Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Silent Anvil: Bruce Daniels, American Horseshoer, Has Died

Bruce Daniels died today, just before noon, the American Farrier's Association tell us. The icon of American horseshoeing of the late 20th century had suffered several aortic aneurysms and what his son Tad called "multiple strokes". He still made it to his daughter Cary's house in Florida for Christmas, though.

Just try and stop him.

The farrier world will be a little less colorful now. His stories will be retold forevermore but who's left who remembers the world he lived in, back before the American Farrier's Association civilized horseshoers, as he used to say?

Bruce lived for many years in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. One hundred acres of his property has been made into a conservation preserve by the township. It is now know as "Daniels Woods" or the "Daniels Preserve".

It might be a good place to go for a walk sometime.

I knew for the past week or so this might happen, and didn't know then any more than I know now what should be written about Bruce. I tend to think this is a moment like that great song, "Bye, Bye Miss American Pie". I never really understood it, except that it was written about moments like when Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash, and similar unforgettably tragic days when American innocence and "the music" died.

Was today the day that good old-fashioned American horseshoeing died, once and for all?

In an interview in 1995, Bruce told a reporter, "Determination, strength with gentleness, artistic talent and tolerance for discomfort, even some pain, are the qualities of a successful horseshoer."

Bruce Daniels was one of the first farriers I met when I took on the job of editing the fledgling American Farriers Journal when it was bought by a Massachusetts publisher. It was in the airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We had all arrived to attend the American Farrier's Association Convention; I knew Bruce was the vice-president of the AFA, and that he planned to win the competition. I had just edited one of his articles for the Journal and been advised by founder Henry Heymering, "Just don't edit him." That sort of thing sticks in your mind.

And there he was. I timidly introduced myself to him, amidst a crowd of horseshoers who were all trying to shake his hand or slap him on the back or tell him a joke, all at once.

He was chewing tobacco. The baggage carousel revolved behind him. He squinted down at me and muttered, "Oh, yeah, the new girl." He gathered up his luggage. "Where's my tool box?" he growled. Something that looked vaguely like a munitions vault lay on the floor near my feet.

"Hey, Fran, grab that tool box and come along," he directed. "We've got a cab."

I leaned down and grabbed the handle on the top of the box. I almost fell down trying to lift it. It was like a 100-pound dead weight. Bruce (and all the farriers and, it seemed, everyone in the airport) roared with laughter as I attempted to half-carry, half-drag it behind him.

"Welcome to the horseshoeing world, babe," he chuckled as he turned and picked it up easily; I followed him meekly to the cab, wondering what I had gotten myself into.

And did he just call me "babe"?

I always used to joke that Bruce didn't teach me how to shoe horses, he taught me how to tell stories about shoeing horses. He very definitely understood the value of doing both well. Possibly no one did it better--shoe a horse or turn the shoeing of a horse into a story to share afterwards.

I took this picture of him one day in the mid to late 1980s. It's my favorite memory of him. Bruce and his friend, the late, great Bob Skradzio wanted to create a tableau vivant of Norman Rockwell's famous painting of a marathon horseshoeing competition in Vermont.

They didn't just want to pose for me to take the photos so it looked like Rockwell's scene, though. Oh no, not Bruce and Bob...they actually researched and then held the one-on-one competition, making the exact shoes described in Edward W. O'Brien's short story, "Blacksmith's Boy Heel and Toe" that accompanied the illustration in the Saturday Evening Post, way back on November 2, 1940.

It really was a contest. Both of them wanted to win. No one could believe they'd gone to so much trouble, and made it so realistic.

But then nothing less would do. It never would, for Bruce Daniels. And if he taught us anything, it wasn't horseshoes or anvils or even storytelling. It was that he showed us the mindset of total focus, of doing something right, if you're going to do it at all.

