Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas with Laminitis Video: St Nicholas Abbey Five-Month Update from Coolmore in Ireland

This video is shown on The Hoof Blog with permission of Coolmore Stud. Click the "play" icon to begin the video.

It's Christmas Eve and you can count your blessings. Count your blessings especially if you are a horse that doesn't have laminitis.

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Farrier's Christmas Tale, World Champion Style, in Video and Poem

There are many tales about Christmas in the forge, but Santa Claus knows exactly where to go when he needs help. He seeks out three World Champions: Grant Moon (Wales), David Varini (Scotland), and Paul Robinson (Ireland) who just happen to be working late on Christmas Eve. But have your read the poem?

What's Eating These Hooves? Readers' Photos Document Stable Pests Have Hoof Hunger

Back in October, the Hoof Blog offered some photos of horses' hooves that could have been gnawed by rodents. The blog post was big news to some, old news to others.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Announcement: Jean-Marie Denoix's Biomechanics and Physical Training of the Horse Published December 2013

Stop the world, Jean-Marie Denoix's new book is out. The first advance copies of Biomechanics and Physical Training of the Horse by Professor Jean-Marie Denoix are hitting US shores. The official publication date was December 30, 2013.

Biomechanics and Physical Training of the Horse is an expansion of Professor Denoix's landmark earlier and highly recommended earlier textbook, Physical Therapy and Massage for the Horse. The production has been upgraded to a full color format and the author's trademark illustrations are supplemented by copious photographs of leading French equestrians caught in sometimes less than graceful segments of strides, lateral movements, and jumps.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Real Deal: Laminitic Pony in Australia First Horse in History to Wear 3D Printed Titanium Horseshoes

A pony with chronic laminitis in Australia is wearing the world's first horseshoes that are "printed", not forged or cast or turned. The shoes are made of titanium and were created in a laboratory setting by the government agency CSIRO.
The Hoof Blog promised a follow-up on that viral story back in October about 3D printing of titanium horseshoes in Australia. We promised that when we could show you a horse wearing them, we'd be impressed.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

PPID: Equine endocrinology researchers revise guidelines for "Cushings" tests for horses

Equine Cushings Disease or pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) has been easy to identify, with overt signs like a long coat. Underlying PPID is now being identified in younger horses and in horses that show none of the typical signs. Researchers say that an episode of otherwise-unexplained laminitis may be their first and only clue. 
Edited from press release

Equine pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) can be detected earlier and more reliably with a new set of guidelines developed by the Equine Endocrinology Group (EEG), a body of leading veterinarians and researchers in the field of equine endocrinology.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to Open Urban Equine Hospital near Belmont Racetrack

Alan Nixon
Alan Nixon, DVM, MS, BVSc, Diplomate ACVS

Edited from press release

Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has signed a lease-buy agreement with Racebrook Capital Advisors, LLC for the former Ruffian Equine Medical Center. The arrangement will establish Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists, a referral and emergency care hospital.

The hospital, located near the Belmont Racetrack backstretch in Elmont, New York, is expected to open April 1, 2014, and will provide elective equine specialty services to horses referred by their attending veterinarians. Full emergency and critical care services will be offered by the spring of 2015. Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists will partner with referring veterinarians to meet the needs of New York State racing and the surrounding sport horse communities.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Hoof Explorer: Discover and Interact with the Horse's Foot in Three Beautiful Dimensions, Online

Hoof Explorer is a new interactive 3-D anatomy education tool that is in four languages and has almost infinite capacity for displaying the anatomy of the distal limb.

It's official: 2013 is the year of 3-D hoof anatomy on the web. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

St Nicholas Abbey Update: Champion "Struggling to Overcome Laminitis", Maggot Therapy in Use

Laminitis may be manifest in many ways. It can be a simple detachment of a portion of the "laminae", which are linking fibers that attach the main bone of the foot to the hoof capsule. It can also be a complex combination of mechanical failures that includes a complete detachment of the bone, resulting in a collapse known as "sinking". In this sample tissue plastination prepared by Dr. Christoph von Horst, you see a detached, sinking bony column that has descended from its normal position inside the hoof capsule. This is a sample image, and is not meant to accurately represent St Nicholas Abbey's current condition

Coolmore Stud issued the following update on champion Irish racehorse St Nicholas Abbey. The 2012 Breeders Cup Turf winner suffered a pastern fracture during training on July 23 and later developed what is probably a form of support limb laminitis in his "good" foot. The colt has been hospitalized at Fethard Equine Hospital in Tipperary, Ireland since the initial fracture.

