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Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Wave Your Flag" New Breeders Cup Music Video


Are you excited about the Breeders Cup yet? This new take on the classic FIFA World Cup unofficial theme song from k'naan leaves me scratching my head, but it's fun to watch.

In case you were under a rock and missed the excitement from South Africa that was the biggest sporting event in the world, here's the Coca-Cola version of the song:


What are the lyrics, saying, anyway? Their sentiment could inspire hard-running young horses from outside the blueblood Bluegrass as much as they did the soccer-loving street kids in Soweto and Somalia, Asia and all the stops all over the world where this video was shot.

They'd inspire anyone, for that matter. Listen and read the lyrics here.

I never thought I'd hear African music on the Breeders Cup web site!

© 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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Preview Zenyatta and Mike Smith on 60 Minutes: Breeders Cup Anticipation Begins in Earnest NOW!



Double click on the square icon (to the right of "share" below the window) to view the video in full screen mode.

The racing world has begun its countdown to the historic moment when Zenyatta runs in the 2010 Breeders Cup Classic and attempts to repeat her 2009 victory against the colts and preserve her unblemished career racing record at 20 straight victories. That's right: Never a loss, not even a second place, no matter who else was in the race.

It all happens next Saturday around 6 p.m. at Churchill Downs. The Classic is the richest single horse race in the world and, in turn, the Breeders Cup is the richest sporting event in the world.

But around 7 p.m. tonight (Sunday, October 31) we should all take a break and sit down with some Halloween candy to watch Zenyatta on 60 Minutes on CBS. That's mainstream tv in the USA, no cable subscription needed.

What you are likely to hear is what her fans will tell you: that it's not just that she wins--although her record speaks for itself. It's how she wins. With equal amounts of style--ears pricked forward, dancing in the paddock and the post parade like a grand prix dressage horse--and drama. She comes from dead last and seems to use her massive hindquarters to motor out of the racetrack like a supercharged Hummer when it's time to make her move. But she also seems to know exactly where the finish line is and she runs just far enough and fast enough to beat whomever is in her way. Ears up, she just gallops on by, often winning by half a length, just enough to seal the victory.


Zenyatta has caught the imagination and the affection of the nation. Whether she wins or not, she has been a shot of adrenaline for horseracing, a sport that so many had written off as dead, dying or diseased beyond repair. Churchill Downs next Saturday will be filled to overflowing to see her, and hopefully some of her fans will just happen to fall in love with some of the other races and some of the other horses while they're hanging around waiting for her race.

Ahead of us lies a week of Zenyatta fun and media antics. She takes it all in stride. Her trainer and owners seem to chuckle right along while you know they are deep in the important business of insuring her health and safety and fitness as the big day approaches.

Yesterday Zenyatta had her final workout at her home base at Hollywood Park in California. On Tuesday, she will fly to Louisville, Kentucky.

You can watch two full days of Breeders Cup races on ESPN and ABC. As crazy as this sounds, it looks like Zenyatta's race will only be shown on cable television. ABC probably has a more important (to them) football game.

© 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, October 29, 2010

USDA Audit Recommends Abolishing DQP System, Shows Would Hire Veterinarians to Inspect Horses for Soring Violations Under Horse Protection Act

The United Stated Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently performed an audit of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) oversight of the humane treatment of Tennessee Walking horses at shows as mandated by the Horse Protection Act. The audit also addressed the long-distance transport of horses destined for slaughter outside the United States.

To quote the audit document: "Concerning the treatment of show horses, we found that APHIS’ program for inspecting horses for soring is not adequate to ensure that these animals are not being abused. At present, horse industry organizations hire their own inspectors (known as designated qualified persons (DQP)) to inspect horses at the shows they sponsor. However, we found that DQPs do not always inspect horses to effectively enforce the law and regulations, and in some cases where they do find violations, they deliberately issue tickets to friends or family members of responsible individuals so that the responsible person could avoid receiving a penalty for violating the Horse Protection Act."

The report said that APHIS employees attend very few horses and that, when they do, APHIS employees routinely bring armed security or the police with them in the interest of their personal safety.

In the executive summary of the audit, OIG recommended that APHIS "seek the necessary funding from Congress for the Horse Protection Program, as the current level of funding does not enable the agency to oversee it adequately. Given the weaknesses in the inspection process, APHIS employees need to attend more shows to ensure that horses are inspected adequately."