--Fran Jurga

Click here to read a good article written in 1995 about Bruce from a Philadelphia newspaper.
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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.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Civil War Painting Adds African-American Dimension to History of US Horseshoeing

I just stared at in disbelief. It was beautiful. It looked accurate. And it depicted something that, to the best of my knowledge,  had never been painted before. And if it has been painted before, it was never painted so carefully and so artistically. Even the details of the forge wagon look correct.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

An Amputee Donkey in Egypt Walks Again--on a Recycled Artificial Human Leg

Donkeys figure quite prominently in the original Christmas story, so why not have one star on the Hoof Blog on Christmas Eve? Hector the Egyptian donkey is making news around the world this Christmas, and bringing smiles to faces wherever his story is told or read.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Laminitis Research: Feed Company SPILLERS Will Sponsor Two PhD Programs in 2015

Hoofcare Publishing is encouraging donations to laminitis research this holiday season. Right on cue, this press release arrived today with news of new support for program research in Great Britain. Thanks for Spillers for their continued support of laminitis research.

The British horse feed company SPILLERS®, as part of the WALTHAM® International Laminitis and Obesity Research Consortia, is continuing to support important research on laminitis and obesity, with its involvement in two new PhD programs in 2015.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Barefoot Hoofcare Practices Subject of British Government Survey to Veterinarians

A government survey of British veterinarians is taking no prisoners and leaving no stones unturned. While the clear goal of the newly-launched Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ("Defra") online survey is to collect veterinarians' comments on what they have seen and thought about barefoot hoofcare practices in the field, it's obvious that farriers are under this microscope as well.

No one has ever said it in quite such succinct words, or asked from so many angles, however.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Vive St Eloi...and the Spirit of the Monuments Men: Painting of Farrier Patron Saint Returns to Owner

It's the first week in December, time to toast all those French farriers and veterinarians and jockeys who are taking the day off (Monday or Wednesday, depending on your preference) in honor of their patron saint.

But we have something else to toast this St Eloi's Day. Call it an idea whose time came round at last, or call it the influence of Hollywood or the charm of George Clooney and Matt Damon. Whatever you call it, it makes a great blog story.

Because you couldn't make this kind of thing up. Truth really is stranger than fiction sometimes.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Victory's Magnum Champagne Award to Stakes-Winning British Farriers for Fifth Straight Year

Congratulations to the six-man farrier team shoeing the Thoroughbred racehorses of top trainer Richard Hannon in Wiltshire, England. The shoers have yet again won the Victory Magnum and no doubt sent Atlantic Equine’s champagne bill into orbit! Notice that the magnums bear special Victory Racing Plate theme labels, and each bottle has the name and silks of a different stakes-winning horse from Hannon’s yard on the label.
Farriers working for top British racehorse trainer Richard Hannon, Jr. have won Europe's Victory Magnum Prize for an unprecedented fifth time in succession.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hooves@War: Did the Paths of This Vet and Farrier Cross in World War I?

Hooves@War on the Hoof Blog

It was called simply "Mons". The war was supposed to be a quick route for the British troops. They left in summer and boasted that they'd be home in time for Christmas. Except it didn't quite work out that way. It turned into a "world war". The war to end all wars.

The Hoof Blog found two names--one a vet and one a farrier--who had their hands on the horses at that first faceoff at Mons. Today's story tells what happened to them there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Early American Hoof Boots: Lewis and Clark Needed Buffalo Hide Moccasins for Their Barefoot Horses in 1806

Once again, many trips to the library and late nights on the Internet yield evidence that ingenious and impromptu hoofcare--or perhaps untimely hoof problems--may have changed the course of history.

One of the most remarkable documents of American literature isn't anything like a Mark Twain novel or a Walt Whitman poem or an Arthur Miller play. It's the real thing, a day-by-day account of one of the bravest and most extraordinary undertakings in the young USA: Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's river and overland expedition to explore the west and see what was at the headwaters of the Missouri River--and beyond. And it was recorded in a journal covered in elkskin.