The announcement reads:

Friday, November 15, 2013

3D Printed Horseshoe Update: No Purple Titanium Horseshoes on Hooves (Yet)

Australian national CSIRO research laboratory engineer Chad Henry has gone back to the drawing board to perfect his titanium horseshoe produced via 3-D printing. (CSIRO photo)

Do you remember the flashy purple horseshoes from the Australian laboratory that were destined to crush racetrack records? The story--along with examples of the way that 3-D printing is used in the hoofcare world--was popular on the Hoof Blog last month. 

The Hoof Blog contacted the horse's trainer to see how it was doing with the special new shoes and he kindly responded. Apparently the rest of the media in the world re-published the story without checking on the result.

Netherlands National Equestrian Training Center Closes Farrier School and All Equine Professional Education Programs

Is the worldwide economic slowdown in danger of jeopardizing educational opportunities for young people who would like to become farriers? Or does it depend on where they live? The Netherlands is the latest country to report a kink in the farrier educational system. (Photo of a farrier working in Dubai by Yousif Al Mulla, used with permission)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

British Government Opens Consultation Period for Reforms to Farriers Registration Act

Today the Farriers Registration Council in Great Britain announced that that country's governmental Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), jointly with parallel teams in the Scottish and Welsh Governments, have opened a period of consultation for regulatory reform of the Farriers (Registration) Act (of) 1975.

Horseshoes in Congress: Whitfield-Cohen Letter Clarifies "Weighted Shoe" Under Proposed PAST Act; House Hearing on Soring Legislation Wednesday

What and when: November 13, 2013 10 a.m. — United States Congress, House Committee on Energy and Commerce: Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade hearing on the PAST Act to End Soring

Will the PAST Act finally bring an end to Walking horse stacks, pressure shoeing and pastern soring? A Congressional hearing on Wednesday will hear both sides of the argument. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Barnett and HSUS Facebook page) 

The United States Congress will be talking horseshoes tomorrow at 10 a.m. Chances are, there won't be a farrier in the House (of Representatives) but this is a hearing whose time has come.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

3D Printing in the Forge and Clinic: Hoof Anatomy Models, Veterinary Applications, and Horseshoes

3D printing in the horseshoe world probably was done first in some high-tech factory in Asia, but let's give some credit to Curtis Burns in the United States, who has been using 3D printing in the design of Polyflex glue-on shoes. Watch for Mucho Macho Man to run in the Breeders Cup Classic wearing shoes derived from this 3D printing technology on Saturday. (photo courtesy of Curtis Burns/Polyflex Horseshoes)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Shoeless and Ageless, Tahoe Warrior Wins at Keeneland

Keeneeland Racecourse in Kentucky has a Polytrack all-weather surface that has been used by trainers as a test for a few horses each week to run without shoes. 
It was the last race of the day. Maybe no one will remember it, except it’s not every day that a horse pays $40 on a $2 bet. It’s not every day that a ten-year-old gelding with no less than 84 starts under his girth wins one. It’s not every day that trainer Wayne Rice stands in the Keeneland winners circle, a place usually reserved for the likes of Todd Pletcher and D. Wayne Lukas.

And it’s not every day that a horse with no shoes wins a race.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Laminitis Stalks Champion: All Hands on Deck as Coolmore Reports St Nicholas Abbey Diagnosed with Mild Signs of Dreaded Hoof Disease in Ireland

Coolmore Stud has posted the following news on their website:

"St Nicholas Abbey has suffered a setback over the last 24 hours, having developed mild laminitic changes in the left fore. This is disappointing, as he is now weightbearing and walking well on the operated (fractured) leg which has healed amazingly well to date.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Digital "Post Card from Calgary" Takes You to World Championship for Farriers at the Calgary Stampede

The newly released digital "Post Card from Calgary" is mirrored here; you can preview the pages here; if you click anywhere on it, you will go to the video-capable website where you can read the full-size edition with enlargeable text, watch seven videos, share links to Twitter and Facebook and spectacular photos of the farriers competing for the title of World Champion at the 2013 Calgary Stampede in Canada. The magazine videos are by Sandra Mesrine; photos by Sandra Mesrine and Marguerite Paige; it was written and designed by Fran Jurga.

