Friday, April 01, 2022

Preview: Rood & Riddle Equine Podiatry Conference

Equine Podiatry Conference

Rood & Riddle Equine Podiatry Conference
April 14-16, 2022
Spy Coast Farm Equine Education Center 
Lexington, Kentucky

Late breaking news! Attention, veterinarians: 19.5 hours of RACE continuing education credit has been approved for this event.

Rood & Riddle International Podiatry Conference
Look out, world. I'm saying good-bye to Zoom and hello to the open road, but most of all to an open room full of open minds. 

There's something special about a conference with your peers. You laugh (or don't laugh) at the same joke. You can feel that "Aha!" moment the same time as someone else. You notice people taking notes. Or not taking notes.  You can compare those notes. 

All the Zoom chat messages in the world can't add up to the affirmative reaction you can feel around you when a good idea is up on the screen.

I don't know if this is a truly post-pandemic world we're in, or just a hiatus, but I'm reaching for the brass ring and heading to Kentucky in April for the second-ever Rood & Riddle podiatry conference. 

Will you be there, too? This preview should convince you that this is a can't-miss event.

Preview: New location

The very successful first Rood & Riddle Equine Podiatry Conference, back in 2019, was held on the campus of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, but this year the event will move to the classic sport-horse setting of Spy Coast Farm's Equine Education Center near the Kentucky Horse Park. It's the same light-filled facility used recently for farrier competitions and for Professor Jean-Marie Denoix's ISELP courses. The lecture facility is conveniently adjacent to the farm's indoor arena.

Conference attendees will enjoy an early morning outing to watch workouts at Keeneland racecourse, and soak up the beauty of the Bluegrass horse farms in spring. The conference will be held at Spy Coast Farm, a leading sport-horse center.

Program highlights

Conferences are not about the speakers, nor should they ever be, but that's always where we start. Conferences are really about the attendees. They're about you. But they are also like rock concerts, and conferences need headline acts to attract the crowd. What really makes a difference is who's in that crowd, and what they do once they get there, and how open they are to interacting with each other. And the speakers always set the mood. 

From the top, the IPC actually is set up like a rock festival. 

Preview: Speaker (and host) Scott Morrison

Have you ever been in the audience at a concert when you were stunned to see a favorite performer walk on stage and casually join the band? Bruce Springsteen does it a lot. That's what happened to the program for this conference when speaker plans started to shift a few weeks ago.  When Renate Weller announced that she would have to deliver her lectures by pre-recording, the committee looked to Scott Morrison to fill the bill. 

So an American joined the program, but also rounded it all out so the researchers are balanced by his wide-ranging clinical experience, not to mention his deep, deep case files.

Scott Morrison, DVM
Dr. Scott Morrison will anchor the conference as host.

Scott Morrison needs no introduction, I'm sure. He is the founding podiatrist at the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, and has used Kentucky as his base while building a global reputation for expertise and referral work in laminitis and podiatry.  

His lectures will include his management of coronary band injuries, cracks, and avulsions, and then his experience in practical podiatry for "shoeing around the coffin joint". He'll also work with Yogi Sharp and Thilo Pfau on the live-horse demonstrations of the effects of farriery on gait asymmetry.

Expected keywords for his lectures:  podiatry, avulsion, coffin joint, work ethic.

Preview: Speaker Renate Weller

Renate Weller explains research to visitors
During her years at England's Royal Veterinary College,  Renate Weller opened the doors to welcome in the public, like this group of young riders, to see her research in equine biomechanics and imaging.

At the top of the bill, where you might find BeyoncĂ© or Adele, you'll see the name of Professor Renate Weller, who recently took on the role of Dean at the University of Calgary vet school in Canada. 

Professor Weller will still headline the IPC, but it will be from afar.  She'll host live two-way discussions on both Friday and Saturday from her base in Canada, via the Internet, as well as provide recorded content.

If the equine podiatry scene has a thought leader, Renate Weller is it...with a heavy emphasis on the word "thought". In the last ten years, she has done more than anyone to answer questions with more questions, to urge the people in her audiences to think (or start learning how to, if they need help).  In a field where lone eagles and even renegades have often ruled, Renate Weller has cemented the idea that evidence-based practice -- whether in the clinic or in the forge -- relies on the inter-reliance of professionals who trust that they have the very best information and skills available, and that the whole profession benefits.

Open Veterinary Anatomy Museum
Renate Weller's experience includes the "teachability" of her concepts, with projects like this 3-D user-controlled equine foot anatomy dissection model.

