There will also be a Guest Speaker at the CONFERENCE DINNER on Saturday night. We are pleased to annouce that Brian Hampson will be presenting on his latest research. Details below.


Presentation topics and summaries


Dr Hilary Clayton

"Effects of Turning and Lameness on Limb Kinematics and Kinetics"

Dr Clayton will be discussing ground reaction forces - what they are, what they do and how they affect the limb. She will then go on to talk about locomotion on the straight versus a circle and the physiological lameness that appears on a small circle. The presentation will also include some information about the biomechanical effects of, and compensations for, lameness.


"Research Studies on Barefoot Trimming and Digital Kinematics"

This talk - resulting from Professor Clayton’s research conducted  with Professor Robert Bowker - describes the results of a study in which a group of horses that had never been shod but had been trimmed in a conventional manner were trimmed regularly at 5-6 week intervals using a barefoot trim.

Professor Clayton will also discuss her research into the movements of the distal limb joints in which three dimensional studies were used to measure joint movements in flexion/extension, adduction/abduction and internal/external rotation.


Professor Lars Roepstorff

“The biomechanics of the hoof, and hoof ground interaction”

This will cover functional anatomy of the hoof and how the hoof interacts with the ground that it moves on. The presentation will include his work on frog pressure as it relates to heel expansion.


“Equine surfaces - their effect on soundness and performance of the horse. “

In this presentation Professor Roepstorff will look at the functional properties of equine footings and how these properties affect the horse. It will also cover how construction and maintenance of tracks and arenas affect the functional properties and how to prepare horses to perform on the different surfaces.


Dr Debra Taylor

"Comparative biomechanics:  what can human foot failure teach us about the dysfunctional equine digit?”

In this presentation Dr. Taylor will outline her recent collaborative efforts with J Kevin Miller, DC MSc ATC CPed (Adjunct Professor, Auburn University School of Kinesiology) to understand how humans with dropped arches are being rehabilitated and consider whether there is similar pathophysiology within the feet of these two species.  An understanding of this human rehab system reveals new rehabilitation goals, strategies and possibilities for horses with dysfunctional hoof structure and biomechanics. 


“Physical Examination of the Hoof: with emphasis on the digital cushion”

Dr. Taylor, Dr. Julie Gard and their students have been investigating clinical examination techniques of the equine and bovine foot in an effort to correlate physical examination findings with internal anatomical characteristics.  In these studies Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Computed Tomography exams of various cadaver feet have been performed.  These MRI and CT exams have provided data for 3D reconstruction of the bones, digital cushions and collateral cartilages of the hooves.  The 3D reconstructed images are being printed to assist with  “hands-on” understanding of the morphologic variations that exist in nature.


Carol Layton

“Taking the emotion out of feeding decisions (the smart way to feed horses)”

The presentation will contain information from an independent equine nutritionist on how to best feed horses from an evidence based perspective. Equine nutrition will be explained so that a horse owner will know which feeds are the best for their horses from the huge array of products on offer and why.

·      Particular attention will be given to:

·      Horses with coat, hoof and immune issues

·      Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) and specifically Insulin Resistance (IR)

·      Performance horses

·      Common myths and fads in the feeding industry


Dr Cindy Nielson

“Laminitis and Founder Rehabilitation”

Dr Nielsen will be telling tales from Founder Warriors – her founder rehabilitation project in  the US. She’s the first to admit,  rehabbing such horses is a battle. So she calls in the troops and likes to  get vets, owners and hoof care providors working closely together for the maximum benefit of the horse. She’ll have case studies, photos and radiographs. Her first presentation will look at the principles and science underpinning the optimal management of such horses. In the second part of her presentation,  she will discuss case studies, and we’ll open the floor to questions.


Dr Andrew Van Eps

" Laminitis: Mechanisms and consequences of attachment failure between hoof and bone."

