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

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

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

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

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

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!


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

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

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: 

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

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

© 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,, 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
Follow the Hoof Blog on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Join the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page