OIG's review of the slaughter horse transport program found that, in their view, APHIS needs to improve its controls for ensuring that horses being shipped to foreign plants for slaughter are treated humanely. At present, the summary said, "APHIS does not deny authorization to individuals with a record of inhumanely transporting slaughter horses to ship other loads of horses, even if unpaid fines are pending for previous violations. Regulations simply do not address denying this authority, and so APHIS provides the authorization, regardless of the owner’s history. Without regulations or legislation to establish more meaningful penalties, owners have little incentive to comply with regulations, pay their penalties, and cease inhumanely handling horses bound for slaughter."

Finally, OIG found that there were "control deficiencies in how APHIS tags horses that have been inspected and approved for shipment to foreign slaughterhouses. The agency requires shippers to mark such horses with backtags, which are intended to allow APHIS employees to trace horses back to their owner and also to verify that the horses have passed inspection by an accredited veterinarian. We found, however, that the agency’s controls over these tags were weak, and that owners could easily obtain them and apply the tags to horses without APHIS’ knowledge."

In addition, APHIS "does not currently have an effective control or tracking system to trace all backtags used to transport horses to slaughter. Without regulations controlling the distribution, use, and tracking of these tags, owners can transport horses that do not meet the requirements for shipment. APHIS needs to seek the appropriate legislative and regulatory changes to ensure that only qualified individuals (such as APHIS personnel or USDA-accredited veterinarians) apply backtags to horses being shipped to slaughter. It also needs to obtain the resources necessary to adequately oversee the Slaughter Horse Transport Program."

Recommendation Summary

1. Abolish the current DQP system and establish by regulation an inspection process based on independent accredited veterinarians, and obtain the authority, if needed, to charge show managers the cost of providing independent, accredited veterinarians to perform inspections at sanctioned horse shows, sales, and other horse-related events.

2. Implement a control to ensure that individuals suspended from horse shows, sales, or exhibitions due to Horse Protection Act violations do not participate in subsequent events.

3. Seek the necessary funding to adequately oversee the Horse Protection

4. Revise and enforce regulations to prohibit horses disqualified as sore from competing in all classes at a horse show, exhibition, or other horse-related event.

5. Revise Slaughter Horse Transport Program regulations to allow APHIS to deny shipping documents to individuals who repeatedly violate humane handling regulations and who have fines outstanding.

6. Develop and maintain a control (database or list) of all individuals who have violated the regulations of the Slaughter Horse Transport Program and have not paid the associated fines.

7. Revise regulations or implement adequate controls to ensure that APHIS provides backtags to qualified personnel who can inspect horses bound for slaughter and apply, or oversee the application of, backtags when approving transport documentation.

8. Develop and implement an appropriate control to track individual horses by backtag number on all shipping documents approved so that reconciliation can be performed, violations can be investigated, and enforcement action can be initiated against the horse’s owner and shipper.


© 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, October 28, 2010

What Do Zenyatta and Mister Ed Have in Common?

The San Francisco Giants look like they want to make quick work of the Texas Rangers and have a short 2010 World Series. If baseball season ends early, that will leave plenty of time on the news and in the papers for coverage of next week's Breeders Cup, and our favorite horse Zenyatta, who graced a billboard for the Dodgers in Los Angeles. She's based nearby at Hollywood Park.

The question was: What do Zenyatta and Mister Ed have in common?

As it turns out, they both seem to have registered themselves as baseball fans. LA Dodger fans, to be exact. And as the sun sets on the 2010 MLB season, we can have some fun with the baseball exploits of Zenyatta and Ed in the midst of the World Series.

Champion Thoroughbred Zenyatta is the queen of good news, whether she's at home at Hollywood Park or mixing with the media at Churchill Downs, site of next weekend's Breeders Cup. The stories about her personality and her antics make even the most hardened racetrackers chuckle. And next week she'll be the queen of this blog, as she prepares for the Breeders Cup Classic and what we all hope will be a repeat win and her 20th consecutive lifetime victory--with never a defeat!

Zenyatta is the best thing to happen to racing since...well, for a very long time, let's just leave it at that. But how does racing take advantage of this great horse so that some of the affection for her might possibly benefit the rest of the sport? Can Zenyatta bring people back to the track? Can some of those warm and fuzzy feelings for Zenyatta transfer to other horses running in this year's Breeders Cup? Couldn't Quality Road or Blind Luck or Blame or Goldikova or even Workforce be portrayed as likable as Zenyatta?

