Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Laminitis Conference in Palm Beach Gets GREEN LIGHT In Spite of Wilma

Official message from Slack Inc., event managers for the TIECOLADOTF, received today at 1:07 p.m.:

The Third International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot taking place in West Palm Beach, FL on November 4-6, 2005 will go on as planned. The Palm Beach Convention Center and the West Palm Beach Marriott sustained very minimal damage and both are open for business.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Hoofcare 79: The Ink Is on the Paper

Hoofcare & Lameness, Journal of Equine Foot Science, Issue #79, has been published. Subscribers and advertisers seem pleased with our new look, new paper, and most of all, great new design!

Article topics include collateral ligament injuries, deep sulcus thrush, hoofcare at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna (Austria), toe wedge tests for chronic laminitis heel trimming, Chris Pollitt laminitis research update, hoof wall anatomy stereo-photo poster, Matthew Brady centerfold poster of government farriers assembled during the US Civil War, frog "graft"(tissue transplant), and pearock as a paddock footing for hoof rehab.

In the news section: clarification of shoe rules in Arabian, Saddlebred, Mini divisions; wild horse hoof dissection with Pete Ramey; Bob Pethick's AFA specimen shoe with onion heels; Manfred Ecker's "salad" shoe; Scott Lampert's high speed video paired with Haydn Price's Equinalysis software for jumper takeoff/landing analysis; facts about swimming horses; visit to Saratoga, with a farewell to farrier Charlie Campbell.

On the community page, we have a FREE dvd on laminitis for subscribers, information about Chris Pollitt's new web site ( and announcement of Puppet Tool, an animated software site where you can have fun with biomechanics and a very flexible young warmblood foal.

We also introduce our new reader comprehension/self-assessment testing module with Dr. Doug Butler to help readers review content in the issue and imbed more information for use on the job.

And then, there' much more. But see for yourself!

If you are not a subscriber, please visit to use our secure server and begin your subscription with this special issue. Cost is $59 in USA, $69 in Canada, and $79 overseas. Single copies are $20 each plus postage.


This just in from the AFA Office:

The American Farrier's Association's “No Foot No Horse” TV Show will debut on HorseTV Channel on November 1, 2005, 7 pm (Eastern Time)

The AFA will announce additional details as they become available. Check their web site at

Will someone tape it for me?

Hurricane Wilma Roars Through West Palm Beach

We're watching news from South Florida, where a hurricane is approaching. Photo: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by beezart

Are you planning to attend the 3rd International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot in Palm Beach next week?

I know a lot of people are concerned about the weather. I have been monitoring reports from West Palm Beach today about damage from the hurricane. So far, so good. There is some damage, but it doesn't sound like the Apocalypse. One report said that the Kravitz Performing Arts Center, which is next to the Convention Center and part of the CityPlace complex, was not damaged.

We'll keep you posted. Let's hope everyone, everywhere is ok.

Click below to go to our special blog for the conference. See you there!

Hoofcare's Survival Guide: Palm Beach Laminitis

Found Objects: Farriery Finesse in the Hands of Paul Goodness

farrier Paul Goodness
Paul Goodness glueing a shoe on
a demonstration horse in New Hampshire.
I went to a seminar with one of my favorite farrier experts, Paul Goodness, last week. Paul is certainly a product of 20th century farriery. With a 20-year career at the top of the international sport-horse world behind him, he's now neck-deep in a nine-farrier practice that offers what is probably one of the best apprenticeships available anywhere in the world. Even vets go there for informal internships.

Paul did a great demo at New Hampshire's Rochester Equine Clinic of what he calls "sole-glueing" (also called direct-glueing) and then mixed a post-surgery toe extension for an flex-deformity foal from Spectra fibers and Equi-Bond, etc. No nails in sight at that seminar. Paul says that the farriers in his practice glue more than half of the horses that come through his shop.

He had an interesting demo shoe that was a Mustad Easy-Glu with a very thick compressible pad. It looked so comfy, I wanted a chunk of it to put inside my boots. I asked Paul what it was, and he said he had found a wrestling mat in a dumpster and discovered that the compression and cushion worked just right for a foundered horse...

glue-on horseshoe for laminitis by Paul Goodness farrier
A Mustad glue-on shoe with a wrestling mat insert.
Another found-object farriery fix from Paul was the sticky back foam tape used to seal truck caps onto beds (and lots of other uses, especially if you have a boat). Paul cut it to fit the toe of a Natural Balance shoe, and in another instance, a heel. Sort of a quick rim pad with a slight cushion, but you can cut it to fit whatever part of the shoe (or, rather, the foot) needs it.

A surprising story from Paul: He needed to alter a shoe for a lame horse so he was looking for a creaser, in preparation for punching a hole for a heel nail. He couldn't find a creaser anywhere on his tool table. He asked two of the first-year apprentices if they had taken his creaser. "What's that?" they asked.

Cushioned shoes instead of rim pads use foam tape
Paul has a unique approach with his apprentices. He looks for young people who are experienced in working with horses and often recruits grooms. Their training starts with the horse, and progresses to understanding the foot. "I can teach people forging later in their training," Paul told us. "But I can't teach someone to have a "feel" for working around horses. You have to be good with horses and get into the foot. That's where I start them. Forging skills can wait. I can teach that to anybody."

--Story and photos by Fran Jurga

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Do you soft-shoe?

Amazing. Someone beat me to a buzz word...and my hat is off to him or her. Soft-shoeing is the descriptive term for use of plastic shoes, artificial wall, and boots instead of steel and nails. Another descriptive term is "anvil-free horseshoeing" or 'anvil-less" but that is hard to say (and spell).

Alexander Wurthmann, who is opening the Acadamie for Hoof Technology in Lexington, KY this fall, is offering a complete advanced program in soft shoeing. Alexander is including shoeing with Natural Balance aluminum shoes, though, and I would think that that requires an anvil. (Or should I say, I HOPE it does!)

I know a lot of traditional farriers poo-poo plastic shoes and all, but maybe it is not so far off as we think.

I wouldn't want to be in the plastic shoe business right now, waiting for 20th century farriers to accept them.

Unless I knew I had a really good shoe, the one that is going to change their minds. As always, we live in interesting times!