The journal survives today. Buried in the pages are beautiful drawings of fish, birds and antelope that had never been seen east of the Mississippi. But if you can read the script, it's also a heck of a horse story.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

BEVA Congress Farriery Day Asks Key Questions about Evidence-Based Hoofcare

“What would you do?”

That was the question at the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) Congress Farriery Day earlier this fall in Birmingham, England.  One thing that came out of this day long poking and prodding of contemporary farriery was that you might think a bit before answering that question the next time someone poses it.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Stromsholm's November Newmarket Hoof Care Conference Focuses on Long Toes - Low Heels in the Competition Horse

Stromsholm Newmarket

Stromsholm, a leading British hoof care products supplier, will host the Newmarket Hoof Care Conference on November 17, 2014 in the Millennium Suite at Newmarket Racecourse in Newmarket, England.

Attendance is by advanced reservation only. Please call 01908 233909 to request a reservation.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Comeback Award: Flexible Repeatedly Jumped the Obstacles of Obscure Lameness Setbacks

The 18-year-old show jumper Flexible has made a name for himself in the show ring--and in the vet clinic. Flexible has been named the first recipient of a new award, the Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation Comeback Award. In tribute to him, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky has donated $10,000 to the foundation for equine research. Flexible will receive his award Friday at the National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park. (Photo courtesy of client)

He's one of the most outstanding horses to represent the United States in recent years and he probably has no business even being in the show ring. His medical history is as thick as the Manhattan phone book. And just as complicated.

Monday, October 27, 2014

British Non-Farrier Found Guilty of Over-Trimming, Gluing Hoof Boots; Charged as Animal Welfare Act Violations

The following information is being printed verbatim, except where noted in italics and where spelling has been Americanized. This is a document created by the Farriers Registration Council in the United Kingdom. Hoofcare Publishing requested a copy of this document today and was kindly sent this for publication.

On 2 October 2014, Mr Ben Street of Hixon, Stafford (England) was found guilty at Stafford Magistrates’ Court of causing unnecessary suffering to a horse, and failing to take reasonable steps to ensure good practice in protecting a horse from pain, suffering, and/or disease by gluing and sealing hoof boots.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Guts. Glory. Horseshoes: Farrier Travis Baker Drives a Dodge.

Is this an ad for Ram Trucks, farriery as a career, or California as a place to live the good life? Maybe it's a little bit of all three. Travis Baker's farrier life in California looks good from behind the wheel of a new Dodge Ram pickup.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Just Wait Til Next Year: Shoes Off, On, and Off Again as Shoeless Senior Racehorse Tahoe Warrior is Claimed and Re-Claimed

Barefoot Thoroughbred Synthetic Surfaces
Some older horses race once or twice a year. It's a big deal when they run. Tahoe Warrior started 11 times between April and September in his 11th year. 

Once upon a time there was a barefoot racehorse.  Now, that's interesting.

Once upon a time there was an 11-year-old racehorse who started 11 times in his 11th year.  Now, that's interesting, too.

What's even more interesting is that they are the same horse. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Biomechanics and Uses of Wide Toe, Egg Bar and Heart Bar Horseshoes: Research by Dr. Jenny Hagen via Werkman's E-Lecture Series

Werkman Horseshoes in The Netherlands has launched a video lecture series with German veterinarian and hoof researcher Jenny Hagen. This is a still from one of the videos, to show you the rich visual content.

You'll need 58 minutes. Lock the door. Turn off your phone. Draw the shades. Your assignment is to watch these videos, part of the new E-Lectures video series from Werkman Horseshoes in The Netherlands.

Friday, October 10, 2014

BEVA Congress: Ohio State’s Professor Belknap Reports on US and UK Farrier-Vet Relations Survey

At the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) 2014 Congress in Birmingham, England last month, Professor James K. Belknap DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS, of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine reported on an Internet survey he conducted this summer.