If there was any doubt that that warm and fuzzy Zenyatta feeling was going mainstream, look back in time no further than back in July when National Public Radio aired a special interview about the supermare. And whom did they choose to interview? None other than Laura Hillenbrand, the author of the bestselling book Seabiscuit,another champion racehorse who captured imaginations and won hearts.

Take a few minutes to listen to Laura's interview and then post a link to this blog story on your Facebook page and forward this to your friends, especially if they aren't already racing fans. I bet Zenyatta will convert them.

Zenyatta is not the first horse to promote the Dodgers. Back in 1963, Mister Ed showed Leo Durocher, Sandy Koufax, Moose Skowron, Willie Davis and Johnny Roseboro how it's done. Imagine how Zenyatta could round those bases! But knowing her running style, she'd definitely win it for the team on the last out of the ninth inning...by hitting a home run!



© 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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Dick Reid: One of the Last Traveling Horseshoe Salesmen Has Died

Dick Reid, left, shown with Dan Burke of Farrier Product Distribution, right, sold Diamond Horseshoes for more than 30 years. He was a familiar face and phone voice in the US farrier industry.
There are professions that have sort of faded away. There aren't too many milkmen. No one delivers telegrams. And the age of the traveling salesman seems to have been taken over by online shopping carts and email confirmations. If you own a store and you want to see what's out there to buy, you have to go to a trade show if you want to see it, touch it, smell it and throw it against the wall to see if it sticks.

But it wasn't always that way. Companies had salesmen who came around to stores and businesses and showed their clients new products, took orders, and acted as informal business advisers about what should be in the store, how and where it should be displayed, and what color a shop owner should paint the barn. They'd figure out a name for a puppy or help you decide which cash register to get.

There was an intimacy between these salesmen and their customers--if the salesmen were any good, that is. They made themselves indispensable.

For most of the second half of the 20th century, it was the Diamond horseshoe salesmen who knit the farrier industry together.  Diamond, headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota, was the leading brand, and Dick Reid was one of their leading sales experts. 

The Diamond Tool and Horseshoe Company headquarters in Duluth, Minnesota once employed 800 people.
Diamond was sold to the Triangle Corporation in 1981, and plans were made to gradually phase out the Minnesota factory and move the company to South Carolina. Dick Reid retired from Diamond soon after that. He started a regional sales rep firm with his wife, Ruth, in 1986. They called it Farrier Products Marketing and represented then-independent Cooper nails, Russell Breckenridge Company, Bellota Rasps (Kentucky Farrier Supply) and GE Tools in ten midwestern and northern states.

But Dick's heart condition didn't like the idea of not being retired, and after a few years Dick left the farrier scene, only to return for special visits.

Dick died on Saturday, October 22nd. He lived in Urbana, Ohio and was 89 years old. I guess he must have known an awful lot about horseshoes but I know he knew even more about people.

The vast network of farrier supply stores, warehouses, internet shops and trade shows that farriers enjoy today grew out of a few lonely outposts scattered around the country until the farrier industry boom in the 1980s. What exists now was built on the shoulders and hard work and dreams and good will of generous people like Dick Reid.

A monument has been erected in Duluth to the memory of the employees of Diamond Tool and Horseshoe Company. The buildings have been razed.

© 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, October 25, 2010

Steve Kraus Appointed Head Farrier at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

(The following text is reprinted without change from the Cornell web site.)

Steve Kraus will join the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine as head farrier, effective November 1, 2010. He will continue the great work of Michael Wildenstein, who has been with Cornell since 1991, and has accepted an early retirement incentive offered by New York State.

Kraus specializes in trouble shooting under-performing horses around the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York. His client list includes hunter/jumpers, dressage and event horses, polo, endurance, western performance, Morgans, and driving horses. He is the recent past president of the Western New York Farriers Association and a member of the Board of Directors for Region # 5 of the American Farrier's Association.

In the position, Kraus will assume responsibility for the work and teaching currently in progess and recruit students for the course that begins in January. His position will support patient needs within the Equine and Farm Animal Hospitals and the Farrier Shop, performing duties that include basic horse shoeing, corrective hoof trimming/shoeing, therapeutic methods, splint fabrication, and other relevant needs.

