All I know is what I read in the American Farriers Journal, the April edition; what caught my attention… There are approximately 7.2 million horses in the U.S. a decrease of 2 million since 2005, this was no doubt a result of the great recession. Texas, California and Florida are the top horse states. 30.5% of U.S. households have a horse enthusiast and 38% are younger than 18 years old.
Idaho’s Blackfoot High School is gearing up to offer a farrier class in the up coming fall semester. I think this is a great idea. There has been a lot of talk lately about the need for workers who know trades, by the way Cornell University admitted a class of all women to its farrier program for the first time in history.
This issue highlighted a lot of new products in the industry, one of interest is a fetlock support by Horse Power Technologies Inc., this is designed for flexor apparatus soft tissue injuries. I know the guys that developed this and they are real brains, check them out on the web at horsepowertech.com. Also interesting was this new book out “Evaluating Radiographs for Equine Foot Management” by Pete Healey, boy that name is familiar.
A case study was presented on dealing with white line disease (WLD), A person can learn a lot from observing and reading these case studies as they offer a lot of information on what does and doesn’t work. Noting the radiograph and the photograph of the foot, this thing had been chronic for some time before treatment. The foot required an extensive resection and was rehabilitated barefoot in a hoof boot, farrier experience and knowledge and the owners opinion were key contributors in the outcome. The horse was pronounced sound at the resolution of the case but was it a success?
In a separate article, Dr Raul Bras from Rood and Riddle noted that WLD is secondary to separation of the hoof wall. The point here is that we need to be thinking about mechanics, not just for WLD but for lots of other things involving the foot and leg.
Talking about leveraging; there was an article about the Krosscheck Equine Leverage Testing Device, this is a boot with a wedge that can rotate from the center of the foot in order to evaluate leverage strains about the foot. I get the idea but are we not already seeing the leverage strains on the feet by looking at compression rings in the hoof wall; how the foot grows about center of rotation, the hoof-pastern axis, flares, etc. At the end of the day we still need to balance the foot.
A lot of information on hoof supplements. One thing owners need to keep in mind is that the benefit from a supplement for the hoof wall will not be seen at the bottom of the foot until the foot grows off. All new horn is made at the coronet and once it is made it is a done deal. Also the mechanics of the foot play a huge role on circulation of the foot and how much nutrients reach the growth centers. I’ll have to address this in a later blog because it is a big deal.