Rats in the Stable? Check the Horses' Hooves and Your Grandfather's Stable Manual

This is the time of year when some nonpaying and unwanted boarders start moving into stables. The evidence isn't always as obvious as on this mule's foot. (Kurt Fisk photo)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Official National Results from Stoneleigh Team Competition: England Wins; USA 4th

Repeat winners Team England at the award ceremony of the 34th International Team Farrier Competition in Stoneleigh, England, hosted by the British Farrier and Blacksmith Association. Left to right: Matt Randles, Ben Taylor, Ben Casserly, presenter, Steven Beane, and Nigel Fennell.

International Team Farriery Championships 2013
1st Place - England
2nd Place - Scotland
3rd Place - Ireland
4th Place - USA
5th Place - Wales
6th Place - Canada
7th Place - France
8th Place - Belgium
9th Place - Holland
10th Place - Norway
11th Place - Switzerland
12th Place - Catalonia
13th Place - British Army
14th Place - Sweden

England's victory was by the slim margin of 1.5 points.

Stephen Beane of England was the individual champion; 2013 world champion David Varini of Scotland was second. The pair finished 1-2 in the standings for specimen shoes, as well.

International Apprentice Team Championship 2013
1st Place - England
2nd Place - Scotland
3rd Place - Wales
4th Place - Switzerland
5th Place - France

The American Farriers Team, consisting of Lamar Weaver, Josh Stanley, Mark Schneider and Chris Gregory, finished in fourth place, 6.8 points ahead of Wales. Lamar Weaver finished 9th overall in the individual standings and was third in the best shod foot standings.

Canada's Dan Corkery won a class for team reserves.

According to the unofficial records kept by Hoofcare Publishing, the very respectable fourth-place finish by the American team is cause for celebration. The USA also finished fourth in 2007.

For the extensive and downloadable full results, please visit The Forge Magazine website and click on individual categories of awards or classes for full results.

Results and photo kindly shared by Forge Magazine: Thank you!

Meet Two Stoneleigh International Contenders: Canada's Aaron Steeves and England's Ben Taylor

It happens every year: dozens of nations send teams of farriers to the forge in Stoneleigh, England to compete in the 34th International Team Farrier Competition. In the farrier world, this is a very big deal: national honor is at stake and the dominance of certain countries  over the history of event make this a proving ground for nations who want to show that they just might be able to beat the English, Welsh and Scots at their own game.

Come to think of it, the Welsh and Scots are trying to prove that they can beat the English, too. And some years, they do.

But this year is different. There are changes going on in British farriery at all levels, which will be explained in a later article. But even the British team has a rookie in its ranks.

If you were at Stoneleigh today, you would have seen the well-organized Canadian team, which enjoyed excellent post-Calgary publicity. Aaron Steves, the first team member from New Brunswick, was featured on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's national radio and the Shaw television network, and we have a little clip to share. He's been kindly reporting on Facebook this weekend.


With Aaron in England are two veteran Canadian Team members, Tom Barnett and Randy Brassard, along with newcomer Travis Buck, all from Ontario. Alternate is Dan Corkery, also from Ontario.

The British team has possibly the greatest depth in the world. They can choose from world champions, national champions, European champions, and there is a long list of veterans who have been to Stoneleigh before and can stay calm in the face of defending the nation's honor.

So why would a farrier who has only been qualified for a year and a half earn a place on the team? He just must be that good.

Watch the Hoof Blog and the Hoofcare and Lameness Facebook Page for news on how all the nations--including the USA--do at Stoneleigh this year.