Professor Belknap surveyed farriers in the United States and Great Britain about their involvement with veterinarians in the treatment of laminitis and asked for their feedback about working relationships with veterinarians on foot cases. The survey also asked how farriers perceived the level to which the success or limitations of the farrier-vet relationship may affect the outcomes of cases or the perceptions of clients.

Hooves@War: Australian Farrier John Jolly Died at Gallipoli

If you happen to be in Canberra, the capital of Australia, on November 3, 2014, look at the Australian War Memorial. It's the Australian equivalent of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Projected on it will be the name of John Joshua Jolly.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Required Reading: Dr. John Steele's 68th Year in Equine Practice Profiled in Chronicle of the Horse This Week

If you were the gambling kind, you might have been able to make some money at the World Equestrian Games in France last month.

What if, when Team USA's Beezie Maddie and Cortes C came oh-so-close to the gold medal in show jumping, you had wagered with that Irishman sitting next to you about the veterinarian responsible for that high jumping superstar horse--and all the Madden showjumpers?

What if you turned to him in the bar and said, "Yeah, and did you know that horse's vet is 89 years old?"

Friday, October 03, 2014

Event Announcement: William Moyer, DVM Headlines Myhre Equine's 27th Farrier-Veterinarian Conference

WHAT: Myhre Equine Clinic's Annual Farrier-Veterinarian Conference
WHEN: Thursday and Friday, October 9-10, 2014
WHERE: Rochester, New Hampshire
WHO: Farriers and veterinarians
WHY: Dr. William Moyer, guest speaker

Farriers and veterinarians in the New England states will come together next week to share their knowledge and hear lectures by Dr. William Moyer at the Myhre Equine Clinic's Farrier-Veterinarian Conference, to be held at Myhre Equine Clinic in Rochester, New Hampshire on October 9-10, 2014. (Click the link below to read more.)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

England Wins 35th International Team Horseshoeing Championship at Stoneleigh; USA Third

35th International Team Horseshoeing Championship, Stoneleigh, England

No doubt there is still smoke in the air over Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, England tonight, but the coal forges are dark, the hammers have gone silent, the horses are loaded and the farriers? Well, they're probably celebrating somewhere, or else on planes and ferries and trains to the 11 nations they call home.

They all have plenty to celebrate, since just getting to compete at the International Team Horseshoeing Championships is a victory, and representing your country is an honor. If you care about scores or the order of finish, this article is for you.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Australian Farriers Seek Regulation of Profession in New South Wales

A farrier revolt has been brewing for some time in the state of New South Wales in Australia.

Some--but not all--farriers there are angry and they want their state government to take action. In what seems like a counter-intuitive plea to Parliament, the National Master Farriers Association of New South Wales is presenting a draft of legislation that would regulate farriery and bring unqualified and untrained "backyard" shoers and trimmers into the fold of formal education and apprenticeship training.

Friday, September 26, 2014

American Farrier’s Association Team Heads to England for 35th International Team Horse Shoeing Championships

2014 American Farriers Team (AFT) represents American Farrier's Association
The American Farriers Team was named at the 2014 American Farrier's Association Convention. From left to right: Immediate Past President John Blombach, CJF; Jake Engler, CJF; Josh Stanley, CJF; Rusty Wells, CJF; Ben Mangan, CJF; Robbie Mederos, CJF; and Tom Petersen, CJF. Photo courtesy of the AFA.
via press release:

The American Farrier’s Association (AFA) is pleased to announce that the 2014 American Farrier’s Team (AFT) has been in England for several days preparing for the International Team Horseshoeing Championships which will get underway at Stoneleigh Park on Saturday, September 27th.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Laminitis Researcher Ray Geor to Leave US for Post in His Native New Zealand

