Is there a difference between a barefoot trim and a farrier trim? Say, for a regular pleasure horse which is at pasture and ridden a couple of times a week?
It is often said that a trim is a trim is a trim. But if you look at enough trimmed hooves then what you soon notice is that not only is there a difference between a barefoot trim and a farrier trim…..but there is also a difference from one barefoot trimmer to another, and from one farrier to another. In fact a trim is not a trim at all! But different practitioners have different techniques.
Which raises the question of why? What techniques work best when it comes to trimming? And what is the science underpinning respective approaches?
Some years ago at an American Farrier’s Conference, one of the big attractions was an event they called “A Table with All the Trimmings.”
It featured a collection of cadaver legs – owned by Allie Hayes of HorseScience trimmed by highly regarded farriers and trimmers. Those participating included Dr Ric Redden, Gene Ovnicek, Michael Savoldi, Dr Hildrud Strasser, K.C LaPierre and Lyle Bergeleen. All six trimmed in distinctly different styles.
So….with the permission of Frank Lessiter of the American Farriers’ Journal and HorseScience, we at The Functional Hoof Conference Australia 2014 are planning an Australian version of this event.
We have lined up three top farriers and three well known trimmers to trim cadaver legs which will be freeze dried, sagittally dissected and prepped for display at the conference. On Saturday November 8th we’ll have a panel discussion involving the particpants. The idea is that they will explain why they trim the way they do.
The farriers include Craig Jones and Michael Saunders, two of the Australian representatives of the Mustad Australia team who head off later this month to Calgary to take part in the World Champion Blacksmith Competition. Farrier vet Luke Wills-Smith, of the Scone Equine Podiatry and Lameness Centre is the third farrier who is trimming for this event.
“At an event like this you are really going to get a lot of people in the same room with different experience and hopefully that will generate some discussion and we can then come up with some solutions….” – Dr Luke Wells-Smith, farrier vet from the Scone Equine Lameness and Podiatry Centre, talking about The Functional Hoof Conference.
The trimmers are James Welz, a US-based trimmer who went professional 14 years ago who has studied multiple techniques and is technical editor of The Horse’s Hoof magazine; Rebecca Scott whose technical references include Pete Ramey and Bob Bowker; and one of two Strasser Hoof Care Professionals – either Thorsten Kaiser from New Zealand or Georgina Pankhurst from Australia. Georgina has kindly offered to trim a leg in case we have quarantine difficulties getting Thorsten’s cadaver leg into the country for the conference.
The event will be co-moderated by Dr Andrew van Eps a laminitis researcher and lecturer from Queensland University’s Vet Faculty, and Dr Neal Valk , a US-based vet in private practice who is also a qualified barefoot trimmer.
Save $$$ and buy an EarlyBird ticket before the offer ends on 30th June 2014.