“My primary goals are to insure the continuity of the farrier program for the students (both current and incoming), as well as to meet the needs of the patients of the Cornell University Hospital for Animals,” said Kraus. “I also intend to bring more horses into the program, which will give the students an opportunity to practice what they’ve learned while serving horses whose hooves need attention. This combination will provide a great foundation of theory and practice.”

A graduate of the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with a bachelor’s in Animal Science, Kraus is an American Farriers Association Certified Journeyman Farrier. He has shod many types and breeds of show and performance horses for more than 40 years. In addition, he has worked for Mustad Hoofcare since 1976 as their farrier consultant, representing the organization across the country at farrier and horse owner clinics and events, as well as testing and developing horse nails, horseshoes, farrier tools, and the hoof care products that Mustad produces and markets. Since 1968, Kraus has also been the farrier for all the equine programs in the Cornell University Athletic department, which includes the Cornell Polo Team, Equestrian Team, and Physical Education Riding Program.

krausAn avid rider and polo player, Kraus owns and trains five polo horses at his farm in Trumansburg, N.Y. He plays outdoor polo during the summer and coaches and umpires for indoor polo at the Cornell Equestrian Center during the rest of the year.

“I’ve trained many apprentices over the years,” Steve said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to teach at Cornell’s world-renowned Farrier School and helping horses by preventing or fixing lameness.”

(end of Cornell text)

Hoofcare and Lameness congratulates Steve Kraus on his appointment and wishes him the best. I also look forward to continuing my personal friendship with Michael Wildenstein.


© 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, October 23, 2010

Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging Presents Dr Sue Dyson's Patient, A Showjumper Who Wanted to Stay on the Left Lead

Sue Dyson, FRCVS, is Senior Orthopaedic Clinician in the Centre for Equine Studies at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, England. The Animal Health Trust (AHT) operates a referral clinic for cases of lameness in sport horses, which is Dyson's specialty. AHT has advanced diagnostic imaging capabilities that are usually not available in equine veterinary hospitals.

Dr Sue Dyson of the Animal Health Trust is Newmarket, England performs systematic lameness exams on horses referred to the clinic for diagnosis or treatment. (Sue Dyson/Hoofcare Publishing image)
Imagine Sue Dyson examining Thomas, a five-year-old warmblood, who competes in low-level showjumping.

Thomas was referred to the Animal Health Trust because he was reluctant to land from a fence with the right forelimb leading. He had become awkward turning to the left and sometimes felt "pottery" (unlevel or unstable) in front. Thomas's vet had detected some swelling in the region of the left front foot's coffin joint, just above the coronary band. He was sound on a straight line but on a circle he showed left forelimb lameness on the left rein, which was worse on a firm surface that a soft one.

Nerve blocks were used to desensitize the back of the foot and this eliminated the left forelimb lameness. On a separate occasion, an injection of a local anesthetic into the coffin joint also made Thomas sound.
The impar ligament of the navicular bone is known as the Distal Sesamoidean Impar Ligament or DSIL. It anchors the navicular bone by connecting it to the coffin bone (P3). This ligament is very deep inside the foot and is not visible on a radiograph. (HC Biovision plastination image, uesd with permission)
X-rays of the foot were taken, but the vet saw no abnormalities. The vet explained that although primary injuries of the coffin joint can occur, a positive response to nerve-blocking did not rule out the possibility of injury to one of the other related structures.

A treatment plan devised by the horse's regular vet directed that Thomas’s coffin joint was treated with an injection of corticosteroids and hyaluronan, which made him sound within a few days and able to resume full work. He continued to progress well for about six weeks but clinical signs recurred. Never blocks were repeated and yielded similar results.

This MRI shows what a normal, undamaged DSIL looks like. It appears like a solid bank of white leading from the navicular bone to the inside of the coffin bone. The veterinarian interpreting the MRI would hope to see the DSIL looking the one in this image. (Hallmarq reference image)
The vet examined the collateral ligaments of the coffin joint, just above the coronary band, and could see no abnormalities. It was therefore suggested that an MRI scan should be carried out to try to establish a more definitive diagnosis. MRI often identifies injuries which are invisible when using other techniques such as x-rays or ultrasound, particularly when the problem is in the foot.

