Heavy Hooves: Tufts to Host Unique Conference

Flying feathers and pounding hooves will be examined on March 26-28 as Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine hosts the nation's first conference specifically about lameness and shoeing of draft horses. The conference is being organized by Carl Kirker-Head MA, VetMB, MRCVS, Dipl. ACVS, Dipl. ECVS, the current Marilyn M. Simpson Chair in Equine Medicine at Tufts.

Speakers are a diverse group of farriers and equine practitioners specializing in draft horses. The conference is designed as a professional continuing education event for veterinarians and farriers, and it will include live demonstrations of procedures and shoeing techniques.

The shoeing, traction, and trimming needs of horses working in fields, forests, city streets, and show hitches and halter classes will be addressed by the farriers. Veterinarians will speak on problems such as severe "scratches," lymphedema (swelling of the subcutaneous tissues caused by obstruction of the lymphatic drainage), joint lameness, thrush, pemphigus (an autoimmune skin disorder), canker, and white line disease.

A special feature of the conference will be the first North American lectures by Roger Clark, FWCF, one of Great Britain's leading authorities and breeders of heavy horses, and an examiner for the British-based Worshipful Company of Farriers.

Full details on the conference, which will be held at the North Grafton, Mass., campus, and continuing education credit status is available at www.tufts.edu/vet/continedu/conted2.html. The final schedule follows.

Hoofcare & Lameness journal is sponsoring the conference.

Fri., March 26, 2004

11:30-1:00 pm  Registration and "Getting To Know You" Luncheon. Bumpus Rotunda.

1:00-1:15 pm  Carl Kirker-Head. Welcome & Speaker Introduction. Vares Auditorium.
   The Symposium Speakers are introduced.

1:15-1:45 pm  Dallas Goble. "The Basics: Terminology, Colloquialisms, Slang and Idiom - Part I - Horse & Hoof Anatomy."
   Michael Wildenstein. "The Basics: Terminology, Colloquialisms, Slang and Idiom - Part II - Farriery & Harness."
   An opportunity to learn the miscellaneous terms used to describe Draft Horses, their anatomy, harness and farriery.

1:45-2:30 pm  Roger Clark. "Breed Characteristics of Heavy Horses and Their Influence on Shoeing and Trimming."
   An expert's perspective on the breeds and how they influence the shoes we fit them with.

2:30-3:00 pm   Michael Wildenstein. "Shoeing the Show Horse for In-Hand and Hitch."
   Learn what's needed for the Show Draft to excel--all ages and breeds included.

3:00-3:30 pm  Break

3:30-4:00 pm  Roger Clark. "Shoeing the Farm Horse."
   Shoes and hooves for the plow and hay wagon.

4:00-4:30 pm   Michael Wildenstein. "Shoeing the Forest & Pulling Horse."
   What's needed for the competitive pulling horse and those who work the forest environment?

4:30-5:00 pm  Roger Clark. "Shoeing the Town Horse."
   Cobbled streets and stop-start action demands much from the city Draft's hoof.

5:00-5:30 pm  Tea (and coffee)

5:30-6:15 pm  Dallas Goble. "The Budweiser Clydesdales' Hoof Health Program."
   Developing and implementing a comprehensive hoof care program for Clydes in the spot light.

6.15-8.00 pm Cocktail Reception & Evening Presentation. Bob Skradzio. "Shoeing Philadelphia's Working Horses of the Last Century: Recollections of Horses, Horseshoes, and Horsemen." Enjoy a drink and hors d'ouvres while we listen to Bob Skradzio entertain us with his recollections of days gone by.

About the Author

Fran Jurga

Fran Jurga is the publisher of Hoofcare & Lameness, The Journal of Equine Foot Science, based in Gloucester, Mass., and Hoofcare Online, an electronic newsletter accessible at www.hoofcare.com. Her work also includes promoting lameness-related research and information for practical use by farriers, veterinarians, and horse owners. Jurga authored Understanding The Equine Foot, published by Eclipse Press and available at www.exclusivelyequine.com or by calling 800/582-5604.

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