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.