The MRI scan, performed at the Animal Health Trust, revealed that Thomas had sustained an avulsion fracture—an injury to the bone in a place where a tendon or ligament attaches to it—at one side of the attachment of the distal sesamoidean impar ligament to the pedal (coffin) bone. Clearly this was a problem that was going to require rest before Thomas would happily swap leads again.

Damaged DSIL: Deciding to look into the foot in search of a root cause of the lameness was delayed for months with this horse, while the vet treated what might be the horse's problem. This type of injury is relatively rare but can be diagnosed through advanced imaging. The MRI showed that the foot was damaged in the region of the distal sesamoidean impar ligament (DSIL) in the navicular zone. Compare this reference image with the other images of the DSIL in this blog. (Image courtesy of Dr Martinelli, California Equine Orthopedics)

Thomas's case study is a sponsored blog post in cooperation with Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging.

Watch for more in the Hallmarq-sponsored article series on The Hoof Blog, and check their social media system and especially their info-deep web site for lots more information.

To learn more about Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging and standing MRI technology for horses:

• Become a fan  of the new Hallmarq Equine MRI Facebook page;
• Follow @HallmarqMRI on Twitter;
• Subscribe to the hallmarqvetimaging channel on YouTube.com;
• Watch for a growing equine distal limb Hallmarq MRI image gallery on Flickr.com;
• Visit the Hallmarq.net web site. (Plan to spend some time there!)


MRI images used in this article were provided by Hallmarq as examples and are not the actual radiographs from Thomas's file.

This case study originally was written for an article on lameness in Horse and Hound Magazine.


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Hoofcare & Lameness Presents World Horse Welfare's Laminitis Video Conference (Part 5: How to fat score a horse with Samantha Lewis)


Welcome to the fifth in a series of feature presentations designed to help horse owners recognize the signs of laminitis in horses and to work toward preventing endocrine-related laminitis. In this video, World Horse Welfare expert Samantha Lewis goes through the steps of fat scoring a pony to determine its relative risk for laminitis and other health problems.

The entire series of videos from World Horse Welfare's laminitis awareness conference--consisting of the introduction video and five topics--have been edited together into a special laminitis-themed YouTube playlist for you so that they will play continuously. Alternately, you can watch them one by one on The Hoof Blog.

Just scroll back through the past week to find them all.

Hopefully you will support the World Horse Welfare's efforts to educate the public about laminitis and the dangers it presents to horses.


© 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, October 22, 2010

Books for Your Reference Shelf: "Principles of Farriery" by Colles and Ware


Welcome to Principles of Farriery by Chris Colles and Ron Ware. Published September 2010 in UK, November 2010 in USA. Shoe examples handmade by Billy Crothers. Specifications: 400+ pages, 8.5 x 11", full color throughout, hard cover with dust jacket, fully indexed. Price: $125 each plus post. Order by email books@hoofcare.com or call 978 281 3222. Fax orders to 978 283 8755. Full order details below.

Principles of Farriery by Colles and Ware is the first completely new farrier textbook and reference to be published in recent years. This major book is a timeless guide to the traditional practice of professional farriery and to the actual craft of shoeing horses. It describes hoofcare and horseshoeing in its bare-bones form: this book will work just as well in a third-world country as in an upscale hunter/jumper barn because it does not prescribe any special tools, products or procedures. It simply and elegantly describes the horse's foot and explains how a professional farrier would go about shoeing it--within various hoof balance or lameness scenarios--by using only the most straightforward tools and either common factory-made shoes or specific handmade shoes.

Horseshoes in the book were specially made by world champion Billy Crothers and were photographed to show both the ground surface and the foot surface. This open-toed bar shoe was used to show the difference in nail hole position between it and using a normal shoe backwards.
The book is written by two of the most accomplished and respected experts in Great Britain: a lameness-specialist veterinarian who is deeply involved in farrier education, and a hoof balance specialist farrier who is fascinated by the horse's foot and limb conformation.

An announcement has finally been made, and it looks like Principles of Farriery is on its way to the USA. Beginning today, Hoofcare + Lameness is accepting reservations for the first shipment of books, expected the second week of November. Update: As of 9 November, the first books are in stock and ready to be shipped!
I have been looking forward to this book for years. Colles and Ware worked together for many years; Colles brought the concept of hoof balance to the attention of the veterinary world in his papers on treating navicular disease back in the 1980s.  He is currently a senior partner in Avonvale Veterinary Practice, UK, specializing in equine orthopaedics.

