Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Royal Veterinary College’s Equine Locomotor Research Course for farriers expands to the USA

Royal Veterinary College farrier research diploma program in USA

Good news! The already-successful graduate diploma research course for farriers at England's Royal Veterinary College (RVC) will be offered in the United States, beginning in January 2018. The deadline for applications is September 4, 2017. 

The course operates primarily via webinars, podcasts and distance-learning, but six residential weekends are required over however many years the student is enrolled; it is a self-paced program that can be completed in a minimum of two years up to a maximum of five years. 

The residency weekends will be held at Penn Vet's New Bolton Center campus outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Admission is by application, and some Visa restrictions may apply to some applicants who would be traveling to the US for the weekend units.

The following is edited from an announcement provided by the RVC: 

The Graduate Diploma in Equine Locomotor Research ("Grad Dip ELR") run by the UK’s Royal Veterinary College (RVC) will expand to the USA for 2018. This unique and innovative advanced learning program will offer US-based professional farriers the chance to gain the necessary skill-set to produce original research, increase the evidence base behind farriery, and enhance equine welfare.

The Grad Dip ELR, a UK Higher Education Level 6 course,  can be taken over a minimum of two and a maximum of five years. The course was launched in the UK by the RVC last year, and after a successful inaugural year, the RVC is expanding the course to the USA.

The course is divided into two distinct sections, Contemporary Study Skills and Applied Equine Locomotion. The course will be delivered using a variety of methods including webinars, podcasts and face-to-face learning sessions on a total of six weekends (spread out over two to five years of self-directed study) to facilitate the participation of the busy practitioner.

Royal Veterinary College Professor Renate Weller
Professor Renate Weller of the RVC
The US-based course beginning in 2018 will host six residential weekends held at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center.

Applications will be considered from any farriers who can demonstrate that he or she has farriery training, practical experience with advanced footcare and evidence of reflective practice*.

The RVC is the UK’s largest and oldest veterinary school and has a substantially greater number of students and a more diverse student body than any other UK vet school.

Research at the RVC is of international quality and the RVC’s Structure and Motion Laboratory is home to the largest research group and most extensive facilities dedicated to animal locomotor biomechanics with the horse at its center. The clinical facilities combined with the expertise of the equine group provides the ideal ground for this course.

Royal Veterinary College Thilo Pfau
Dr-Ing Thilo Pfau of the RVC
The course will be led by the RVC's Renate Weller, Dr Med.Vet, PhD, MRCVS, FHEA, Professor in Comparative Imaging and Biomechanics, and by Thilo Pfau, Dr.-Ing, FHEA, Senior Lecturer in Bioengineering. Members of the RVC's Structure and Motion lab, the Equine Referral Hospital and the epidemiology group will provide support. They will be joined by the RVC’s Learning Development Manager, Rachel Davis, BSc, PhD, and her team who have experience with vocational learners returning to education.

Professor Weller said: “I am super excited by this course. As an equine clinician I cannot emphasize the importance of farriery in the prevention and treatment of lameness in horses enough, and as a researcher I am excited to be able to work with people who have the practical experience and knowledge to generate scientific evidence for farriery strategies.

“It is a historic moment for the RVC where, after 225 years, we are welcoming back farriers and I am very honored to be allowed to lead this endeavor. The most common problem in equine practice is lameness and I am 100% sure we will see great research coming out of this that will help us to work in a team to improve the welfare of the horse.”

Master Farrier® Thomas Smith, AWCF, a student in the current course in England, added: “The course has really opened my eyes to learning in a way that I did not ever consider. I have been completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of resources being on the course makes available in both the information and facilities at the RVC, as well the expert minds there. The online learning has also been far more positive that I could have imagined and has created almost a community spirit in the learning forums.”

Quote from Royal Veterinary College Professor Renate Weller


For more information about the Grad Dip ELR, please visit: 

Read more about the course in this Hoof Blog story:

*Editor's note: "Reflective practice" is defined by Oxford Reference as "the process of retrospectively examining one's own professional performance in order to clarify the reasons for one's actions and decisions, and to learn from them." 

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