Edited from a press release 

Beginning in 2015, Massey University's College of Sciences in New Zealand will be led by internationally-recognized veterinary and agricultural science specialist Professor Raymond Geor, BVSc, MVSc, PhD, DACVIM.
Ray Geor, equine laminitis researcher
Professor Geor is currently Professor and Chairperson of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in the United States. In recent years, his research and publications have been invaluable to the understanding of obesity and Equine Metabolic Syndrome in horses, and how it may relate to laminitis, as well as more than 180 other research papers in equine nutrition and physiology.
The university Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey announced today that Professor Geor will replace the current Pro Vice-Chancellor of the college, Professor Robert Anderson, who is retiring later this year.
Professor Geor is a Massey Bachelor of Veterinary Science graduate (1983) who has worked in tertiary education in the United States and Canada for most of the past 30 years. He was raised in Havelock North and attended St John's College in Hastings, both in New Zealand.
He has a Master of Veterinary Science from the University of Saskatchewan, a PhD in Physiology from The Ohio State University and breadth of institutional experience in veterinary medicine and agriculture as a leader/administrator, professor, clinical veterinarian, teacher and researcher.
That experience includes his current role at Michigan State, as well as posts at Virginia Tech University, Kentucky Equine Research Incorporated, University of Minnesota, the University of Guelph and the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, as well as a practicing veterinarian in New Zealand.
Geor has been a frequent presenter in the research program at the International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot in West Palm Beach, Florida.
He will join the university in March next year.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is the news service for Hoofcare and Lameness Publishing. 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 headlines-link email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). 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.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Implanted Prosthetic Limbs for Amputee Horses: Be Part of Research!

implant prostheses for amputee horses

Six years ago, Molly the Pony turned the world upside down on by wearing a strap-on prosthetic on her amputated limb. If she read the newspaper this week, the peg-leg pony who survived Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans might think she needs to come out of retirement on behalf of her new prosthesis designer, Niki Marie Hansen. Hansen believes it's time for a new generation of artificial limbs for horses.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

10 Years on The Hoof Blog: A Little Bit About You

The 10th anniversary of The Hoof Blog almost slipped by unnoticed. There were no stars on the calendar, no reminders popped up in email. Time just flies by and there's way too much to do and it's far too risky to stop and reflect on all that's happened or all that may happen, so let's celebrate by sharing some statistics about you, the ones who make it all possible!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Research: Equine Weight Management Surveys for Farriers, Owners, and Veterinarians

Hoof Blog Melissa Kelson Survey

A survey-based research project is being conducted by Melissa Kelson, a student at the Royal Veterinary College in Great Britain, to compare and contrast the evaluation of body condition by owners, farriers, and vets. Ultimately, the project will explore some of the ways the farrier and veterinary communities can best communicate with owners on the matter of weight management.

Whether you are a horse owner, veterinarian, or farrier please take just a few minutes to complete the relevant survey to help develop the best strategies for regulating weight in horses.

FARRIERS/TRIMMERS, click here for your survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N96BKKP
HORSEOWNERS, click here for your survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T2TTMTQ
VETERINARIANS, click here for your survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N7HG9VK

Friday, September 12, 2014

Hooves@War: On this day in 1914, Farrier Charles Burchell of South Australia enlisted

Today, the Hoof Blog's Hooves@War series moves back to Australia, where a  small note about a farrier's enlistment for World War I led me to research more about him and his horseman father. Meet the Burchells of South Australia.
Corporal Charles Burkin Burchell was Shoeing Smith in the 3rd Brigade, Ammunition Column, Field Artillery, Military District 4 of the First Australian Imperial Force (AIF). He enlisted 100 years ago today, on September 12, 1914 at Adelaide, South Australia. Six weeks later, the AIF shipped out for Egypt; Charles was in the first group of Australians to head to the center of the conflict.

Happy Birthday to the history-making Journeyman Horseshoers Union

A souvenir diorama from Utica, New York combines the past and present of the IUJH: a meticulous shoe board, a grandly ornate convention ribbon, a photo of an unknown horseshoer, and a contemporary raceplate, no doubt signifying the union's strength at the racetracks.