Colles (shown right, courtesy of Avonvale Vet Practice) is recognized by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as a Specialist in Equine Orthopaedic Surgery. He and Dr Chris Pollitt are the only two veterinarians I've ever heard of who have received the honorary Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. Dr. Colles is also co-author with Sue Dyson of Clinical Radiology of the Horse and the useful booklet, Functional Anatomy of the Horse.

Ron Ware paused in his work at the Animal Health Trust forge in 1985 (or so) for this photo. Yes, he is very tall.
Ron Ware's Fellowship thesis on hoof balance for this FWCF qualification in the Worshipful Company of Farriers was the landmark paper for its time and one of the most important publications of the last 50 years in farriery.  He has always been one of the most highly respected farriers in Great Britain, although you've never seen him lined up at a contest and his name is not a household word. He is a farrier's farrier. He was for many years the resident consulting farrier at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, England, and also has had a relationship with the Hong Kong Jockey Club as a farrier adviser there.

Ron, in my opinion, is a sort of Zen master of farriery; he is someone who has thought very deeply and always shared his knowledge, yet he always focuses on the foot itself and the importance of limb conformation and his shoeing methods appear to be very simple and straightforward because he primarily addresses the foot, not the shoe. His reputation is above reproach in Great Britain, although he has been retired for several years.

I believe that this will be the first farriery book with a vet and farrier as co-authors.

The 400-page book is described by the publisher in this blurb: "The coverage starts with a brief history of farriery, then looks at the legalities of the job and how to control equines for trimming and shoeing. The authors describe the care and maintenance of the forge and farriery tools, as well as the anatomy and function of the horse, especially the lower limbs, the principles of foot balance, and the practice of shoeing. Shoe making, surgical shoes, lameness and shoeing are dealt with in detail, and the book is embellished with hundreds of specially taken photos, and explanatory line drawings."

The book is beautifully designed. Examples of shoes are made by world champion farrier Billy Crothers and are, as one would expect, suitable for framing! Comments about traditional (i.e. somewhat archaic) designs of British shoes are re-examined and critiqued in gentle retrospect of the 21st century, with explanations of why they were developed in the past, but their use on today's horses (assuming one has the skill to make these shoes) is evaluated in candid commentary.

What this book does not have: No Equilox, no Vettec products, no impression material, no glue-ons. This book could have been written in the past; it can stand the test of time and will still be relevant in the future as commercial trends change. I believe that this was done intentionally; I also believe that the authors' philosophy is to concentrate on the foot and keep the shoeing simple. Modern balance theories are not discussed or compared.
A sample page from the beautifully laid out and referenced Principles of Farriery by Colles and Ware; reserve your copy now!

For this reason, I also think that some people may be disappointed initially because the feet in the book do not look like they are shod in state-of-the-art products. All you see is hoof and simple steel and nails. That book on high-tech farriery is yet to be written, and look to Hoofcare and Lameness to keep you up to date on trends and new ideas in the meantime. Look to Principles of Farriery to be an anchor of a reference on axial hoof balance and core farriery wisdom.

Please place your order now. Quantities in the USA will be limited. Shipping is expected to begin by mid-November.

HOW TO ORDER: $125 per book plus $10 shipping in USA, $20 shipping to Canada, $25 shipping to other countries. Price subject to change without notice. Payment by cash (in person), check (by mail), or PayPal (by Internet, using button below). Email inquiries to books@hoofcare.com. Fax to 978 283 8775. Mail orders to Hoofcare Books, 19 Harbor Loop, Gloucester MA 01930. All orders must be prepaid. Please include email address or phone number on all orders so we can confirm order and notify you when book has been shipped. Allow three weeks from ship date in USA (should be quicker) and longer to other countries.

Note: this is a heavy book. Postage rates are based on an estimated weight. We reserve the right to change the postage rates if the book is heavier than estimated.



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© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask.
Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Overgrown Hind Hooves Gone Very Bad: Cruelty Case Video Used in Court to Impose Sentence on Horse Owner


I guess this video doesn't need any explanation. The mare was probably confined in a stall, although I don't know that for a fact, and may even have been born with bilateral hind limb flexural deformity.


