Monday, July 13, 2009

Lecture Preview: Dr Britt Conklin at AAEP's Focus on the Foot

by Fran Jurga | 13 July 2009 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog

It was 106 degrees in Texas the other day as Dr Britt Conklin drove down the highway. He'd left home at 2:30 that morning to try to get some horses shod before the heat became too overwhelming.

There's nothing quite like the inside of a truck with good air conditioning on a hot Texas day.

Dr. Conklin and I were talking his upcoming lecture on Monday, July 20 at the AAEP Focus on the Foot meeting in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Conklin will leave the heat of Texas far behind and turn his attention to sharing his considerable expertise with the assembled vets and farriers.

His topic is "Therapeutic Shoeing: A Veterinarian's Perspective", and he hopes to help vets get beyond the formulaic approach to a lameness problem. He agrees that a specific shoe design does not fix a given problem in all horses. "Vets get bogged down by the appliance. I'd like them to see the approach, first," he said. "All therapeutic shoeing can really do is apply or relieve leverage, tension, and pressure in three planes. And it can provide protection. But it can certainly make you think...and vets need to learn to think through what is wrong and what can be done for that particular horse."

Dr. Conklin is a certified farrier and co-owner of Reata Equine Hospital in Weaterford, Texas, where he opened a 3000 square foot podiatry clinic in 2008. He worked as a farrier to put himself through undergraduate school at Texas Tech University and attended veterinary school at Texas A & M University. While at A&M, he apprenticed under Danny Taylor CJF, PhD, who in turn worked with Dr. David Hood on "The Hoof Project"; Taylor earned his PhD for his research in the biomechanics of the equine foot’s digital cushion.

Dr. Conklin has deep case files to reference but this one has always stuck in my mind.

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