It was 121 years ago that a footnote in labor history turned into a solid hoofprint. The International Union of Journeyman Horseshoers was incorporated at Denver, Colorado, on September 12, 1893 after having been affiliated with the American Federation of Labor until July 1 of that year.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Farrier Jim Hayter Wins Burghley Horse Trials' Best Shod Horse Prize for 2014

front feet of best shod horse at Burghley Horse Trials
The front feet of the Irish Sport Horse Coolys Luxury, who was selected as the Best Shod Horse at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England last weekend. Farrier Jim Hayter received the prize along with owner David Corney and rider Tom Crisp. The judges must have thought Jim handled this horse's asymmetry challenges well. "I cannot keep the foot too long as I don't want to risk him pulling shoes off," Jim commented.
Keeping up with the tradition of chasing down British eventers and farriers to find out what it takes to be judged the Best Shod Horse at an international three-day event, the Hoof Blog has a few photos of this year's winner at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

World Equestrian Games Farriers: What's Inside WEG's Pop-Up Forge?

World Equestrian Games farriers

In a village of pop-up horse stables and instant schooling arenas sits the World Equestrian Games' pop-up vet clinic with its dedicated forge. Each of the five venues of the World Equestrian Games had its own forge. Don't blink, they will soon be gone!

British team farrier Haydn Price stopped by the forge at the main arena in Caen, where the dressage and show jumping took place, to take a few photos during the show jumping days at the end of the Games. Things were quiet, but you can see the way the forge was set up to handle the needs of horses during the event.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Hooves Get the White Glove Treatment from Best Shod Horse Judge at Burghley Horse Trials in England

Photo courtesy of Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and Getty Images

You always hear about it, but rarely does anyone ever see it done. Sure, farriers get dressed up in suits and wear bowler hats and white gloves to inspect horse hooves. Sure they do.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Ghost of WEGs Past: Jumper Presley Boy Euthanized Two Years After Colic-Related Laminitis

If a skilled novelist like Tami Hoag set out to pen an international suspense thriller about a jumper, I doubt a more compelling story could be imagined than the sad-but-true tale of Presley Boy. The timing, the cultures, and even the horse's name, suggesting the legendary but tragic American rock star, all fit together. 

And there's our old friend laminitis, right in the middle of it like the dastardly villain it is, to assure that a happy ending is not likely.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

World Equestrian Games Farriers: Other Countries Heard From

World Equestrian Games farriers
The World Equestrian Games had a staff of French farriers on staff at the vet hospital; here you see two credentials for Jean Michel Goubault and Fabrice Cave. Nigel said they worked at Haras du Pin, the National Stud in Normandy.
The whole world was there, so there were bound to be more farrier pictures to show you. Thanks to British farrier Nigel Perrott, eventing team farrier for Ireland, who snapped (and shared) these photos.

Video: The Hammer of God: A Classic Blacksmith Detective Mystery, Courtesy of "Father Brown" on the Hoof Blog

In this mystery of riddles, a man lies dead in the churchyard. The blacksmith's hammer is found nearby. Surely he committed the murder.

But not so fast...

Monday, September 01, 2014

Gold Medal Farriers: Congratulations to World Equestrian Games Team Farriers

If London was the Twitter Olympics, Normandy is the Instagram WEG. Never have we seen so many images, thanks to our phones. Never have our thumbs been so sore from scrolling through so many images. 

The image above is embedded from Instagram. It was posted today on the official account of The Games but no credit is given to the farrier who forged it--or who took the photo or how they managed to take it with all three letters hot! Perhaps official Games farrier Luc Leroy masterminded this?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Research: Does the Unshod Dressage Horse Really Bear a Competitive Disadvantage?

Irish researcher Richard Mott writes: "This photo is an example of some of the gait analysis work I’m doing for my dissertation comparing the stride patterns of shod and unshod horses. Most previous research has measured shod horses then taken their shoes off and measured them again straight away. The result? 'Look how badly they go without shoes!' To my knowledge, this is the only study that has compared shod and unshod horses that are conditioned to that state."