In addition to her live conversation sessions on both Friday and Saturday, Renate's lectures will be available for long-term video retrieval by attendees and may cover these topics:
  • equine imaging
  • functional anatomy and injury
  • podiatry and the power of prevention
Expected keywords for her lectures: kinematics, locomotion, evidence-based farriery

Preview: Speaker Thilo Pfau

If Dr-Ing. Thilo Pfau can see something, he can measure it. And track it through space.  Conference attendees will respond to his casual attitude and quick sense of humor. They'll wonder how someone can walk around an arena with a laptop open in the crook of his arm...tap a few keys...and come back with a graph of how a horse is moving.

Thilo Pfau has had an impressive career in engineering research. When he and his wife, Renate Weller, moved from their native Germany to the UK to conduct research at the Structure and Motion Laboratory of the Royal Veterinary College, they quicky built a reputation for innovation with an inclusive "you can do this too" approach to their lectures. 

Thilo Pfau is currently Professor in both the Faculties of Kinesiology and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary in Canada. 

In the last ten years he has emerged as a leading force in the world of equine biomechanics. He collaborates with colleagues all over the world; you might find him in Singapore or Hong Kong or most anywhere in Europe. He is committed to mentoring his doctoral program students. 

With almost 200 peer-reviewed articles to his credit, Thilo Pfau's research articles are listed almost every month by the HoofSearch index...but they are never about the same thing twice. In particular, he researches the movement of diverse breeds of horses, and surprised readers this year with a study of reining horse symmetry. In 2021, he helped author several studies by one of his doctoral candidates on the effect of different horseshoe materials and footing on hoof breakover in Thoroughbred racehorses.

Expected keywords for his lectures: symmetry, asymmetry, kinetics, kinematics.

Preview: Speaker Yogi Sharp

Farrier Yogi Sharp
Yogi Sharp will travel from the UK to present at his first US conference.

Yogi Sharp recently earned a Bachelor's degree in farriery from Myerscough College in England, with honors. He hopes one day to enter the PhD program at England's Hartpury College. In the meantime, he is working as a farrier and building a reputation as an international Internet influencer by posting articles and hosting webinars on his "Equine Documentalist" website. Yogi will be traveling from the UK with his wife and youngest daughter.

Yogi has created a three-part lecture for Rood & Riddle, to be delivered over two days, with demonstrations as well. He described it this way: "An understanding of the two-way relationship between hoof morphology and the horse's physiology starts with understanding its natural function ("Barefoot a blueprint for farriery") then understanding how and why the hoof changes shape ("hoof balance and morphology") then we can start to look at how its morphology is affected and affects the horse's physiology along myofascial lines and kinetic chains."

Attendees will have a front row seat for Yogi to deliver this research for the first time. Americans should be interested to hear his lectures, and I'm sure they will give this new speaker a warm welcome at this prestigious event. What a great place to start!

Expected keywords for his lectures: Research, holistic, morphology, change.

Other events

The event committee has planned a menu of events for you to enjoy, such as:
  •     Welcome reception Thursday with live guitar music
  •     Bluegrass music tent event dinner Friday
  •     Group breakfast at Keeneland Racecourse Saturday
  •     Lunches at the conference center

Equine podiatry conference speakers

Philosophy: Unpacking that quote

"There are people who make things happen..." Those are the people you want to be around and who we all hope to be. Look for them both on the stage and beside you in the audience. Because if you are around them, even for two days, their magic dust rubs off on you, and you'll be the one making more things happen, long after you've made the trip home.

"There are people who watch things happen..."  I've been to a lot of Big Events, with standing room only lectures. I prefer smaller meetings because you know you are going to spend a few days in the company of your peers and the speakers, and you'll be able to find the right moment to ask your not-ready-for-a-public-microphone questions, draw on the back of a napkin, and pull up some of your own cases on your iPad. 

I love it when I observe a well-known speaker asking an attendee, "What do you think?" That doesn't happen often in those meetings you get to on an escalator. But it will happen here.

"And there are people who wonder what happened..." All through 2020 and 2021, I kept telling people on the phone, “I feel like I am so out of the loop!” And then someone told me, “There is no loop, Fran. It's a pandemic. You’re not missing anything.”

That's been most of us for the last two years: wondering what we were missing, since, as great as Zoom was, we usually couldn't watch the faces of other attendees in the audience, we didn't hear applause, we didn't mingle around the coffee station, and we couldn't hear the person's voice who was asking a question.

But now we can. See you in Lexington!

What to do next:

1, Download the updated schedule, clinic staff, and program (Registration form on last page)

Late breaking news! Attention, veterinarians: 19.5 hours of RACE continuing education credit has been approved for this event.

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