For further information about the Canadian team, or sponsorship opportunities, please contact team manager Theresa Coates 778-245-3123 or email coates.theresa@hotmail.com.

© 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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Disclosure of Material Connection: The Hoof Blog (Hoofcare Publishing) has not received any direct compensation for writing this post. Hoofcare Publishing has no material connection to the brands, products, or services mentioned, other than products and services of Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Could You Carry Scotland's Smiddy Stane?

If your idea of fun is seeing how far you can carry a 363.8 pound stone, Scotland has an event for you. Just don't expect to tie up your horse to be shod at the smithy in town that day. (Photo of Airth, Scotland's "smiddy stane" contest courtesy of Ewan McTaggart)
Another reason to wear a kilt: you can spread your legs far enough apart to carry a 363-pound rock across a field...if you are so inclined.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Blacksmith of Brandywine: The Story of an American Legend Makes Sense on a Legendary Day

As we remember the attack on the World Trade Towers in New York that occurred 12 years ago today, it's easy to forget that this day has another memorable place in American history.

Today is also the anniversary of the Battle of Brandywine. It was fought near Chadds Ford in Pennsylvania, not far from the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. And yes, there was hoofcare involved.

Best Shod Horse at England's Burghley Horse Trials Wore Handmade Shoes by Steve Arnold

Four happy faces: Farrier Steve Arnold, event horse Let's Dance, rider Jeanette Brakewell, and owner Ruth Williams were celebrating in the mare's stall yesterday. Steve holds the rosette and plaque awarded by the Worshipful Company of Farriers for Let's Dance's selection as the Best Shod Horse at the 2013 Land Rover Burghley 4* Horse Trials in England. Many of the best event horses and riders in the world were competing, and farrier judge Andrew Casserly lifted all four feet of each of them to select Let's Dance as the winner. (Photo provided by Steve Arnold.)

This article is a product of serendipity.

For many years, the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England has awarded a "Best Shod" prize to one of the four-star horses entered in the event. The Worshipful Company of Farriers sends out a trained judge to the beautiful country house grounds, and the riders line up to have their horses' feet evaluated.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Maryland's Kathy Anderson DVM Will Be New American Association of Equine Practitioners Vice President

The American Association of Equine Practitioners has named Kathleen Anderson, DVM, owner of Equine Veterinary Care PC in Elkton, Maryland, as its 2014 vice president. Dr. Anderson will be installed during the December 10 President’s Luncheon at the 59th Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, and will assume the role of AAEP president in 2016.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Goof-proof Hoofcare: “StayOns” Instant Hoof Poultice Wraps Simplify the Way You Wrap a Foot

This article is sponsored by Hamilton Biovet.

Here’s a product that is worth its weight in baby diapers.

If there was ever a contest that farriers, vet techs and veterinarians should run, it would be to see who has the fastest two hands in the world for making a duct tape bootie to attach over a hoof wrapped in a disposable baby diaper.

Hamilton Biovets Stayon Hoof Poultice Pad
How many times have you wrapped a hoof in duct tape, only to have the horse walk right out of it as he stepped off the mats? It happens, even to the pros. Now you can use StayOns prepared quilted “instant poultice” wraps, available in multiple formulas from Hamilton Biovet in Massachusetts.
Some day, that may sound like an absurd idea, but we all know that there are people out there today who have perfected foot wrapping to an artform. We also know that there are people out there who get more poultice on themselves than on the hoof.

Every tack room in America seems to have some baby diapers stuffed in a cabinet, and they’re not for babies. We all have rolls of duct tape stashed around our barns, horse trailers and cars.

Poulticing is a messy job, but there’s always been a bit of a universal acceptance that foot wrapping was a skill that must be mastered.

But Hamilton Biovet launched a new product to the farrier market this summer that may take the “dread” out of “dreaded hoof abscess”. The product, called “StayOns”, is a quilted hoof wrap that contains “instant poultice”; you wet it, lay it over the hoof, and keep it on with a clever little foldable bootie.

That’s it: no duct tape, no diapers, no struggling, no mess, no cleanup chores. And it stays on because, unlike a diaper, it really is shaped to the horse’s foot. And the poultice mixture is pre-measured and pre-loaded; you just have to wet it and secure it over the hoof and secure it with a boot to hold it in place.

