. Clint Carlson believed it was good for business to send Bob Skradzio as his company's first clinician out to the remote parts of the country, and he was right: As far as I know, Bob never showed a slide, didn't have a laptop and didn't know what PowerPoint is. He used his hands and his head and the tools from his box. It worked.

The last official event I did with Bob was one of our Hoofcare@Saratoga Tuesdays. I made sure Bob was the headliner; Mike Wildenstein took second billing, with a wink. When Bob saw Jim Santore's beautiful shoeing shop at Skidmore College's equestrian center, his eyes lit up. He could work there all day. And he did; the farriers who showed up that day had a treat. And then there was a talk that night at the Parting Glass. He just kept going.

You can double click on this image to see an enlarged picture of two of Bob's most famous assets: his hands. These hands were on the Hoofcare & Lameness/St Croix Forge wall calendar one year; many farriers told me they saved this picture. This is an ad from one of Bob's last farrier clinics.

Bob was the "booth magnet" at the Hoofcare & Lameness booth at the American Farrier's Association Convention for many years. People would line up to shake his hand or to remind him of the one time they had met (of course he remembered). He stood there to help the magazine, maybe, but he did mostly because he knew that a lot of people traveled a long way, spent a lot of money and they might not get to meet and shake hands with the famous farriers. But he'd be there and he'd talk to them as long as they wanted. He understood the shy ones and the quiet ones who didn't know anyone. And it gave him something to do. Bob didn't like hanging around with nothing to do.

Bob has a done-it-all resume. He served on the AFA board, was president of the Pennsylvania Guild, represented the USA--not once, not twice, but three times!--on the North American Horseshoeing Team in international competition, he won all the contests a farrier could win, and showed up for a few extra ones, too. I remember fondly when he competed in the raceplating and crab-eating contest at the Preakness the one time that was held, not because he plated racehorses but he thought it was worth a shot. Another time, he and Bruce Daniels re-created the scene of Norman Rockwell's toe-and-heel contest painting and went at it welding toe and heel calks on a hot September day. Just for the fun of it.

Bob Skradzio had a home life too. His wonderful wife Alene often traveled with him. He has three daughters and his son, Bobby Jr., is a horseshoer who actually employed Bob the past few years. Many people marvel that Bob was the former father-in-law of farrier Dave Duckett, who still lives down the road from him. Bob has a beautiful, classic home and collected sports cars. When I took him through the car museum in Saratoga, they quickly learned that he could be giving the tours. "I used to have one of them..." he said over and over. "I never should of sold it."

Bob was inducted into the Horseshoers' Hall of Fame in 1997 alongside Dr Doug Butler and the late Eddie Watson. I'm sure that he succeeded at everything he attempted to do in his profession, but his very best skill was in encouraging people to stick with it: keep trying, he'd say. You'll get there, what do you need to know? I know this first-hand because he's been coaching me for years. His support and encouragement have made a huge difference in my life. His friendship meant the world to me.

It's great to be good at what you do, or even to be the best. I'm sure that meant a lot to Bob. But how much more does it mean when so many people say spontaneously, "Oh! I will never forget that guy!" and really, truly mean it? How much more meaningful to be a legend for the humanity and the humor you brought to your profession and the horse world around you?


© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. 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.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Canadian College Expands Farrier Program to Two-Years

18 February 2010 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog at Hoofcare.com


The following is a press release from the farrier program at Olds College in Alberta, Canada:

Responding to industry demand, Olds College will be changing its already acclaimed one-year Farrier program to a two-year program in October of 2010.

The college’s new Farrier Science diploma will see students emerging with increased knowledge of equine anatomy, horse handling and horse husbandry. As well, emphasis will be increased on welding, basic blacksmithing and advanced corrective and therapeutic horseshoeing. In keeping with the college’s emphasis on real-life, hands-on learning, program completion will now require a total of 8 months of Directed Field Study, split into five-month and three-month sections respectively.

Mark Hobby, President of the Western Canadian Farriers Association, believes that new farriers today need more training than can currently be found on the continent. “Olds College is to be commended for its current one-year program. It is the best in North America by far,” says Hobby. “It is still not long enough, however. The proposed two year program is essential if we are going to be fair to equines, owners and students.” Hobby adds that Europe, generally considered to hold farriers to a higher standard, requires four years of training for farriers and requires them to be licensed by law.

Traditionally, the number of applicants for the Olds College program has exceeded its capacity, which caps at 16 students. Existing familiarity with the farrier profession and horse and tool handling are just some of the areas of competency students will need to demonstrate prior to 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. “Horses now represent a significant financial investment for most owners and there is also a heightened awareness of animal welfare and how it is achieved. This program will set a new standard and we are quite proud of it.”

Sinclair’s sentiments are echoed by the American Farrier’s Association (AFA). “All too often, farriers don’t survive their initial entrance into our profession because they arrive ill-prepared for success,” says AFA President Richard Fanguy. “By providing students with ample opportunity for both classroom instruction and practical experience, Olds College is helping to provide stability and professionalism within our industry.”