This video was provided by World Horse Welfare, formerly the International League for the Protection of Horses. As a result of this prosecution, the owner was banned from keeping horses for ten years, and ordered to pay almost £10,000 in costs and compensation. They ordered that six other horses be removed from the owner's care.

When Mr Barnes of World Horse Welfare and the RSPCA Inspector first saw the mare in the video, named Florence, she was barely able to walk. A veterinarian who examined her decided that so much damage had been done that she could not be saved, and she was put to sleep.

The court magistrates watched video footage of Florence after she had been removed from the owner's premises, possibly the same footage shown here. They heard veterinary evidence that the horse’s feet had been in a bad state for most of its life.

After the hearing Ted Barnes said: “I have found this case extremely upsetting. Years of experience haven’t hardened me to this prolonged neglect to Florence. This horse did not deserve to live most of her life with her feet in this condition. This is something I have never seen before, and neither had the veterinary surgeon who dealt with it.“

The video was apparently shot when the mare had been heavily medicated so that she could walk at all and was probably on her way to be euthanized.

This video is horrifying but I was just as horrified a few weeks ago in Kentucky at the International Equestrian Festival. At an excellent seminar on foal deformities by Dr. Ric Redden, he showed case after case of foals and adult horses with problems as bad as this horse that are brought to him to be "fixed".

One can only wonder what happens to the ones that are never brought forward for treatment or that don't respond to treatment. In spite of the literature and expertise available to them, many breeders never admit that a foal needs expert help until it is too late, if they admit it at all. Some, like this owner, simply hide the evidence in a back stall, hoping no one will see and that the horse will miraculously improve.

There are many ethical questions about keeping animals alive: are they in pain? do they enjoy a quality of life that is suitable? The same questions have come up with horses that have received amputation surgery or that have simply survived severe laminitis rather than recovered from it.

Veterinary ethics is just beginning to explore the issues surrounding chronically lame horses and the ethics of who lives and who dies in the first weeks of life, but the emotions and psychology of horse owners may be a more complex aspect of trying to help young horses with hoof and limb problems than learning medical, surgical or mechanical treatments.

© 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
Join the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Video: Zenyatta's Fancy Hoofwork Scores a Ten with "Dancing on the Stars" Judge Len Goodman


The countdown: Two weeks and two days left to the Breeders Cup and Zenyatta's much-anticipated second run at the Classic against the colts. Can she do it again? We love her, no matter what happens that day, and we all believe she can and will do it again. And isn't it fun to watch all the publicity! This little video just showed up on YouTube.

© 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
Join the Hoofcare & Lameness Facebook Page

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hoofcare & Lameness Presents World Horse Welfare's Laminitis Video Conference (Part 4: Measuring Invisble Body Fat Using Ultrasound to Accurately Determine Body Condition)


Welcome to the fourth in a series of feature presentations designed to help horse owners recognize the signs of laminitis in horses and to work toward preventing endocrine-related laminitis. In this video, laminitis researcher Alex Dugdale, currently at the University of Liverpool's Leverhulme Equine Hospital in Great Britain, talks about the subtleties and shortcomings of traditional body condition scoring.

For years, a simple visual evaluation of a horse has been used to determine a horse's relative body score, and this in turn was sufficient for a veterinarian to tell an owner if the horse might be at risk for laminitis and should be put on a weight management program and avoid excess grazing at high risk times.

But Dugdale is muddying that field considerably by suggesting that horses can appear to be slim--thus earning a mid-range or acceptable body score--but have large amounts of interior belly fat that may be making them susceptible to insulin resistance and, by extension, the potential complication of laminitis. Fat tissue can act almost like a gland in the way that it programs the body's reaction to nutritional stimuli, and reacts in particular to fluctuations of sugar-type nutrients in grasses and feed.

Simply put, some horses and ponies are just plain fat, while others show areas of fat in specific areas of their bodies that researchers have come to associate with a suspicion of equine metabolic syndrome. Now Dugdale is taking that regional adiposity a step further to include invisible fat.

Dugdale suggests using an ultrasound probe to scan a horse's belly lining  to see what sort of fat stores are laid down there. Unfortunately, the scan is not recorded on the video because of lighting problems, so this video is a bit incomplete.