So just when you think there is nothing new under the sun, here’s a good old-fashioned clay and Epsom salt poultice. Or a bran and Epsom salt poultice. Or a plain Epsom salt poultice. Take your pick; the quilted booties come in three recipes.

The quilted pouches cover the enter foot, including the heel bulbs, where so many abscesses like to erupt, and all the way to the hairline, the other favorite eruption spot.

The best part of the StayOns may be when you take them off. There’s much less mess to clean! You can just hose it off.

Horse poultice residue
There’s no question that traditional poulticing is a work-intensive endeavor, especially when it comes to the legs of sport and racehorses. You can make a mess twice, since the next morning, there’s a lot of post-poultice cleanup to be done, as well. (©Fran Jurga photo)
One of the things I especially like about this method of poulticing the foot is that the horse has to stand around for a shorter amount of time and that he has his feet handled for a much shorter time.

This is efficient time use for the groom or owner, but it is even better for the horse, especially if there’s a problem in more than one foot, such as road founder after a horse has gotten loose or stinging soles at the tracks.

Wrapping a horse’s foot is tough; wrapping a horse’s lifted foot when the weightbearing foot is painful is even tougher.

Many horse owners can go years between an abscess, puncture wound or foot problem that requires poulticing. They may forget how to do it, or not remember how much poultice to pack in the foot. Stayons take the guesswork out of the equation, since the poultice is pre-measured. They can see the poultice in the transparent quilts.

horse hoof abscess treatment
Everyone has a signature way of wrapping a foot up with duct tape. But would anyone be sorry to learn a new and cleaner way to do it? (© Fran Jurga photo)
There are hundreds of videos on YouTube that will show you how to soak and/or poultice a horse’s foot or leg. It’s an artform that we take for granted. Each groom or owner has his or her own way of doing it, and when they get good at it, they want to share how they figured it out.

The heyday of foot wrapping may have passed as people discover products that make it not just easier for caretakers, but safer for horses. A goof-proof product like StayOns insures that a horse’s foot gets treated and stays treated, until you take it off.

poultice horse hoof
The StayOns hoof poultice wraps allow users to poultice the entire foot and heel bulbs as well as the bottom of the foot. The mess of the poultice stays in the moist quilted sacks. (Hamliton BioVet photo)
Reminders about hoof poulticing:

  • Horse owners should always ask a veterinarian for advice before poulticing a foot for a condition that includes broken or irritated skin.
  • A foot poultice may not be advised for some foot infections.
  • Seek the advice of a veterinarian before applying poultice--or any medicated products--to young horses and pregnant or lactating mares.
  • Never apply poultice to inflamed or irritated heel bulbs.
  • Keep poultice stored in a safe, dry place that is out of the reach of dogs, cats and children.
About STAYONS and Hamilton Biovet: This product is made by the Better Bandage Company. Hamilton Biovet is the prime vendor for horse and farm owners, with exclusive rights in the farrier and farrier supply market in the USA. The poultice products may be ordered online from the Hamilton Biovet website. The cost is $13.99 for each pack of two wraps plus shipping. The coordinated fold-up booties are $14.99 each plus shipping. (These costs are current for September 1, 2013 and are subject to change without notice.) Check out the quilted leg poultice wraps, too! Email the company for more details.  "Like" Hamilton Biovet's Facebook page, too.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: The Hoof Blog (Hoofcare Publishing) received compensation for placement of this post. Hoofcare Publishing has no material connection to the brands, products, or services mentioned, other than products and services of Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

St Nicholas Abbey Update: Healing Leg Fracture and the Origin of His Name

Champion racehorse St Nicholas Abbey in his stall at the Fethard Equine Hospital in Ireland, where he is recovering from a fractured pastern suffered while training at the nearby Ballydoyle training center of Coolmore's racing division head trainer Aidan O'Brien.
Today Coolmore Stud released an update on injured racehorse St Nicholas Abbey:

"While still having a guarded prognosis St Nicholas Abbey has had his best week since his initial surgery!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

On the Case: Combined Contracture and Laxity Complicate Limb Deformity in an Irish Thoroughbred Foal

Kevin Corley, BVM&S, PhD. DACVIM, DACVECC, DECEIM, MRCVS of the Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital in County Kildare, Ireland shared photos of a recent case. A 12-hour-old Thoroughbred foal intended for future racing needed a treatment or management plan for an unusual hind limb deformity.