Laminitis is essentially failure of the attachment between hoof and bone.  Laminitis can occur under different circumstances and our current understanding of what causes different forms of laminitis will be discussed.  When laminitis occurs, the outcome for the horse can differ widely, from death (euthanasia due to unrelenting pain and dysfunction) to a successful return to athletic activity.  The processes that are triggered as a result of laminitis and their consequences in terms of the structure and function of the foot will be discussed, as will the latest evidence for prevention and treatment of the disease.


Jane Myers

“Healthy land, healthy horses.”

Horses should be regarded as part of an ecosystem if we want to achieve the best outcome for their health. The land they live on must be managed in a way  which enhances horse health and  is  also good for the wider environment. Jane (and Stuart) Myers from Equiculture travel extensively (Australia, USA, Europe) learning more about and teaching this fascinating subject.

The subject of pasture management is steeped in myth and tradition. Many horse owners (and even some horse professionals) do not really understand this subject. But without pasture -  either fresh or conserved -  our horses would have  to survive on a unnatural diet.

This talk is an introduction to the subject of how to create and maintain nutritional and safe pasture using the natural and domesticated behaviour of horses.


Dr Neal Valk

“Pathology and the Barefoot trim, can we really ignore it?”

One of the pillars of barefoot trim advice from former farrier turned pioneering barefoot trimmer Jaime Jackson is: ignore all pathology.

This simple statement turns the prevailing paradigm in equine hoofcare on its head. But to veterinarian Dr Neal Valk, DVM, DACVS,  it makes perfect sense.  Dr Valk discusses why he has taken the Jackson approach to heart and why this fundamentally different approach can results.


Georgina Pankhurst

“The effects of heel angle on corium health in the equine hoof”

This will be the world premiere of new research, in which two specific hoof shapes are investigated from a new perspective.  The shapes are defined by heel angle: that of the diverging hoof, with a heel angle greater than 45 degrees, and that of the converging hoof (commonly referred to as an under run heel) with a heel angle of less than 46 degrees.  The study compares the health of the corium.

The thesis begins with a loading study of the two hoof shapes, and the likely effects on the corium, which are discussed in a gross pathology study involving collaborative work with Sydney University. The final research applies theory to practice in a case study series of six horses -  using lameness, tracking length and angles & ratios, as key indicators of change.


Brian Hampson

"The effects of trimming on foot morphology: A Preliminary Report - Radiometric and photometric comparison of 22 horses and four bare foot hoof care models."

This presentation will deliver results of an international study of bare foot trimming models investigated by case studies over a 12 month period. The paper will present hoof capsule changes occurring over the 12 month period and outline differences in goals of various trimming models which are reflected in hoof capsule morphology.


"The foot morphology and health in Przewalski’s horses in the Hortobágy Puszta, Hungary."

This presentation will be a brief overview of foot shape, structure and health in the only true wild horse living today. Przewalski’s horses inhabit a large area of former wild horse country in Europe and are not exempt from significant foot pathology. The paper will present reasons why these wild horses may suffer from abnormal foot morphology and disease not normally associated with wild horses.   

A Table of Trimmings

A selection of various styles of trims from recognised Farriers and Barefoot trimmers. Cadaver hooves, trimmed and freeze dried will be on display illustrating the subtle and not so subtle differences between each technique. The farriers and trimmers will be present for a moderated panel discussion.

The idea had its origins in a collection of cadaver hooves in the US, trimmed by leading farriers and trimmers, and collected by Allie Hayes of HorseScience. When the American Farriers got a hold of the idea they ran it at one of their national conferences. Their  “Table with all the Trimmings” created great interest in the farrier world. Now, with the blessings of both Allie Hayes and Frank Lessiter of the American Farriers Journal, we plan to reprise the event at The Functional Hoof Conference.

Industry News

A chance for our sponsors to get up and discuss their products and services. This will include interesting info on new boots and flexible shoes including a brand new flexible shoe option designed and made in Australia.

Question Time

Got any big picture questions? This is your opportunity to ask them! Questions will need to be submitted by Saturday afternoon on forms provided. 

Program may be subject to change. Day ticket holders will be notified of major changes and given the option to switch days if necessary.