At the recent International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) Conference in Denmark, a Warwickshire College (UK) abstract covered research by distance-learning student Richard Mott from Ireland: He studied the potential difference in movement between shod and unshod horses in dressage.

To be fair to the researchers, this abstract is something like a snapshot from a moving car, compared to the author's much larger research effort. Richard Mott's thesis will actually be about 12,000 words when we finally get to read it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Team Farrier Haydn Price Takes On British Flag Duties at World Equestrian Games Opening Ceremony

British team farrier and flag bearer Haydn Price of Wales
Practice makes perfect: British team farrier Haydn Price at rehearsal earlier today for the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. (photo via Debbie Lee)

The World Equestrian Games have now begun! The world championships of the FEI disciplines kicked off in Normandy, France tonight with an exciting opening ceremony, and highlights are shown on a YouTube video.

But early news from Normandy is that long-time British team farrier Haydn Price of Wales was selected for additional duties: tending the British flag in the arena during the ceremony.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Shoes, Half Shoes, or No Shoes At All: Swedish-Trained Trotters Ruled Hambletonian Day

horseshoe and pad  worn by Trixton in 2014 Hambletonian victory
Think Swedish: Some of the most interesting horseshoes come from Sweden. But just as interesting is the way that the shoes are used. Swedish-trained and shod Father Patrick, the 4-5 favorite, and Trixton, the winner, both went to the post wearing cut off American-made Thoro'Bred Queen's Plates with Grand Circuit Flapper pads that farrier Conny Svensson cut to fit. (Conny Svensson photo)

Say "Sweden" and what comes to mind: Saabs and Volvos? Singing along to an Abba song? Swedish warmbloods? Mustad nails? Furniture shopping at Ikea? Lars Roeppstorf's hoof research at Upsaala University? How about a martini made with Absolut vodka?

But you really should think of harness racing. And horseshoes. Maybe after reading this article, you will.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hooves@War: 100 Years Ago Today, a Farrier Enlisted in Western Australia


Welcome to the first in a series of articles to bring to life some of the lost names and faces of real people who served the hoofcare needs of horses during World War I, which began 100 years ago this month.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Video: How Does Dianne Volz of Equine Therapy 502 Help Keep Top Thoroughbreds Running?

Dianne Volz
Equine therapist Dianne Volz serves top Thoroughbred racehorses on the East Coast. A new video in this article explains some of the services she and her assistants provide and the tools they use to keep horses supple and comfortable during training. (photo © Fran Jurga/Hoofcare Publishing)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Statistics: Lameness Most Critical Health Problem for British Horses; Laminitis Increased in 2014

laminitis statistics in Great Britain

A new study published today in Great Britain sorts out what is likely to send horses to vets and farriers for treatment there, and you have to look pretty far down to find hoof-related problems (other than laminitis) on the list. 

Great Britain's National Equine Health Survey (NEHS), held annually every May, has confirmed for the second year that lameness is the most common syndrome affecting the UK’s horses and ponies. This year’s top results, compiled in this report, have also revealed an apparent increase in laminitis compared with previous years.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bigfoot on Course: Is Gatcombe's Best Shod Horse the Biggest Shod, Too?

Gatcombe Park best shod horse Mulrys Error
This horse is making a big splash in the eventing world. British event rider Ben Hobday's big-footed advanced horse is headed to the 4* Land Rover Burghley International Horse Trials in September next, with new shoes that measure seven inches across. Does Mulrys Error OBE have the biggest advanced section feet in the eventing world? (Smudge9000 photo)

Congratulations to British farrier Paul Conway, whose shoes were on Mulrys Error OBE, winner of the 2014 "Best Shod Horse" award at the British Festival of Eventing at Gatcombe Park last weekend. The judge couldn't miss this horse's feet.