The foal’s foot was flat on the ground, but the pastern was vertical and the fetlock knuckled forward.

The Nobel Prize for Farrier Poetry: Looking Through Seamus Heaney's "Door into the Dark"

One of the world's greatest poets died on Friday. Ireland's Seamus Heaney was one of those people who bridged the past and the present with verse so deft you were never sure where time fit into the story or if time matters anymore. He grew up in Northern Ireland in the 1940s and went out into the world through his words, winning the Nobel Prize for poetry as he wandered.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Case Follow-up: How's the Swiss Cheese Hoof Wall?

Do you recognize this foot? Califronia farrier R. T. Goodrich has an update on "the swiss cheese hoof wall" case. The mare continues to improve and the shoeing treatment has been simplified.

On June 7, 2013, California farrier R.T. Goodrich innocently posted a photograph of a hoof on his farrier service's Facebook page. It wasn't a horse that belonged to any of his clients. He shod it for free, just to help the otherwise-helpless owner out. Her horse had received an unorthodox hoof wall dimpling treatment for laminitis.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lost Shoes Solution: Shoe Secure Keeps Your Horse's Shoes On, World Champion Style

Whether it’s linked to conformation or a gait abnormality or a swampy pasture, the shoe loss problem may have met its match in an odd-looking product from Scotland called ShoeSecure. Designed by an equestrian entrepreneur with the help of a world champion farrier, and used by a world champion reiner, the new product launched in the USA this summer with a star-studded resume.

                                 SHOESECURE SPONSORED THIS ARTICLE.                               

What do you get when you put together the mind of a determined equestrian entrepreneur with the technical skills and imagination of this year’s world champion farrier?

St Nicholas Abbey Fracture Fixation Pin Breaks

The horizontal steel pin (top of radiograph, red arrow) was designed to help the injured Thoroughbred bear weight in spite of the fracture in his pastern. This pin, as you can see, is broken and had to be removed. (photo provided by Coolmore Stud)
An important announcement from Coolmore Stud was released today. Coolmore has been judiciously reporting both the good and bad news throughout the ordeal of a fractured pastern suffered while galloping to multiple Group I winner and stud prospect St Nicholas Abbey.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Research Report: Dr James Belknap Summarizes Developments in Understanding Laminitis Funded by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation

The following report by Dr Belknap summarizes the sequence of his latest research on laminitis through funding supplied by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and is reprinted with the Foundation's permission.

Dr. James Belknap of The
Ohio State University
The funding by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation (GJCRF) and the NTRA (Barbaro Fund) of our last two projects on the efficacy of cryotherapy in laminitis has allowed us to bring to fruition a great deal of effort by many investigators over several decades. This has furthered our understanding of laminitis and to truly bring to the forefront the first laminitis therapy which has passed thorough scientific rigor as an effective therapy for laminitis.

Laminitis is a disease in which the hoof wall separates from the soft tissue attached to the distal phalanx (coffin bone), resulting in the distal phalanx undergoing a crippling displacement towards the ground surface of the hoof.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Vet Video: Fractured Pastern Surgically Repaired on Champion St Nicholas Abbey; Details on Work by Irish-American Surgical/Medical Team

A report on the injury, surgery, illness and recovery of Breeders Cup winner St Nicholas Abbey has been provided by Coolmore Stud, ten days after the initial injury, which happened at the training center in Ireland.