(end of press release)

Editor's note: Mark Hobby was probably misquoted in this press release. He may have been referring to the mandatory four-year farrier training program in Great Britain, which ends in an examination, rather than all of Europe. In other countries in Europe, the qualifications and education for farriers vary widely from formal to informal to non-existent although efforts by the EFFA hope to make standardized farrier training a reality across Europe in the future. Note that trimming and soft-shoeing (boots and non-steel shoes) do not require training or registration in most countries, but farriery (defined by the application of steel shoes) often is a regulated trade with a lengthy mandatory apprenticeship.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. 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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Strong Man Hangs On

17 February 2010 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog at Hoofcare.com

Maybe you could take a minute and think a few kind thoughts for a very strong man who is in a very helpless place tonight. He'd do that--and more--for you.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Video Humor: David Letterman Shoes a Horse with Farrier Ada Gates Patton

14 February 2010 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog at Hoofcare.com

Here's my Valentine to the hoof world: the ultimate weekend humor video. I'll never top this one. Where were you the night when farriers stayed up late to watch one of their own on the big stage in New York City? The night one of their own upstaged the great David Letterman? The night David Letterman lost control of his own show? Ada Gates Patton is in a league of her own. The fact that she was the first woman licensed to shoe horses at a racetrack in the United States is only the beginning of the story. A few years ago, we were in Kentucky for a convention and she made a special trip to Three Chimneys Farm to visit Wild Again, one of the horses on her list back in the 1980s, when he won the Breeders Cup Classic. Ada was international horsemen's liaison for the Breeders Cup in California, and coordinated farrier services for the 1984 Olympics in California. She tells wonderful stories about being shunned by trainers from the British Isles during the Breeders Cup; they went looking for a man to shoe their horses. When the call came for shoes from a French trainer, Ada picked up her shoeing box and headed over, expecting the worst. Instead, the Frenchman had the opposite reaction and welcomed her as if she had been sent by the gods.
Ada is originally from New York; she is a descendant of Henry Burden, a Scottish immigrant who invented the first machine to manufacture horseshoes. His machines are credited with helping the North win the Civil War; his factories stretched forever along the banks of the Hudson River in Troy, New York and Burden horseshoes supplied the US cavalry for decades. Henry would never have dreamed that women would someday shoe horses, let alone one of his descendants, but Ada made the history books too.
Today, Ada owns and runs Harry Patton Horseshoeing Supplies near Santa Anita, and serves farriers all over California. The business was started by her late husband, the famous racetrack shoer Harry Patton, and she has built it into a multi-store retail chain, with business partner Michael De Leonardo in northern California.
Ada stares up at the derelict but grand church built by her great-great-grandfather so that horseshoe factory workers had a place to worship. She saved the church from demolition through a loophole in the deed that made a provision for a descendant of the founder to lay claim. What would Henry Burden think of one of his descendants selling horseshoes?
Ada is originally from New York, and she is the great great grand-daughter of Henry Burden, the inventor of the horseshoe-making machine. We reconnected her with her roots a few years ago by explaining that her family's church would be torn down if she didn't claim the deed and save it--which she did, and subsequently opened the beautiful old church and invited our Hoofcare@Saratoga tour group of farriers in for lunch as part of one of our tours of the Burden Iron Works.
Last year Ada was honored in her family's church by the Burden Iron Works Museum and its preservation efforts. The image at right is the outline of the Burden horseshoe company's office building, which now houses the museum. The museum and Ada found each other through Hoofcare & Lameness Journal and our Hoofcare@Saratoga program and tour of the museum. The museum is dedicated to preserving the history of horseshoe manufacturing in Troy, New York.
Today, Ada is busy selling shoes. But she recently "joined up" with one of her old shoeing clients, California horseman Monty Roberts, and the two made a DVD together on hoofcare and horsemanship for hard-to-shoe horses. She teaches simple hoof balance principles at horse owner events and markets a hoof ruler to help them keep track of changes in their horses' hooves' dimensions. Horse Illustrated profiled Ada's pioneering career spirit in this tribute article. Ada is one person who never forgot where she came from, and is not done getting to where she's going. She's still giving us all a lot of laughs along the way, and digging this video up out of the 1990s will insure that more people around the world join in. Monitor Hoofcare News on Twitter.com! Follow @hoofcarejournal!
© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. 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.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friends at Work: Hoof Knives Hand-Made in Vermont by Farrier Jim Hurlburt

13 February 2010 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog at Hoofcare.com



Please wait patiently for this video from WCAX-TV in Vermont to load.

Vermont is one of the horsiest states in the USA, although you might not know that unless you went there and drove the back roads. As a former dairy farmer friend remarked to me recently, "Horses are the new cows."

