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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

Flag Day: 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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