Equine Lameness: British Cavalry Horses Suffer Common Minor Hoof and Leg Problems Similar to Recreational Horses

British cavalry horses are large Irish-crossbred types and generally are selected because they have big enough feet, acceptable conformation and good bone. Their lameness problems tend to be less dramatic than you might think, and more in line with recreational horses than sport horses.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Federal Court Rules Against Lawsuit: USDA's Tennessee Walking Horse Anti-Soring Regulations Are Not Unlawful

A U.S. District Court in Texas upheld federal regulations to prevent the practice of “soring,” in which trainers abuse horses to force them to perform an unnatural high-stepping gait for competitions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations, which were adopted following a 2010 legal petition filed by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), require that USDA-certified horse industry organizations impose uniform mandatory minimum penalties for violations of the Horse Protection Act.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hallmarq Standing MRI Presents: Navicular Disease Diagnosis, Then and Now

We have never really understood navicular disease, but maybe we're getting closer. Two horses would have identical lameness symptoms but the radiographs were clean on one, and clearly showed a bone lesion in the other. Some horses stayed lame for years and were never ridden again. Others took a year or so off and, to everyone’s surprise, returned to training.

Friday, July 12, 2013

British Laminitis Research: Tracking Normal Horses Who Later Develop Pasture Laminitis Vs Those Who Don't

Typical feet of a pony with pasture laminitis. Could laminitis be prevented by identifying likely-to-founder ponies early in their lives? A British research project aims to track normal ponies who, later in life, do and don't develop pasture-associated laminitis. (Nicola Menzies-Gow photo)

Dr Nicola Menzies-Gow of the Royal Veterinary College has been awarded a grant of £42,000 (approximately $65,000US) by Great Britain's Animal Welfare Foundation to work on a study: "Markers of equine laminitis predisposition: Searching for potential future diagnostic test". The award was announced this week by the college.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Helpful Farrier: Dimpled Laminitis Treatment Stirs Facebook Furor and Charitable Shoeing

This foot was probably the most viewed, shared and commented on hoof in the world in June 2013.  The only problem was that the people doing all the viewing, sharing and commenting didn't bother to read the details of the case posted by farrier RT Goodrich in California, who found the horse with this unusual hoof wall treatment. (RT Goodrich photo)

It appeared on Facebook on June 7 and it went viral: 422 people left comments and 233 shared it all over Facebook. Then others shared it. It took on a life of its own. Who didn't see it?

“It” was a photo posted by California farrier RT Goodrich. "It" was a hoof that had been dimpled all over with holes. It looked for all the world like a hoof made of Swiss cheese.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Scotland's David Varini is World Champion Blacksmith (Farrier) at the Calgary Stampede

The Mustad family carried on the tradition of sponsoring the World Championship for farrier/blacksmiths at the Calgary Stampede in Canada with Hans Mustad, left, representing his family and his company. Petter Binde, Mustad Sales & Marketing CEO, is at right. The showgrounds had been flooded two weeks before the event but Plan B worked to run an event that attracted a stellar trible of the world's premier highly-skilled shoemaking experts. David Varini of Scotland, center, won the championship for the first time. Photo by Luca Bertolino. 
More than one Scotsman rocked the world yesterday. While everyone in Great Britain was out celebrating Scotland's Andy Murray for his first win by a British citizen in 77 years at Wimbledon Centre Court, another Scotsman was standing in front of many thousands of people at the rodeo of the Calgary Stampede.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Aachen's Walk of Fame: What Does the Plaza Paved with Horseshoes Tell Us About Famous International Sport Horses?

CHIO Aachen Show Director Frank Kemperman stood in the show's new starwalk in 2011. It has continued to grow, with three new shoes added recently.

In 2011, The Hoof Blog was delighted to introduce a terrific new "Walk of Fame" at the showgrounds of CHIO Aachen in Germany. The horse show that stands tall above all others wanted to honor some of the famous horses who have competed there. Their way of remembering was to ask for a shoe from each to sink into the pavement, surrounded by a star.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

What Do Laminitis and Wimbledon Have in Common?

Lush grass at Wimbledon is being blamed for the literal downfall of several players this year. This much higher casualty rate is blamed on the late spring, which is keeping the grass so lush at the end of June. According to a British newspaper article, Wimbledon's high-sugar grasses are also more slippery than non-lush grass.