Texas doesn't have to worry about Vermont beating them in the number of horses in a single state, but the number of horses per square mile, or per capita, must be right up there.

For as long as I can remember, Vermont has been famous for having more cows than people--it is, after all, the home of Ben and Jerry's ice cream--but lately a lot of dairy farms have been converted to horse farms. And a lot of veterinarians and farriers and hoof trimmers have moved to the Green Mountain State to serve those horses. Some were even born and raised there.

The Vermont Farriers Association was formed about five years ago, has an active educational program and was one of the first farrier associations to openly welcome non-shoeing trimmers to its membership and its events. They'll host a seminar with veterinarian Tracy Turner of Minnesota next month.

The winters are long in Vermont, and most of the people are involved in some sort of craft or hobby or a second job during the dark snowy months. Farrier Jim Hurlburt of Stowe drives right by the famous ski lifts of his hometown to pursue his work with horses, and comes home at night to work on his hoof knives, which he sends all over the world.

That's the kind of place that Vermont is. Out in any back barn you can find almost anything being made, designed or invented on a cold February day. The roads may not be paved, but somehow FedEx and UPS find the most out of the way cabins and farmhouses and the labors of Vermonters get shipped no matter how deep the snow is.

Enjoy this little video about Jim Hurlburt and his knives, courtesy of WCAX-TV in Burlington, Vermont. I hope no one on the tv crew cut themselves while making this video. Jim's knives are sharp!

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask.

Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. 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.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Racetrack Surface Research Video: Building a TTD for the Track in a Box at the University of California

3 February 2010 Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog at Hoofcare.com

(Caution: You might want to turn down the volume on your computer before you play this video. The soundtrack is loud!)



This video shows the development and constrution of the University of California, Davis, J.D. Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory track-testing device (TTD). The TTD is instrumented with a load cell, accelerometer, and laser displacement sensor, and is used to compare the dynamic properties of Thoroughbred racehorse racetrack surfaces as part of the lab's "Track in a Box " project to simulate racetrack conditions in the laboratory.

The "box" in the lab acan be filled with layers of dirt, stones, asphalt and racetrack surface materials that could include wax, fibers or other materials. A drainage system allows the effects of rain to be testing. The spring-loaded mechanism simulates the impact of pounding hooves up to 100 times the force of gravity while measurements are taken to characterize surface behavior.


The finished TTD positioned over the box

The "Track in a Box" project is the work of Jacob Setterbo, a PhD candidate in the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group, and Dr. Susan Stover, director of the school’s JD Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory. The project is funded by the Grayson Jockey Club, the Southern California Equine Foundation, and the Center for Equine Health with funds provided by the State of California pari-mutuel fund and contributions by private donors.

I asked Jacob Setterbo about the fact that the TTD contained everything exect a shoe, and wondered about adding a shoe to the TTD, or even using it to test how different shoes load in different footing. Setterbo and Stover worked on a sensor shoe for racetrack testing which was featured on the hoof blog in an article last fall.

"That is a possibility we considered," Setterbo answered. "So the TTD was designed so that a new interface to the load cell can be machined so that a shoe can be added, and things such as toe grabs can be compared. Because we first need to establish the functionality of the TTD we decided to first start with a simple impacting part, which is an aluminum piece which is approximately the same area of the hoof. But the answer is yes, it is possible to modify the TTD to test different shoes."

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. 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.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Hoofcare Scholar: Design a Foot with Professor Robert Full

by Fran Jurga | 1 February 2010 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog


 
 
Caution: Don't start watching this video unless you have 19 minutes and 24 seconds to watch the whole thing through. And then you might want to watch it all over again. Professor Robert Full is Director of the Poly-PEDAL Laboratory in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California at Berkeley. This video, which is now five years old, was always too long to post on the blog, but now it is possible...so here you go. If you like this, you'll enjoy a few more scholarly (but not too scholarly) videos that we've been preparing for you.

Dr. Full may work with cockroaches and crabs and centipedes and geckos, and he may be trying to build a better robot, not fix a lame horse, but this video can make you think about what a foot is and what it can and should do. And what you can add to a foot to achieve different goals, i.e. move across different surfaces.

Many of the concepts will be everyday to you. And maybe some of the exercises that Professor Full reviews will lead you to some brand new thoughts...or a brand new way of thinking.

Happy 19 minutes and 24 seconds!

And thanks to Robert Full and the TED conference for making this clip available! PS The impetus for this research is a robot that would be useful for first responders in emergency and disaster scenarios. Apparently some search-and-rescue robots have been used in Haiti during the earthquake response, but Professor Full might need to add digging to the task list of his robotic feet when it comes to quake rubble. Bare human hands apparently did most of the work, and search dogs were found to be very helpful. Texas A&M University is home to CRASAR, the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue.


© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. No use without permission. You only need to ask. Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. 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. For more news, follow @hoofcarejournal on www.twitter.com.