To learn more about laminitis prevention: Watch Part 1 of the series, "The Horse's Foot and How It Goes Wrong" and then go on to Part 2, "Recognizing the Early Signs of Laminitis” and Part 3, Hoof Management and Pain Relief. This series was created by World Horse Welfare, a British charity that organized a series of horse owner conferences on laminitis with the support of Dodson and Horrell, a British feed company that is active in laminitis research.

More information about how to access body condition around the horse's girth is available in this article about laminitis prevention for horse owners on The Jurga Report.

© 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
Join the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hoofcare & Lameness Presents World Horse Welfare's Laminitis Video Conference (Part 3: Management and Pain Relief with Catherine McGowan)


"Managing your laminitic and minimising his pain">Managing Your Laminitic (Horse) and Minimising His Pain" is the third in a series of feature presentations designed to help horse owners recognize the signs of laminitis in horses and to work toward preventing laminitis. In this video, laminitis researcher Catherine McGowan, currently at the University of Liverpool in Great Britain, talks about the tools that a farrier uses to help a horse and relief the physical foot pain caused by laminitis, as well as the pros and cons of medications like Bute for pain control.

The farrier who briefed McGowan is Ian Hughes, farrier at the University of Liverpool equine hospital. He's pretty shy about publicity, in spite of my best efforts.

Learn more about University of Liverpool farrier lecturer Ian Hughes and his role as chief farrier for the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong. This nice photo of Ian (left) at work with his Vettec gun is from the portfolio of Hot Shots Photography.

These videos were filmed at a laminitis awareness seminar organized by World Horse Welfare and British feed company Dodson and Horrell earlier this year. More videos from the series will be posted on the Hoof Blog in the next few days.

The conferences, which were held at leading UK veterinary universities, were organized by Dr Teresa Hollands, Senior Nutritionist at Dodson and Horrell. Featured specialists included Professor Derek Knottenbelt, Dr Cathy McGowan and Alex Dugdale from the University of Liverpool, David Catlow from Oakhill Veterinary Centre and Samantha Lewis from World Horse Welfare, among many others.

The videos in this series include “The Horse’s Foot and How it Goes Wrong” (Professor Knottenbelt,) “Managing your Laminitic and Minimizing his Pain” (Dr McGowan,) “Recognizing the Early Signs of Laminitis” (David Catlow,) “Using Ultrasound to show the Difference Between Fat and Muscle” (Alex Dugdale,) and “How to Fat Score a Horse” (Samantha Lewis.)

To learn more: Watch Part 1 of the series, "The Horse's Foot and How It Goes Wrong" and then go on to Part 2, "Recognizing the Early Signs of Laminitis”.

A partial list of Catherine McGowan's research is available on the National Library of Australia's scientific database website.


© 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

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friends (Not) At Work: Where's Mike Wildenstein?


Michael Wildenstein CJF, FWCF (Hons), Adjunct Associate Professor of Farrier Medicine and Surgery in The Department of Clinical Sciences of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, has announced his plans to retire from his position and from the profession of farriery. For the past few weeks, Mike has been on an extended vacation that led straight into his retirement and he is enjoying some private time during the transition, he said today.

"Tell them that I am living the good life and enjoying my retirement!" was Mike's message.

Mike was offered an early retirement by Cornell and New York State, an offer that came one year earlier than Mike had planned to retire. He decided to take the offer and begin the next chapter of his life.

This announcement is a bit of a shock to the farrier and veterinary communities. Michael Wildenstein is one of the highest qualified farriers in the world and one of the most respected. He was the first farrier to gain a faculty position at a US veterinary college. He has been in great demand as a consulting educator and farrier. As an instructor, he shaped the professional lives of hundreds of farrier students in the Cornell farrier school program over the past 19 years.

Mike has left no stone unturned in his pursuit of absolute excellence in his own professional development but more importantly, made friends wherever he went without any regard to his position or skill.

Of course everyone in the horse world wishes Mike the very best and congratulates him on a job superbly and exquisitely well done. He's beaten a path that hopefully will be followed by others, if they have the strength of character to attempt to excel the way that Mike did.

Mike has simply retired from this phase of his professional life, and we can only wonder what he'll do next. He needs some privacy now to make that transition and thanks everyone for understanding that need, and for their good wishes.

Thanks, Mike.