Friday, June 28, 2013

British Farrier Training: College-Based Training Replaces Agency-Run Apprentice System

For as long as there have been farriers, there have surely been apprentices, because that is how the skills and knowledge were passed down through the ages. There was secrecy, and some would say there was magic. While in the United States, apprenticeships are free-form and unsupervised, in Great Britain they are part of a government program that charged an alphabet soup of agencies, colleges and organizations with running a modern training system based on an ancient tradition. 

They stock the truck. They sweep the floor. They're something left over from a Charles Dickens novel, and yet they are the future of the profession. Everyone was one, once.

They are apprentices. And their role in British farriery is about to change.

Call for Abstracts: 7th International Colloquium on Working Equids

World Horse Welfare is now calling for abstracts from the world’s academic, research and scientific community as well as from working equid welfare practitioners for presentation at the 7th International Colloquium on Working Equids to be held at the Royal Holloway, University of London from July 1-3 2014.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Lost Hoof History: How a Blacksmith's Apron Became the Persian Flag

It's Flag Day in the USA. That seems like a cue to tell my favorite story about a flag from far away and long ago.

Close your eyes and pretend this is a fairy tale, because it certainly sounds like one. I have patched this story together from history books, flag books and online references that are translations of translations.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Leeches for Laminitis: Can an Old Idea Work on Today’s Horses?

A leech positioned at the coronet for treatment of laminitis in the German research of Dr. Konstanze Rasch.
In Part 1 of this article, we introduced the idea of the suitability of medicinal leech therapy for equine lameness, and especially distal limb injuries. Please read that article, which contains a great deal of background information and a video, before you read this one.

Blood suckers? Yes, that’s what they are. But, as we saw in part one of this article, leeches do much more than suck blood. As they attach to the skin and dig in, their saliva (for want of a better name) transmits a potent chemical cocktail into the bloodstream of the host--or victim, or injury site, if you prefer to think of it in a more benign way.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Announcing the HoofMakeover Video Series: Farrier Hans Wiza's Case Studies on Restoring Hoof Health

"HoofMakeover" is a series of downloadable case studies of three trims and/or shoeings that each detail the rehabilitation of a hoof over a period of 100 days. Developed by Ontario, Canada farrier Hans Wiza, the videos attempt to simplify hoof re-balancing and de-fuse the challenges of working on horses with weak hooves and conformational challenges by using time, observation and horsemanship to keep the hoofwork in perspective with the whole horse, how he stands, and how he moves.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

British Farrier Apprentice System Suspended as Training Suffers Negative Government Evaluation

Apprentices are traditionally part of the landscape of farriery in Great Britain. These apprentices to Jim and/or Allan Ferrie competed at the Clydesdale shoeing event at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland. (David McCrone photo, used with permission)

A crisis has emerged in Great Britain, where the future of farrier education has been endangered by a withdrawal of government funding for the program following an unfavorable inspection report to Parliament by a national agency.

The situation described in this article has been going on for a few weeks now, and it seems like there is hope now for a solution, so here’s a report on the situation as it stands today.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Video: Oklahoma Tornado Tragedy's Legacy is Both Tragedy and Inspiration for Veterinarians and Horsemen

Please allow time for videos to load.

You know things are bad when CNN dedicates a segment to injured horses in a natural disaster, but that's what happened on Friday when the global news network aired a story by newsman Gary Tuckman, who was on hand with Oklahoma's Joe Boecker, DVM to show in graphic detail what a tornado can do to a horse.

Hoof Blog readers around the world who think that the Oklahoma victims are strangers in a far-off place should know that someone very familiar to this blog was deeply impacted by the storm. An earlier tornado hit Shawnee, Oklahoma, including property of Michael Steward, DVM.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lameness Evaluation: American Sensor System Tests Successfully in British Research

Flexion testing, using the sensor-based system, at the University of Glasgow's School of Veterinary Medicine
For many years, opinions on the value of flexion tests in assessing equine lameness have been divided. Now, however, new research looks set to turn what has always been regarded as a subjective process into a wholly objective one. 

A comprehensive study, published in a November 2012 supplement to the Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) in partnership with the American Association of Equine Practitioners, showed that a wireless, inertial sensor-based system can effectively measure the horse’s response to a flexion test.